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HER Number:MDV12695
Name:Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works

Summary

The Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works were in operation from the 19th century into the mid-20th century. The 19th and early-20th evolution and extent of the clayworks is depicted on the First and Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25inch maps. Aerial photographs of the 1940s to the early 21st century illustrate the further development of the extractive landscape and destruction of much of the earlier industrial remains.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 576 597
Map Sheet:SX55NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSparkwell
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishPLYMPTON ST.MARY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1363014
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX55NE/65

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CLAY WORKINGS (XVIII to XX - 1800 AD to 1960 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Hemerdon China Clay Works' shown on 19th century map as an extensive area with two engine houses, clay pits, reservoirs, aqueduct and a shaft.


Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

'Hermerdon and Broomage China Clay Works' shown on early 20th century map with shafts, tramway, reservoirs and several buildings.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1190, RAF/106G/UK/1190 RS 4250-4252 27-FEB-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363067.

Clayworks earthworks, including early 20th century finger dumps are visible.


Royal Air Force, 1951, RAF/540/483, RAF/540/483 RS 4453-4454 24-APR-1951 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352103.

Early 20th century clayworks earthworks have been effaced by recent works, and new features such as settling tanks have been constructed.


Ordnance Survey, 1969, OS/69296, OS/69296 V 018-019 29-JUN-1969 (Aerial Photograph). SDV361475.

Later 20th century earthworks are visible.


Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1978, NMR 1247, NMR 1247/188-189 31-MAY-1978 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363091.

Spoil heaps and finger dumps remain visible as earthworks.


Edwards, C., 1979, An archaeological survey of an area surrounding Hemerdon Ball (Report - Survey). SDV337241.

Site visited on 13th May 1979. Hemerdon and Broomage Clayworks. Stockers pit, a concrete filter bed consisting of numerous channels runs from SX57595987 to SX57585979 and thence into two stone lined settling tanks at SX57565978 and SX57585978. Old mica traps were built into concrete about 1923. Filter beds length 75 metres, width 5 metres, settling tanks diameter 12 metres.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, SX55NE (Cartographic). SDV337243.

Visible on 1985 aerial photograph interpretation.


Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 1999-2017, Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs, Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SX5759-SX5760 31-MAY-2016 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363087.

Most of the 19th to early-20th century clayworks earthworks have been destroyed.


National Monuments Record, 2002, 1363014 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV343744.

Remains of Hemerdon and Broomage Moor china clay works centred at SX57565981. The small clay pit and finger dumps shown on 19th century map had expanded into an extensive and busy china clay extraction area by the early 20th century. A set of disturbed and truncated 'sky tips' of spoil centred at SX57495997 which dominate the immediate area are part of these workings. The workings remain visible as small water-filled pits with associated finger spoil dumps, mounds and broad, dry, water channels. Later additions to the works which still survive include two stone and brick built circular tanks with conical interiors, two conjoined rectangular tanks and a linear 'mica drag' constructed of concrete and built on made-up ground centred at SX57855979.


Fletcher, M., 2002, The Archaeological Landscape of Crownhill Down and Ridding Down: Survey Report (Report - Survey). SDV343412.

Long abandoned remains of the Hemerdon and Broomage Moor china clay works lie on the eastern side of Crownhill Down. Other details: Figures 3 and 5 and Crownhill Down Survey.


Dyer, M. J., 2003, Archaeological Survey, Evaluation and Recording of a Trial Extraction Site at Hemerdon Pit, Crownhill Down, 2-9 (Report - Evaluation). SDV159627.

China clay working began at 'Hemerdon' in the 19th century and when the circa 1866 map was surveyed only claypits were shown but the clayworks was extensive by 1887 including ponds, reservoirs, leats and tramway. China clay extraction and processing continued until the mid 20th century.
A survey and evaluation undertaken in 2003 revealed several earthwork features mostly associated with the 19th and early 20th century clay working and processing. The features included six gullies, two ponds, several waste clay mounds and a linear bank.


Dyer, M. J., 2011, Archaeological Recording of an Extension to Headon West Quarry, 1-37 (Report - Survey). SDV348045.

The northern part of the site contained a number of features associated with former china clay workings in the 19th and 20th centuries. These consisted mainly of earthworks in the form of mounds of clay waste, gullies for draining or channelling surface water, ponds, and the remains of buildings and other structures associated with clay extraction and processing. The most significant feature was part of an engine house, but a number of artefacts and pieces of machinery were also present, including the greater part of a rocker beam pump, the remains of an incline railway with a section of tramway still in situ, and a cable drum from a winch. The southern area also contained a number of earthworks, including a large pond, numerous gullies, extraction pits and mounds of clay waste, including a group of overlapping finger dumps. See report for full details. Other details: Plans and photographs.


Gaimster, M., 2011, Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon (Article in Serial). SDV361542.

SPARKWELL, HEMERDON WEST QUARRY (SX 5770 5961). M. J. Dyer et al. undertook an archaeological survey and excavation of a historic china clay working landscape associated with the former Hemerdon and Broomage Clay Works (1855 – approximately 1942). The survey covered two separate areas totalling 4.05 hectares. Among the structures identified were the engine house, two large masonry bases probably for angle bobs (bell cranks), an inclined railway for winding waste, and a section of tramway still in situ. Underground ceramic pipelines that carried clay slurry from the pit were also exposed. Surviving artefacts included a rocker beam pump, the drum from a powered cable winch, wheels from skip wagons, flat rods and lengths of cast-iron pipe used for pumping clay slurry from the pit. Excavation of the engine house uncovered wall footings, surfaces and engine and machine bases (citing Exeter Archaeology Report 11.33).


Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

The Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works operated from the eastern side of Crownhill Down from the 19th century into the mid-20th century. The evolution and changing character of the clay works landscape is apparent from the Ordnance Survey First Edition map of the 1880s to the Second Edition map of the early 1900s.
Many of the early 20th century features, such as ponds and finger dumps remained visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s.
However, continued extraction into the mid-20th century further changed the landscape, effacing much of the earlier ponds and finger dumps, although a few examples survived, as at SX57548970. Notable new features apparent on aerial photographs of the 1950s and 1960s and depicted on the 1953-1969 National Grid Ordnance Survey A Edition Imperial map include two closely space circular tanks circa 12m in diameter at SX57565978 and SX57585978 and two long rectilinear tanks immediately to the north, annotated as filter beds on the OS maps, 6m wide and 29 and 35 m long, total length 64m. An irregular pond circa 50m across is also constructed at SX57705980.
These maps also illustrate the later 20th century expansion of extraction, extending towards the north-east and forming a continuous landscape of extraction from the Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works to the Headon China Clay Works. This work obliterated large areas of the earlier industrial landscape. The extent of this later 20th century industrial landscape has not been transcribed but is also visible on aerial photographs of 1969.
Expansion of quarrying into the 21st century has destroyed almost all of the earlier claywork remains.
The changing earthworks of the later 20th clayworks have not been transcribed by the survey, but the monument polygon has been amended to define the extent of the early 20th century clay works as depicted on the Ordnance Survey Second Edition map.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV159627Report - Evaluation: Dyer, M. J.. 2003. Archaeological Survey, Evaluation and Recording of a Trial Extraction Site at Hemerdon Pit, Crownhill Down. Exeter Archaeology Report. 03.65. A4 stapled + Digital. 2-9.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #118912 ]
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337241Report - Survey: Edwards, C.. 1979. An archaeological survey of an area surrounding Hemerdon Ball. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV337243Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. SX55NE. Air Photographs Unit. Map (Paper).
SDV343412Report - Survey: Fletcher, M.. 2002. The Archaeological Landscape of Crownhill Down and Ridding Down: Survey Report. English Heritage Report. AI/31/2002. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV343744National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2002. 1363014. National Monuments Record Index. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV348045Report - Survey: Dyer, M. J.. 2011. Archaeological Recording of an Extension to Headon West Quarry. Exeter Archaeology Report. 11.33. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1-37.
SDV352103Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1951. RAF/540/483. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/540/483 RS 4453-4454 24-APR-1951.
SDV361475Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1969. OS/69296. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). OS/69296 V 018-019 29-JUN-1969.
SDV361542Article in Serial: Gaimster, M.. 2011. Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 45. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363067Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1190. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/1190 RS 4250-4252 27-FEB-1946.
SDV363087Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 1999-2017. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Aerial Photography for Great Britain Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SX5759-SX5760 31-MAY-2016.
SDV363091Aerial Photograph: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1978. NMR 1247. NMR Aerial Photograph. NMR 1247/188-189 31-MAY-1978.

Associated Monuments

MDV12933Parent of: Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works Buildings (Monument)
MDV12678Parent of: Reservoir at Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works (Monument)
MDV12937Parent of: Rocker Beam Pump at Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works (Monument)
MDV76007Parent of: Shaft at Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works (Monument)
MDV76009Parent of: Shaft at Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works (Monument)
MDV76008Parent of: Tramway at Hemerdon and Broomage China Clay Works (Monument)
MDV80911Parent of: Tramway, Hemerdon China Clay Works (Monument)
MDV80912Parent of: Tramway, Hemerdon China Clay Works (Monument)
MDV28078Related to: Two Mounds on Crownhill Down (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5481 - Archaeological Recording at Headon West Quarry
  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)

Date Last Edited:Jul 25 2019 12:09PM