HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV3578
Name:Stamping Mill Number 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine

Summary

Stamping Mill Number 1 on the north side of Sheepstor-Nuns Cross track at the 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine

Location

Grid Reference:SX 594 679
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1300527
  • National Monuments Record: 438809
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/192
  • Old SAM Ref: 34467

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STAMPING MILL (XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Not shown on 19th century map.


Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Rectilinear enclosure shown on early 20th century map.


Cook, R. M. L., 1974, Eylesbarrow (1814- 1852): A Study of a Dartmoor Tin Mine, 184-193, Figures 1-3 (Article in Serial). SDV231127.

The Cornish Type water powered stamping mills at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine performed the function of pulverisation of the tin ore. The ruins of 7 stamping mills can be seen of which 6 form a series extending down the hillside south-west of the engine wheel house. Each mill is associated with an extensive dressing floor. All in use or being built when the earliest extant plan of the mine was produced circa 1820. The first mill lies to the north of the Sheepstor-Nuns Cross track. The other five are on the southern side of the track. Stamping mill number 7 is apart in the Crane Lake area. The mills on the hillside series are connected to the main track by short track now covered with heather. There are two types of mill. Numbers 1-5 are a simple form which had stamps on one side of the wheel only. The other two had the stamps symetrically disposed on either side of the wheelpit. The end of the axle furthest from the wheel was supported in a bearing mounted on a large rectangular granite block. Each such block is drilled on its upper surface with four holes. No more than four stamps could be accommodated in each mill. Conspicuous leat embankments are associated with all the mills at Eylesbarrow. Indications that crushing was done on a thick bed at least 610 millimetres deep of coarse sand/gravel rammed in between masonry walls. No sign of thick stone slabs or paving in the stamping areas. Several new sites proposed for stamps in later periods of working, but never put into practice. A 17 foot diameter wheel and 6 heads of stamps are listed in the 1852 sales advertisement. The dressing floors were laid out in steps or terraces with sufficient space and fall for the numerous operations to be carried out. Plentiful supply of water. Sequence of mills and floors planned and constructed at more or less the same time. The 7 extensive unpaved dressing floors are each bounded on three sides by low embankments faced with granite. Each mill was a self contained unit. The floors of stamping mills 6 and 7 were modified to cope with the larger quantities of the stamped material they produced. Two or three buddles associated with each mill. Originally the buddles were about 610 millimetres deep, the sides being formed of a number of close-fitting granite slabs. A channel sometimes below ground leads from the lower end of each pit where there are two vertically set blocks, grooved longitudinally on their opposing faces. Besides the square buddles there were other settling pits located further from the top retaining walls. On some of the floors, surface channels can be found which connect certain pits. Form and layout of the larger pits is not identical for each floor. Nothing is known of the detailed operation of these pits. In close proximity to the floors of stamping mills 1,3,4,5,7 are remains of small buildings, approximately 3 metres by 2 metres, called 'reck houses'. Leading to each is a water channel. The floor appears to have been on two levels, one being about 0.6 metres above the other. Final working up to smelting grade done in simple tossing kieves.


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

Eylesbarrow Stamping Mill Number 1. On the north side of the Sheepstor-Nuns Cross track. Extensive dressing floor. Stamps on one side of the wheel only. Has a 'reck house' nearby.


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 157189 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Site visited on 9th July 2002. Building 800 metres south-west of Eylesbarrow, forming part of Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. This rectangular building is denoted by a 0.7 metre wide drystone wall standing up to 1 metre high composed of large granite blocks. A gully leading through the building is 1.3 metres wide and 0.5 metres deep. Grass, bilberry and heather with rushes in the hollow.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1997, Tin Stamping Mills of Dartmoor after AD 1750, 6-8 (Article in Serial). SDV346020.


Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 23/24 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.


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

Referred to as 'new mill' in 1814. Little stonework visible as walls constructed as stone-faced bank with slight batter. Location of features shown on 1:500 survey.


Newman , P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, 21-22, 25-28, Figures 2, 5-6 (Report - Survey). SDV352201.

When work commenced at 'Ailsboro Mines' in 1814 they undertook a programme of refurbishment and three new stamping mills were referred to which included this monument. All the stamping mills consist of a level stance cut into the slope with a revetted retaining wall on the upslope side and return wall on one or both ends. The rectangular open ended wheelpits are sited at right angles to the revetment. Upslope of the wheelpits are raised leat embankment which would have supported wooden launders. A stamping area can be identified at each mill immediately adjacent to the wheel which consists of a stone revetted level platform raised above the dressing floor onto which the Cornish Type stamps would fall onto the ore contained within a timber coffer. The upper surfaces have robust granite kerbs. The mills would have used the wet stamping process washing the crushed particles through a perforated grate into a stone-lined settling pit sited on the dressing floor. Below the main dressing floors are a range of secondary 'buddles' and tailings pits which would have further refined the tin concentrate. The water-borne concentrate and waste would be transported between processes via a system of wooden launders, channels and underground conduits.


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


National Monument Record, 2013, 1300527, SX56NE247 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV352477.

A waterpowered stamping mill with attached dressing floor at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. The stamping mill was built in 1814 and is one of six aligned along the Drizzlecombe Valley and was included in an English Heritage archaeological field survey of the tin mine in 1999. The mill consists of a level stance of ground with a revetted retaining wall on the upslope, eastern side with a return wall on the south end. The rectangular, stone wheelpit is sited at right angles to the revetment , measures 8.2 metre by 0.9 metres. Upslope of the wheelpit was a wooden launder channel which took water at correct height to overshot wheel. A deep open tail race channel diverted water away from the wheelpit. A stamping area situated to the south of the wheel comprises a 2.6 metres by 2.2 metres stone revetted platform, raised above the dressing floor onto which the Cornish set of stamps operated. The mill used the wet stamping process; a flow of water was passed over the base of the stamps, washing the crushed particles through a perforated grate, into a stone lined settling pit sited on the dressing floor. The settling pit measures 2.8 metres by 0.9 metres long and has a lining of flat granite slabs. Three secondary buddles and tailing pits are situated below the main dressing floor. These measure approximately 8 metres by 3 metres and survive a depth of 0.5 metres. A possible 'reck house' has been built into the south wall of the dressing floor.


National Monuments Record, 2013, 438809 (Website). SDV231126.

Eylesbarrow Tin Mine with six stamping mills.


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. The monument includes the core part of Eylesbarrow Tin Mine, together with adjacent tin streamworks, earlier mining remains, archaeological remains of prehistoric and historic date including a stone hut circle settlement, pillow mounds and field systems situated on the southern slopes of Eylesbarrow overlooking the valley of the River Plym. The 19th century 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. A large number of different types of earthworks and structures relating to tin extraction and processing survive within the monument. A series of tramways were made to carry the ore to six separate stamping mills.


Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Enclosure shown on modern mapping.


Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording forms, WLK-DT38 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited 17/9/2019. Dressing floor covered mainly by grass and whortleberry with reeds in the SW corner. Wheelpit mainly covered with grass and whortleberry with reeds in the tail race. Overall condition very good. Photo X2 taken.


Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording photographs, WLK-DT38 (Photograph). SDV363073.

Photo 1 looking 040° showing mainly grass and whortleberry cover with reeds in the SW corner. Photo 2 looking 210° showing grass and whortleberry cover with reeds in the tail race.


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

Site visited on 12th July 1979. All constructed about 1820. One of a series of tin stamping mills. Served by a leat.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV230997Un-published: Greeves, T.. July 1979. Devon Studies Week. Notes for Afternoon Excursion, Thursday, July 12th 1979. Digital.
SDV231126Website: National Monuments Record. 2013. 438809. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
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. 184-193, Figures 1-3.
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.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 157189.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 23/24.
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.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV346020Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1997. Tin Stamping Mills of Dartmoor after AD 1750. Dartmoor Magazine. 49. Paperback Volume. 6-8.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #88794 ]
SDV352201Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 1999. Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine. English Heritage Survey Report. A4 Spiral Bound. 21-22, 25-28, Figures 2, 5-6.
SDV352477National Monuments Record Database: National Monument Record. 2013. 1300527. National Monuments Record Database. Website. SX56NE247.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT38.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT38.

Associated Monuments

MDV66416Parent of: Reck House at Stamping Mill Number 1 at Eylesbarrow (Building)
MDV66413Parent of: Wheelpit at Stamping Mill Number 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV3330Part of: Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66414Related to: Building north of Stamping Mill 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Building)
MDV66415Related to: Dressing Floor at Stamping Mill 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66515Related to: Leat 2 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66418Related to: Leat Embankment north of Stamping Mill 2 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mill (Monument)
MDV64724Related to: Leat Embankment north-east of Stamping Mill 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV64713Related to: Leat Serving the Southern part of Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV4010Related to: Smelting House at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV3579Related to: Stamping Mill Number 2 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV3580Related to: Stamping Mill Number 3 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV3581Related to: Stamping Mill Number 4 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV3327Related to: Stamping Mill Number 5 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV3582Related to: Stamping Mill Number 6 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV24930Related to: Tin Streamworks on the Drizzlecombe Brook at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6239 - Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine
  • EDV4966 - Survey of Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor
  • EDV6153 - Monument Baseline Condition Survey in the Cramber Tor Training Area

Date Last Edited:Sep 16 2019 6:13PM