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HER Number:MDV19112
Name:Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway (Dartmoor section)

Summary

Princetown Railway. Opened in 1883, converted and reused large sections of the Plymouth and Dartmoor Tramway north of Yelverton. The line failed to pay its way and was closed in 1956.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 550 690
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBuckland Monachorum
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMEAVY
Ecclesiastical ParishBICKLEIGH
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKLAND MONACHORUM

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Structural remains of a tunnel section of the 19th century Plymouth and Dartmoor railway and tunnel mine at Leighbeer, Bickleigh
  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains on Walkhampton Common including 19th century Swelltor and Foggintor Quarries, a section of the early 19th century Plymouth and Dartmoor Tramway, later converted to railway, also streamworks along the Yes Tor Brook
  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains of a section of the late 18th century Devonport Leat running between Roborough Down and Burrator Reservoir
  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains of a section of the late 18th century Devonport Leat running from Yelverton Reservoir to Crofts Plantation as well as ruined remains at two deserted medieval farmsteads at Lowery

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NW/73
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RAILWAY (XIX to XX - 1883 AD to 1956 AD (Between))

Full description

Hicks, C. E., 1947-1949, A note of the Plymouth and Dartmoor railroad, 381-383 (Article in Serial). SDV252925.

In 1880, the Dartmoor portion of the former Plymouth and Dartmoor railroad was reconstructed to form the Princetown-Yelverton railway. Just to the north of Yelverton Station, the Yelverton junction was opened in 1883.


Various, 1956, Newpaper articles regarding the closure of the Princetown Railway (Article in Serial). SDV273809.

Details and photographs (photocopies) of the closure of the railway.


Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 169-74 (Monograph). SDV149229.

The Plymouth and Dartmoor tramway was not the success it was hoped and little was carried on it other than granite and by 1840 traffic had dwindled considerably. The section above Yelverton was sold, reconstructed to standard gauge and reopened as the Princetown Railway in 1883. Traffic in the early years of the line was mainly prison-related; re-opened for convicts in 1850. Aside from the convenience to residents, the main use was for tourists and as it failed to pay its way, the railway was shut down in 1956. The rails were removed in 1957 and the station at Princetown largely dismantled.


Kendall, H. G., 1968, The Plymouth and Dartmough Railway and its Forerunners (Monograph). SDV340944.

Highly detailed description of the line, covering the early history of the tramway and later conversion to railway as well as its final closure.


Anthony, G. H., 1971, The Tavistock, Launceston and Princetown Railways, 86-100 (Monograph). SDV341175.

Detail regarding the line, which opened in 1883 and finally closed in 1956.


Thomas, D. St. J., 1981, A Regional History of Railways of Great Britain, 122 (Monograph). SDV168.

The Princetown Railway. A narrow gauge railway opened on 11/8/1883. The line was a subsidiary of the Great Western Railway and for much of its line followed the course of the old Plymouth and Dartmoor Tramway. Much of the line's early traffic was concerned with the prison and granite from King Tor quarry. Later excursionists used the line in large numbers but this was not enough to prevent closure on 3/3/1956.


Snell, R., 1986, Green Lanes in Devon Project (Un-published). SDV8442.


Bastin, C. H., 1989, Princetown Railways (Pamphlet). SDV252923.


Turton, S. D., 1993, Archaeological Assessment of SWW Dousland to Rundlestone Water Main, 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV249910.


Exeter Archaeology, 1996, Archaeological assessment of South West Water Burrator to Crownhill water main upgrade, 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV273792.

Site of Plymouth to Tavistock Railway. Opened in 1859, single track, broad gauge. It was extended to Launceston in 1865 and survived until 1962.


Bayer, O. J. + Sage, S. A., 1997, Archaeological recording on the South West Water Burrator to Crownhill Main water upgrade: Stage 2, 3 (Report - Survey). SDV273785.

Track bed is currently used as cycle path. No railway furniture was observed.


Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Route of the railway is still depicted on the modern map.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 169-74.
SDV168Monograph: Thomas, D. St. J.. 1981. A Regional History of Railways of Great Britain. A Regional History of Railways of Great Britain. 1. Unknown. 122.
SDV249910Report - Assessment: Turton, S. D.. 1993. Archaeological Assessment of SWW Dousland to Rundlestone Water Main. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 93.06. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3.
SDV252923Pamphlet: Bastin, C. H.. 1989. Princetown Railways. Princetown Railways. Paperback Volume.
SDV252925Article in Serial: Hicks, C. E.. 1947-1949. A note of the Plymouth and Dartmoor railroad. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 23. Unknown. 381-383.
SDV273785Report - Survey: Bayer, O. J. + Sage, S. A.. 1997. Archaeological recording on the South West Water Burrator to Crownhill Main water upgrade: Stage 2. Exeter Archaeology. 97.24. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3.
SDV273792Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1996. Archaeological assessment of South West Water Burrator to Crownhill water main upgrade. Exeter Archaeology. 96.56. A4 Stapled. 3.
SDV273809Article in Serial: Various. 1956. Newpaper articles regarding the closure of the Princetown Railway. Photocopy.
SDV340944Monograph: Kendall, H. G.. 1968. The Plymouth and Dartmough Railway and its Forerunners. The Plymouth and Dartmough Railway and its Forerunners. Paperback Volume.
SDV341175Monograph: Anthony, G. H.. 1971. The Tavistock, Launceston and Princetown Railways. The Tavistock, Launceston and Princetown Railways. Paperback Volume. 86-100.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82407 ]
SDV8442Un-published: Snell, R.. 1986. Green Lanes in Devon Project. Green Lanes in Devon Project. Not applicable. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV57136Parent of: Ingra Tor Halt, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV123224Parent of: Signal box at Lowry Road (Monument)
MDV20605Related to: Blocked adit 100 metres north of Burrator Dam (Monument)
MDV28209Related to: Branch railway at Swell Tor Quarry (Monument)
MDV48941Related to: Burrator Inn, Dousland (Building)
MDV62583Related to: Burrator Lodge, Meavy (Building)
MDV28231Related to: Cross reave running from the Great Western Reave on Walkhampton Common (Monument)
MDV5005Related to: Foggintor Quarry, Princetown (Monument)
MDV19426Related to: Goodameavy, Embankment (Monument)
MDV16866Related to: Johnson's Quarries at Ingra Tor, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV123108Related to: Milestone west of Roughways, Buckland Monochorum (Monument)
MDV5006Related to: Quarry south-west of King's Tor, Dartmoor (Monument)
MDV48972Related to: Quarry west of Burrator Reservoir (Monument)
MDV28222Related to: Streamworks along the Yes Tor Brook, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV5004Related to: Swell Tor Quarries, Dartmoor (Monument)
MDV22574Related to: Tavistock branch of the South Devon Railway (Tavistock to Yelverton) (Monument)
MDV2353Related to: The Plymouth and Dartmoor Tramway (Dartmoor section) (Monument)
MDV28725Related to: Wheal Lopes Mine Leat (Monument)
MDV99718Related to: Yelverton Reservoir, Meavy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7375 - Archaeological recording during construction of the Dousland to Rundlestone water main (Ref: 94.40)

Date Last Edited:Jun 17 2019 10:38AM