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HER Number:MDV24698
Name:Streamworks at the head of the River Mardle, Holne


25 hectares of tinworks at the head of the River Mardle forming finger-like strips on both sides of the river


Grid Reference:SX 667 692
Map Sheet:SX66NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHolne
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHOLNE

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork remains of medieval or post-medieval tin working at Hapstead Ford, Holne

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 66 NE 119
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NE/160
  • Pastscape: 1078256
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • OPEN CUT (Constructed, Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))
  • STREAMWORKS (Constructed, Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 4364-4365 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351061.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Openworks, with trial pits, seen extending radially from streamworks on the River Mardle. Scattered spoilheaps. Workings seen extending to SX66506900 and to SX65886910.

English Heritage, 2005, Industrial Survey Information (Report - Survey). SDV346396.

River Mardle streamwork shown on survey.

National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape (Website). SDV359354.

Centred SX 669693. Approximately 12 hectares of tinworking remains on the left bank of the River Mardle between Ryders Hill and Mitchelcombe. The workings mainly consist of alluvial streamworking remains flanking the river and two left bank tributaries with smaller, adjoining eluvially worked areas. As the slopes of Ryders Hill and Holne Ridge steepen to the north these water-worked areas become lode following openworks ending as lines and clusters of prospecting pits on the upper valley sides. Several now dry and silted leat channels traverse the hillsides supplying the workings and a well-preserved reservoir lies near the crest of Ryders Hill above the head of the River Mardle. There are no ground remains of any tinners' buildings or processing works within the surveyed area (citing Probert, S. A. J., Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Field Investigation, 06/01/1997).

Newman, P., 2019, An Archaeological Earthwork Survey of Tinworks along the River Mardle, Dartmoor National Park Devon, Appendix, Figures 2 & 4 (Report - Survey). SDV363608.

Approximately 25 hectares of tinworks at the head of the River Mardle, the tinworked areas fan out finger-like on the north, west and south-west slopes of the combe which forms the river catchment. The large areas of streamworks have well-defined scarps marking the extremities of the working areas, within which may be seen the characteristic evidence of streamworking, including silted water channels and spoil dumps of various shapes and layouts. The upper section of the southern tributary is, according to William Crossing, named ‘Rounder’s Hole’. Further to the west, at slightly higher altitude, several deeper cuttings represent openworks, the result of opencast lode working. The largest of these (SX 66435 69216) is named on the OS First Edition 25-inch map (surveyed 1886) as ‘Burn’s Pit’. It is up to 25 metres wide, narrowing to approximately 7 metres as it progresses westward. The overall length of the working is 315 metres. The earthwork remains of several leats can be traced across the slopes around the northern flanks of the Mardle catchment. They survive as silted, and often very faint, linear ditches with a low bank on the downslope side. Evidence of water storage survives above and southwest of the head of Burn’s Pit (SX 66130 69170), where the clear, crescentic earthwork dam of a small reservoir, has a central opening for a sluice from which a narrow diversion channel leads down to the tinwork. This tinwork has not been dated but where available, documentation for tinworks elsewhere on Dartmoor would suggest a likely operational date between the 12th and 17th centuries.

Newman, P., 2019, Survey data of tinworks along the River Mardle (GIS) (Cartographic). SDV363710.

Features shown on survey.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV346396Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Industrial Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV351061Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4364-4365.
SDV359354Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV128532Related to: Clusters of tin pits around Mardle Head, Holne & Buckfastleigh (Monument)
MDV5296Related to: Ringleshutes tinwork, Holne (Monument)
MDV128878Related to: Series of leats on Holne Ridge (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7100 - Holne Moor Survey
  • EDV8290 - Survey of tinworks along the River Mardle

Date Last Edited:Aug 14 2020 9:25AM