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HER Number:MDV17703
Name:Glass Factory, Meldon Quarry


Site of a short-lived bottle factory in the 1920s; numerous fragments of glass can be seen on site, although no remains of buildings directly relating to the glass industry here have been located.


Grid Reference:SX 566 921
Map Sheet:SX59SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishOkehampton Hamlets
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOKEHAMPTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 59 SE 78
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX59SE/68
  • Pastscape: 1103548

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GLASS WORKS (XX - 1920 AD to 1929 AD? (Between))

Full description

Griffiths, D. M., 1982, Glass bottle factory at Meldon (Worksheet). SDV262974.

Site of bottle factory at SX 566 921. A bottle factory was sited here (possibly in the 19th century), using local limestone and sandstone. Numerous fragments of glass bottles can be seen here; many with 'WB' stamped on the base. The glass is of a blue/green colour.

Crossley, D., 1996, Monuments Protection Programme, The Glass Industry: Introduction to Step 3 Assessments, Vol 1: Devon (Report - non-specific). SDV351732.

(SX565 921) Foundations are visible, which may be part of the glassworks. Bottle fragments and residues of the period 1850-1920 have been found. Note that Professor Michael Cable is of the opinion that aplite would have been a constituent of glass rather than a principle component because it would be too viscous on its own.

Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S., 1997, The Meldon Industrial Landscape, Okehampton, Devon. An Archaeological Survey, 17 (Report - Survey). SDV346364.

The Bottle Factory
From the late 19th century, investigations were being made concerning the production of granulite at Meldon and potential to establish both glass and china works at the site. Little progress followed this, until 1920 when the Western Morning News reported that a new syndicate from London had ambitious plans to turn Meldon into a 'major centre for glass production'. Two new furnaces (of an intended 12) were nearing completion and 500 work men would be required (29/03/1920). By February 1921, the men had been laid off and new owners were being sought.
No structures or obvious features remain as evidence of a glass industry here, but large amounts of broken glass fragments can be seen, mostly representing small medicine and cosmetic bottles. The glass manufacturing area seems to have been concentrated to the west of the northern aplite quarry (and possibly lay outside the survey area; perhaps beneath the spoil heaps of the quarry to the north). Another possible location could be the levelled areas south-east of the modern gateway (developed after 1948); this could have been the former location of the buildings associated with glass production.
Examples of glass bottles from here can be seen in the Museum of Dartmoor Life in Okehampton.

Crossley, D., 1997, The Selection of Sites for Statutory Protection: The Glass Industry (Correspondence). SDV351731.

English Heritage programme seeking to document sites of national importance for which statutory protection should be considered. The step 1 report for the glass industry was circulated in 1993 and the comments made have been taken into account in the preparation of the step 3 report.

Meldon Bottle Factory. Foundations of glass works buildings adjacent to granulite (raw material) quarry.

The foundations are visible which appear to be those of the galss works: there are no signs of furnance or flues. Little residu is visible, in contrast to the impression in Harris 1992. Finds of bottle fragments and residues.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV262974Worksheet: Griffiths, D. M.. 1982. Glass bottle factory at Meldon. Worksheet. Digital. [Mapped feature: #8403 ]
SDV346364Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S.. 1997. The Meldon Industrial Landscape, Okehampton, Devon. An Archaeological Survey. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Bound. 17.
SDV351731Correspondence: Crossley, D.. 1997. The Selection of Sites for Statutory Protection: The Glass Industry. Letters + attachment. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV351732Report - non-specific: Crossley, D.. 1996. Monuments Protection Programme, The Glass Industry: Introduction to Step 3 Assessments. english Heritage. A3 Comb Bound + Digital. Vol 1: Devon.

Associated Monuments

MDV4827Related to: Aplite Quarry at Meldon (Monument)
MDV4826Related to: Meldon Lime Works (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 7 2019 10:31PM