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HER Number:MDV22883
Name:South Bedford Copper Mine


South Bedford Copper Mine, depicted on the Ordnance Survey First Edition map as 'disused' and visible as earthworks and a structure on aerial photographs of 1948.


Grid Reference:SX 434 718
Map Sheet:SX47SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SW/511

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COPPER MINE (Constructed, XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD to 1880 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV1142.

Worksheet contains further details of above and copy of 1906 25" map show rough positions of workings (worksheet).

BUCK, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV219466.

Vis=19/3/1998 (buck) main complex of buildings are near engine shaft, close to the tamar. Relatively well preserved and appear to have contained a rotary steam powered winder and crusher engine. There is a well preserved cobbled floor near the open shaft and below the shaft is a substantial retaining wall with ore shoots (and faked arched doorways) for loading ore to barges for smelting. N of site is ding dong adit, with a pipe and waterwheel contraption attached. The adit is open and still drains the mines. E of mine site is a detached chimney suggesting either arsenic refining or steam engine in the e section of the mine. Mine buildings consist of substantial wall remnants. Chimney is 75% extant but flue is missing. Other building sites can be seen near main complex, as ell as earlier lode back pits and costean trenches. This mine lay at w end of an e-w lode which extended to east wheal crebor, s of tavistock (buck).

OS 1884, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256328.

Os map of 1884 shows mine as disused with a small group of buildings and a chimney close to the river.2 shafts are marked and the site of another is suggested by an area of spoil heaps to the east (os 1884).

OS 1906, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256329.

On the 1906 25" map only one of the buildings apparently remains, other details are similar to the 1884 map (os 1906).

OS 1967, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256330.

Modern 25" map shows the spoil heaps and single building close to the river (?the original centre of the mine) but does not mark the shaft here. The chimney and the 2 disused shafts (at sx43577187, sx43737188) are marked. A small trench to the e (sx43857187) may indicate the site of the 1940s working (os 1967).

1907, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256332.

South bedford mine (copper, disused) marked on os 6" (1907) map (os).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256335.

Dines, h. G. /the metalliferous mining region of sw england vol 2/(1956)669- 671.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256336.

Des=os 6" map/(1884)copy in parish file.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256337.

Des=os 25" map/(1906)copy on worksheet.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256338.

Des=os 25" map/(1967).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256339.

Des=worksheet/weddell, p.(22/2/1984)in parish file.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256340.

Des=os 6"(1907)105sw.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256341.

Des=buck, c. /preliminary assessment of sites of archaeological importance in the tamar valley/(1998)42/copy in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256342.

Des=dyer, m. J. + manning, p. T. /objective 5b: lower tamar valley recreation and land management initiative: cultura heritage appraisal/(oct 1998)37/ea report 98.60.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256343.

Des=buck, c. /preliminary assessment of industrial sites of archaeological importance in the tamar valley/(dec 1998)47/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256344.

Des=buck,c.(cornwall archaeological unit)/bedford united mine: archaeological assessment/(2003)11, figs 4 + 24/report no 2003ro43 in smr.

Dines, H. G., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV265453.

South bedford. Copper. Part of s bedford and e gunnislake group. Two main shafts and 3 adits and signs of surface workings at eastern end of mine. In this area 3 trial shafts sunk in the war in an unsuccessful search for wolfram. Recorded outputs for mine and the group suggest that it may have been working from the 1850s to 1870s. Producing a small quantity of black tin and pyrites as well as copper (dines).

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

The mine is depicted on this map as ‘disused’.

Atkinson, 1988, Index of Mines (Unknown). SDV361827.

South Bedford and East Gunnislake 1854-1873
Southeast of Gunnislake Bridge.

Production: 5,200 tons of copper; 2 tons tin.

A chimney stack wreathed in ivy can be found in Hatch Wood, south of the lodge and to the left of the footpath. Several levels belonging to this small group penetrate the steep hillside and the entrances to these adjoin both the path and the river bank.

Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 2001-2002, Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records, RAF/CPE/UK/2501/4105&6 1948 (Interpretation). SDV346287.

Earthworks of spoil heaps, cut features and a structure are visible on aerial photographs of 1948.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2016, Backlog Recording of the Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Survey (Personal Comment). SDV359374.

Earthworks recorded here within Hatch Wood have been appended to this monument record. This monument record has in itself been amended from that of a monument point into a polygon to encompass these earthworks and features depicted here on historic maps. Given the partial absence of clear boundaries of this mine on these maps, the extent of this monument polygon has been difficult to define and is somewhat arbitrary.

Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 207-210, fig 6.66-67, 7.25-76 (Monograph). SDV361789.

South Bedford /East Gunnislake Mine
Small, but deep mid-19th century mine that reworked the western end of the Wheal Luscombe lode (previously worked from c. 1790-1826 as Wheal Tamar). The lode continued west into Cornwall and was worked as part of the Old Gunnislake Mine main lode, referred to from the end of the 18th century onwards as East Gunnislake Mine.
Surface workings at the site survive fairly well, although some damage caused by modern forestry works has obliterated features in the area west of Endsleigh Drive (now the South Bedford Carpark). There was the pit for a large water engine here, as well as dressing floors and 1850s burning house, although parts of its short flue and a terminal chimney stack survive nearby. Remains of the mine's office building survive and (significantly) a high retaining wall revetting the Engine Shaft dump alongside the Frementor to Impham Railway (c.1860-75). This contains an ore bin, suggesting the mine's produce was moved by rail to Impham Quay in the 1860s and 1870s.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV1142Migrated Record:
SDV219466Migrated Record: BUCK.
SDV256328Migrated Record: OS 1884.
SDV256329Migrated Record: OS 1906.
SDV256330Migrated Record: OS 1967.
SDV256332Migrated Record: 1907.
SDV256335Migrated Record:
SDV256336Migrated Record:
SDV256337Migrated Record:
SDV256338Migrated Record:
SDV256339Migrated Record:
SDV256340Migrated Record:
SDV256341Migrated Record:
SDV256342Migrated Record:
SDV256343Migrated Record:
SDV256344Migrated Record:
SDV265453Migrated Record: Dines, H. G..
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #83478 ]
SDV346287Interpretation: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2001-2002. Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records. National Mapping Programme. Map (Digital). RAF/CPE/UK/2501/4105&6 1948.
SDV359374Personal Comment: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2016. Backlog Recording of the Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Survey. Not Applicable.
SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 207-210, fig 6.66-67, 7.25-76.
SDV361827Unknown: Atkinson. 1988. Index of Mines. A4 single sheet.

Associated Monuments

MDV70454Parent of: BRIDGE in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70449Parent of: BUILDING in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70450Parent of: BUILDING in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70459Parent of: BUILDING in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70447Parent of: CALCINER in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70443Parent of: CHIMNEY in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV62625Parent of: MILL in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70451Parent of: POND in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70442Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70444Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70445Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70452Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70453Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70460Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70455Parent of: WALL in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70446Parent of: WHEEL PIT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV3862Related to: Devon Great Consolidated Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV3888Related to: Ding Dong Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV123232Related to: Tavistock Canal, Main record (Monument)
MDV70448Related to: The Wheal Impham Leat, Gulworthy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6911 - Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme

Date Last Edited:Nov 22 2018 2:52PM