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HER Number:MDV28725
Name:Wheal Lopes Mine Leat

Summary

Dates from 1819 and originated from a head weir on the River Meavy at Hoo Meavy Bridge from where it ran for 9 kilometres, through a tunnel or adit under Knowle Wood, before contouring to the west to serve the short-lived mine located at Hele Bottom. This mine is known to have worked in 1825 and again in 1843 and 1844. Earthwork ditches and banks of this leat are visible on aerial photographs taken from 1946 onwards and on visualisations derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 523 643
Map Sheet:SX56SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBickleigh (SH)
Civil ParishBuckland Monachorum
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMEAVY
Ecclesiastical ParishBICKLEIGH
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKLAND MONACHORUM

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NW/129

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LEAT (XIX - 1819 AD to 1819 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

The course of the leat is shown.

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

Wheal Lopes Leat. Shown on the late 19th century historic map.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1190, RAF/106G/UK/1190 RP 3214-3416 27-FEB-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363067.

Curvilinear ditches and banks are visible as earthworks.

Gray, V., 1984, Buckland Monachorum Parish Checklist, 8/2/1984 (Worksheet). SDV157679.

Headweir on the south side of Hoo Meavy Bridge. Small wooden sluice gate. The leat was along the east side of the Great Western Railway track which it passes under in a culvert before Goodameavy Bridge. South of the bridge it crosses back under a road and the railway track. It continues south in Knowle Wood where it enters a stone lined conduit. It emerges at the edge of the wood and continues in an iron aqueduct crossing the Great Western Railway tunnel, it can be followed through Heleball Wood but it becomes less clear crossing fields towards Upperton before joining the stream on the way to Wheal Lopes Mine. The course is shown very clearly on the Tithe Apportionment map.

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

Site of leat of Wheal Lopes SX52656503
This is believed to date from 1819 and originated from a head weir on the River Meavy at Hoo Meavy Bridge from where it ran for 9 kilometres, through a tunnel or adit under Knowle Wood, before contouring to the west to serve the short-lived mine located at Hele Bottom. This mine is known to have worked in 1825 and again in 1843 and 1844. A further attempt was made around 1860 but it seems that attempts to sell it in 1862 were unsuccessful (see West Country Studies Library file on Devon Mines).

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

The pipeline crossed the line of the Wheal Lopez leat where it ran at the foot of a steep slope to the west of the River Meavy. The leat at this point was 3.9 metres wide at the top, 1.45 metres at the base and 1.25 metres deep. It appeared to have been constructed by terracing a trench into the slope to the west and then piling up the spoil to form a bank on the east side. Another possible leat or substantial ditch was observed running parallel with its east (downslope) side. No indications of a stone lining were observed in either leat.

Environment Agency, 1998-2017, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor, LIDAR SX5263; SX5363; SX5264; SX5374 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017 (Cartographic). SDV361470.

Curvilinear ditches are visible as earthworks.

Ordnance Survey, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

Several sections of this leat are visible as narrow curvilinear earthworks on aerial photographs taken from 1946 onwards and on visualisations derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017. The earthworks comprise ditches, circa 3m wide, which are flanked in places by narrow banks, circa 1m wide. A short section of a modern earthwork ditch or drain intersects with the leat at SX51786382. The course of the leat is depicted on the mid-19th century Parish Tithe Map and is shown and labelled as ‘Wheal Lopes Leat’ on the late 19th century First Edition Ordnance Survey map.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV157679Worksheet: Gray, V.. 1984. Buckland Monachorum Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist. Unknown. 8/2/1984.
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.
SDV273792Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1996. Archaeological assessment of South West Water Burrator to Crownhill water main upgrade. Exeter Archaeology. 96.56. A4 Stapled. 3.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #86202 ]
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV359962Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV361470Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2017. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SX5263; SX5363; SX5264; SX5374 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017.
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363067Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1190. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/1190 RP 3214-3416 27-FEB-1946. [Mapped feature: #86199 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV2223Related to: Lopez Mine (Monument)
MDV28698Related to: MINE in the Parish of Bickleigh (SH) (Monument)
MDV19112Related to: Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway (Dartmoor section) (Monument)
MDV99781Related to: Road bridge over River Meavy (Monument)
MDV102774Related to: Weir 17 meters south of Hoo Meavy Bridge (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)

Date Last Edited:Jan 6 2020 1:17PM