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HER Number:MDV132543
Name:Devon Great Elizabeth


Remains of Devon Great Elizabeth, an undeveloped copper mine which is documented between 1857 and 1861.


Grid Reference:SX 709 704
Map Sheet:SX77SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHolne
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHOLNE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX77SW62
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1441634

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COPPER MINE (Constructed, XIX - 1850 AD (Post) to 1870 AD (Post))
  • SHAFT (Constructed, XIX - 1850 AD (Post) to 1870 AD (Post))

Full description

Newman, P., 2006, Measured Survey Hidden Dartmoor: Peripheral Mines (Phase 1 Pilot) (Report - Survey). SDV351461.

(30/03/2006) An undeveloped copper mine which is documented between 1857 and 1861. Although short-lived and closing under acrimonious circumstances after only four years, the mine is moderately well documented and there is some recorded sales of ores. Apart from the underground sections of the mine there is also record of a waterwheel used for pumping. All the machinery at the mine is listed in detail when it was disposed of at a sale on 6th July 1861. This includes a 30ft by 5ft breast iron water wheel with cranks, T bobs, shears, pulleys and 24fthms pumps (Cornwall Record Office DD/STA/viii/741/45). The remains are located on the north side of the River Dart south of New Bridge in area currently covered by managed woodland. Parts of the site are in private ownership though the area adjacent to the River belongs to the National Trust. The field evidence does not concord particularly well with the features described in the documentation, but a shaft with a surrounding spoil heap survives at SX 7094 7059. Nearby is some evidence of digging in the form of shallow linear trenches, one of which is a good candidate for a wheelpit. It is NNE of the shaft and correctly aligned to have powered pumps within it. The majority of the masonry has been robbed, though traces are visible on the south end, and the surviving trench is approximately 11m long. This could certainly have housed the recorded wheelpit of 30ft (9.1m). However, there is no evidence of a bob pit, either beside the wheelpit or adjacent to the shaft, and no trace of a leat or leat embankment. A 30ft wheel, even if partially sunken and breast fed would have needed a raised launder, especially on this very flat part of the floodplain, which would probably have been built form timber and would not survive. Search for a leat channel in which water could have been diverted from further up the Dart has failed to find any remains in the immediate vicinity of the mine. Although some documentation for the mine suggests there was doubt over whether the water supply could be negotiated from other landowners (Mining Journal, 1859) at least one report mentions the wheel in use (Mining Journal, 1959).
A deep leat channel is evident running across a stretch of open ground between Deadman's Corner at SX 7040 7048 and the enclosure walls of Lower Hannaford 220m to the east. This channel could certainly have supplied water from the Dart but evidence appears to have been effaced within the Hannaford land.
One hundred and fifty metres NNE near the River Dart at SX 7107 7002 is another area of activity. A circular flat bottomed hollow, currently boggy and fenced off. This too may be a shaft but could also be the site of a dressing floor. An alignment of boulders just above the hollow appears to be the base of a ruined wall.
The main surviving area of activity is south of and adjacent to the lane from New Bridge to Hannaford Farm at SX 7095 7072. The eastern end of the site is occupied by a large fish pond, which although created later than the abandonment of the mine, is depicted on the 1886 OS 25-inch map (1886 edition). Local inhabitants believe this pond to be sited over a shaft but it is more likely that an old adit drains into it, keeping it filled with water. This would also have been a good site for a wheelpit at the bottom of a gentle slope and a possible alternative position for the 30ft pumping wheel was within this hollow, its site now submerged. Two structures are marked on the OS 1886 map together with various sections of walling, to the west of the pond. One of the walls is revetted and delineates the edge of a terraced area which may have served as a dressing floor. Above the terrace is the ruined outline of a rectangular stone building, the eastern end of which stands in parts to 2m high. This could be remains of the account house mentioned in the sale particulars of 1861. A second structure is sited just to the north west of this building is approximately square and apparently had no doors or windows. Its purpose is not known.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV351461Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2006. Measured Survey Hidden Dartmoor: Peripheral Mines (Phase 1 Pilot). English Heritage Survey Report. Unknown. [Mapped feature: #136379 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV30050Related to: Hannaford Lily Pond, Widecombe in the Moor (Monument)
MDV25140Related to: Parallel reave system around Hannaford Manor, Widecombe (Monument)
MDV30089Related to: Ruined buildings near Hannaford Lily Pond, Widecombe in the Moor (Building)
MDV62674Related to: Site of a water wheel at Hannaford Lily Pond, Widecombe in the Moor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8574 - Hidden Dartmoor: Peripheral Mine (Phase 1 Pilot)

Date Last Edited:Sep 25 2023 3:09PM