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HER Number:MDV3577
Name:Engine Wheelpit 2 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Engine Wheelpit 2 forming part of the 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Grid Reference:SX 593 682
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/191
  • Old SAM Ref: 34467

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WHEEL PIT (XVIII to XIX - 1751 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Earthwork shown on 19th century map.

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs, CPE/UK/1890 4353 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Photograph taken on 10th December 1946.

Cook, R. M. L., 1974, Eylesbarrow (1814- 1852): A Study of a Dartmoor Tin Mine, 180-214 (Article in Serial). SDV231127.

Eylesbarrow. In 1847 a much larger wheel, diameter 15.25 metres and 0.9 metres breast, was built at a new location. The axle of the earlier engine-wheel was incorporated in the new wheel. Overshot. Erected in a massive rectangular stone-lined pit, 18.288 metres long by 5.182 metres wide, and sunk 15.240 metres below the surface. The excavation which accommodated the wheel was made by enlarging the head of Deep Adit Shaft. After falling upon the wheel the water was drained by means of a 70 fathom 'lobby' driven through an early adit (Deacon's Adit). The water required to drive this wheel included that draining from the immediately adjacent 'Two Brothers' adit. A further supply was brought by extending the stamping mill leat from a point above Stamping Mill Numbeer 4. Above the wheelpit a single line of paired flatrod supports can be traced in an easterly direction. In order to operate pumps in a shaft at the end of the branch system, power had to be transmitted 1.116 metres from the engine-wheel. In the 1852 sale advertisement items connected with unwatering the mine are mentioned: the waterwheel with cranks, saddles, brasses, etc. , complete, three balance bobs, with arch heads and pin chain complete; 10 fathoms lift of 8 inches pumps; working barrels; doorpieces, windbores, castings, prongs, bucket rods etc; at Whitford Shaft and Pryce Deacon's Shaft are the remains of masonry-lined bob pits which were recesses for the weighted ends of the balance bobs. The pumping system appears to have operated entirely on the bucket-lift or drawing lift principle, which raised water only on the upstroke.

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

Recorded on aerial photograph.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 23/30 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

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

Engine wheel re-sited in 1847 near the tail of Two Brothers adit with a 15.3 metre wheel. Walling of wheelpit 19.2 metres by 6 metres survives on the north side and the east end. The flat rod was mounted on the north side of the wheel and had a 51 metre gully to the east.

Newman , P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, 16-18, Figures 2-3,7, Appendix 3 (Report - Survey). SDV352201.

Engine Wheelpit 2 was completed by March 1849. It was constructed within the existing but by then disused Deep Adit Shaft Number 3 which was enlarged to accommodate the wheel. The walling survives on the northern side and part of the eastern end. The internal dimensions are 19.2 metres by 6 metres. An additional section of revetment 2.9 metres from the east end wall probably represents the initial route of the faltrod. The wheel was 15.34 metres diameter by 0.92 metres breast. The wheel would have fitted into the southern half of the wheelpit leaving space on the north side to house the mechanism for the flatrods including a possible counterweight.

Whitbourne, A., 2001, Visit to Eylesbarrow Mine, 2-3 (Article in Serial). SDV231129.

English Heritage, 2005, Survey Information (miscellaneous date) (Report - Survey). SDV345855.

Linear feature shown to the west on survey layer.

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

Eylesbarrow Tin Mine contains a broad range of different forms of evidence relating to prospecting, exploitation and processing of both tin deposits and lodes. In particular, the 19th century mining remains represent an important source of information concerning the character of a large scale water powered tin mine, where all the original elements survive in an excellent condition. The survival of so many stamping mills together with a smelting house and full range of mining remains and associated buildings is indeed unique in the South West of England.
While the earlier mining remains are of considerable significance, 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. At least 27 shafts and five adits were cut to reach the tin lodes, seven whim platforms and two water powered engine wheels were built to power the lifting and pumping machinery, a series of tramways were made to carry the ore to six separate stamping mills and, to complete the picture, a smelting house was constructed to smelt the processed tin from the stamping mills. The size of the operation is further emphasised by the large number of ancillary buildings constructed to serve the mine. Amongst these are a count house, dormitory accommodation, blacksmith's shop, powder houses, sample house and various storage buildings.
The smelting house is of particularly significance because it is the only surviving example on Dartmoor and black tin from other mines was brought here during its nine year life. It survives as a substantial rectangular building containing a blast and reverberatory furnace. The house shares a wheelpit with an adjacent stamping mill and the remnants of a flue lead away upslope towards the remains of a chimney stack.

English Heritage, 2013, Pastscape, 1300628 (Website). SDV352645.

A water wheelpit at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine which contained the waterwheel to power the below-ground pumping equipment to the mine. The power was transmitted via flat rods to shafts further uphill to the northeast. Flat rod channels and support stones survive in situ.The installation of this wheel is documented between 1847-8. The wheelpit was surveyed as part of an English Heritage archaeological field survey of the tin mine in 1999.

Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording forms, WLK-DT32 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited 9/8/2019. Wheelpit covered with grass and bracken with reed outcrops. Overall condition moderate. Photo taken.

Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording photographs, WLK-DT32 (Photograph). SDV363073.

Photo at given grid ref looking 030° showing grass, bracken and reed cover.

Greeves, T., July 1979, Devon Studies Week. Notes for Afternoon Excursion, Thursday, July 12th 1979 (Un-published). SDV230997.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV230997Un-published: Greeves, T.. July 1979. Devon Studies Week. Notes for Afternoon Excursion, Thursday, July 12th 1979. Digital.
SDV231127Article in Serial: Cook, R. M. L.. 1974. Eylesbarrow (1814- 1852): A Study of a Dartmoor Tin Mine. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 106. Paperback Volume. 180-214.
SDV231129Article in Serial: Whitbourne, A.. 2001. Visit to Eylesbarrow Mine. Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group Newsletter. 22. Unknown. 2-3.
SDV231130Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1999. Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 57. Paperback Volume. 105-148.
SDV231131Schedule Document: English Heritage. 2013. Eylesbarrow Tin Mine and associated remains. The Schedule of Monuments. Website.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 23/30.
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.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #88789 ]
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). CPE/UK/1890 4353.
SDV345855Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Survey Information (miscellaneous date). English Heritage. Digital.
SDV352201Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 1999. Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine. English Heritage Survey Report. A4 Spiral Bound. 16-18, Figures 2-3,7, Appendix 3.
SDV352645Website: English Heritage. 2013. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 1300628.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT32.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT32.

Associated Monuments

MDV3330Part of: Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV3512Related to: Engine Wheelpit 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66410Related to: Flatrod System from Engine Wheel 2 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV3332Related to: Leat 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66459Related to: Leat 3 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66394Related to: Mine Shaft 3 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4966 - Survey of Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor
  • EDV6239 - Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine
  • EDV7382 - Condition Survey of the Cramber Tor Training Area

Date Last Edited:Sep 16 2019 5:42PM