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HER Number:MDV24841
Name:Trial Pits at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Extensive range of trial pits forming part of the 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Grid Reference:SX 598 683
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX56NE364
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1448377
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NW/169/2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PROSPECTING PIT (Post Medieval to Early 20th Century - 1540 AD to 1901 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs, CPE/UK 1890/4355 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

A range of trial pits to the west of the openworks visible on aerial photograph taken on 10th December 1946.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 157241-3, 157247, 157264,157269,157279 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Site visited on 9th May 2002. An extensive arrangement of lode-back and prospecting pits and trenches at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine.

Newman, P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, 105-148, Figure 2 (Article in Serial). SDV231130.

Newman, P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, 5, Figure 2 (Report - Survey). SDV352201.

Extensive range of trial pits shown on plan of Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. Documentation for tin working in the area survives from the 16th century but would have been taking place from at least the 12th century and possibly from the Prehistoric period. The remains left by Medieval and later tinners include streamworks, openworks and many hundreds of prospecting pits.

Wessex Archaeology, 2002, Cramber Tor Training Area Rapid Condition Survey, Site WA230 (Report - Survey). SDV354588.

Wessex Archaeology 2002, Site WA230.

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

Extensive range of trial pits shown around Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. Further trial pits are shown to the east.

Newman, P., 2006, Cramber Tor Training Area Archaeological Field Investigation (Report - Survey). SDV233640.

(01/08/2006) Alignments and Clusters of Tin pits on the south west slopes of Eylesbarrow. The southern cluster (centred SX 5940 6821) follows approximately the lode of Eylesbarrow tin mine, whose shafts are found within the tin pits. To the north a broad linear cluster of pits runs down the west slope of Eylesbarrow approximately along the prehistoric reave between SX 5984 6854 and SX 5927 6843. The pits are mostly round or ovoid in shape with a few amorphous exceptions. They are between 2m and 8m diameter and anything up to 3m deep. All have associated collars of spoil on the downslope side. Many of the pits are likely to have been prospecting pits although some of the larger examples were certainly used for extraction. A post-medieval date is most likely.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Hundreds of trial pits of various sizes visible on aerial photographs.

English Heritage, 2013, Eylesbarrow Tin Mine and associated remains (Schedule Document). SDV231131.

The 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine opened in 1814 and continued until 1852. During this time several companies were formed to run the mine and most failed to make a profit. Eylesbarrow's importance stems from its unrivalled array of 19th century mining remains making it the largest and most informative example of a large scale water powered tin mine in Britain.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV231130Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1999. Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 57. Paperback Volume. 105-148, Figure 2.
SDV231131Schedule Document: English Heritage. 2013. Eylesbarrow Tin Mine and associated remains. The Schedule of Monuments. Website.
SDV233640Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2006. Cramber Tor Training Area Archaeological Field Investigation. English Heritage.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 157241-3, 157247, 157264,157269,157279.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). CPE/UK 1890/4355.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV346396Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Industrial Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital. [Mapped feature: #84855 ]
SDV352201Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 1999. Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine. English Heritage Survey Report. A4 Spiral Bound. 5, Figure 2.
SDV354588Report - Survey: Wessex Archaeology. 2002. Cramber Tor Training Area Rapid Condition Survey. Wessex Archaeology Report. Unknown. Site WA230.

Associated Monuments

MDV3330Related to: Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66459Related to: Leat 3 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66511Related to: Leat at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66510Related to: Streamworks at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV24930Related to: Tin Streamworks on the Drizzlecombe Brook at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4966 - Survey of Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor. The Eylesbarrow archaeological landscape
  • EDV6239 - Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine
  • EDV7382 - Condition Survey of the Cramber Tor Training Area
  • EDV8155 - Plym Valley Survey

Date Last Edited:May 25 2021 3:36PM