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HER Number:MDV24812
Name:Area of openwork tin workings at Erme Head, Cornwood


Large area of openwork tin workings at Erme Head


Grid Reference:SX 623 668
Map Sheet:SX66NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishCornwood
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishCORNWOOD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NW/136

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, CPE/UK 1890, 4278 (Aerial Photograph). SDV140289.

Photograph taken on 10th December 1946.

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

Openwork extends to SX62156700 with extensive spoilheaps visible.

Newman, P., 2018, Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet) (Cartographic). SDV361913.

Area of openwork shown on survey.

Newman, P., 2018, The Upper Erme Valley, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: An Archaeological Survey, Appendix 1, Figure 37 (Report - Survey). SDV362921.

Ten hectares of tin streamworks and lode works at Erme Pits follows the course of the upper River Erme and includes Erme Head. The limits of the main streamworking area are well defined by a scarp of between 1 metre and 4 metres deep running around most of the perimeter. The interior working area contains the usual evidence of low linear spoil heaps, pits and channels, of which, some have been reinforced by low, stone revetments. Large boulders of natural moorstone were something of an obstacle for the tinners within this working, where many lie in situ having been worked around by the tinners. At the higher, western end, the streamworks become shallower before fading into narrow dry gullies branching to the south and west, which probably represent evidence for water diversion into the working area. Along the southern edge, is an area of lode working, exploited by using an opencast technique where a deep openwork has been cut, running approximately east to west, marked by sloping sides of up to 14 metres deep. Several large conical mounds with boulder outcrops, rise to the height of the original ground level, representing islands of untouched ground. Three ruined rectangular buildings have been recorded within the tinworked area, of which some may have been associated with the working episodes (MDV122900; 122894; 122895). This tinwork has not been fully dated but, where available, documentation for tinworks of this type elsewhere on Dartmoor, would suggest a likely operational date between the 12th and 17th centuries. However, according to Greeves (1981), isolated references to ‘Armehed’ in 1531 and ‘Armed Pit’ in 1671 probably refer to this place.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV140289Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. CPE/UK 1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4278.
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.
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital. [Mapped feature: #117215 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV122895Related to: Ruined building at Erme Head, Cornwood (Building)
MDV122900Related to: Ruined building at Erme Pits Hill, Dartmoor Forest (Building)
MDV122894Related to: Ruined building at Erme Pits, Cornwood (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Apr 21 2020 4:21PM