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HER Number:MDV37179
Name:Burning House in Middlecott Wood, Ilsington

Summary

Burning house in Middlecott Wood, about 400 metres south-west of Middlecott Farmhouse. Probably mid to late 19th century. Built of large dressed granite blocks, except for part of the western end which is of granite and slatestone rubble; red brick dressings and internal finishings. Roof covered with corrugated iron.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 781 765
Map Sheet:SX77NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishIlsington
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishILSINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77NE/24/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CALCINER (XIX - 1850 AD to 1899 AD (Between))

Full description

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

The late 19th century historic map shows a different building and chimney at this site.


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

The early 20th century historic map shows the new structures added since the late 19th century historic map depiction and the calciner is shown. The map records Tin Mine (disused).


Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 201 (Monograph). SDV149229.


Richardson, P. H. G., 1977, Unknown title, 16 (Article in Serial). SDV309640.


Department of Environment, 1986, Ilsington, 45 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV282617.

Burning house in Middlecott Wood, about 400 metres south-west of Middlecott Farmhouse. Probably mid to late 19th century. Built of large dressed granite blocks, except for part of the western end which is of granite and slatestone rubble; red brick dressings and internal finishings. Roof covered with corrugated iron.
Rectangular 3-cell plan, the middle cell rising the full height of the building and having a doorway and two windows on the south side. The east and west cells each contain a furnace with a storeroom for ore above it. Each furnace has an opening with iron door leading out of the middle cell; above the opening is a flue which originally had a stack on the roof-ridge, but a second horizontal flue leads out of the first one to a detached stack (serving both furnaces) on the north side of the building. Each furnace has a segmental brick vault containing a hopper, through which ore could be shovelled in from the storeroom above. The fire was against the gable wall with an external access in the north wall and an ashpit beneath. At the opposite end, below the furnace, is a cooling chamber with external access in the south wall. The storerooms each have a doorway in the gable wall, and a window in the south wall. The simple roof-trusses, probably the original ones, survive.
The building continued in use until the early 20th century; it is believed to have processed tin ore from the nearby Atlas Mine. Immediately to the south (but not included in the listing) is the water-wheel pit of a former stamping mill.
The burning house is a rare and unusually complete survival; it has been said that it "presents a textbook picture, rendering the functioning of this type of furnace very easy to understand".


Greeves, T. A. P., 1991, An Assessment of Copper Mining in Devon (Copper, Brass, Tin), 18-19+3 (Report - Assessment). SDV60709.

Good example of a reverberatory calciner of c.1860 (see Hamilton Jenkin) associated with small Albion/Atlas Mine which produced tin, iron, copper and arsenic until 1920s.


Richardson, P. H. G., 1992, The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913, 61-5 (Article in Serial). SDV323598.


Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K., 2005, Mines of Devon, 128, 130, 156 (Monograph). SDV282410.


Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

The modern map shows the building.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 07/06/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

ILSINGTON SX 77 NE 3/274 Burning House in Middlecott - Wood, about 400 metres south-west of Middlecott Farmhouse - II
Burning House. Probably mid to late C19. Built of large dressed granite blocks, except for part of the western end which is of granite and slatestone rubble; red brick dressings and internal finishings. Roof covered with corrugated iron.
Rectangular 3-cell plan, the middle cell rising the full height of the building and having a doorway and 2 windows on the south side. The east and west cells each contain a furnace with a storeroom for ore above it. Each furnace has an opening with iron door leading out of the middle cell; above the opening is a flue which originally had a stack on the roof-ridge, but a second horizontal flue leads out of the first one to a detached stack (serving both furnaces) on the north side of the building. Each furnace has a segmental brick vault containing a hopper, through which ore could be shovelled in from the storeroom above. The fire was against the gable wall with an external access in the north wall and an ashpit beneath. At the opposite end, below the furnace, is a cooling chamber with external access in the south wall. The storerooms each have a doorway in the gable wall, and a window in the south wall. The simple roof-trusses, probably the original ones, survive.
The building continued in use until early C20; it is believed to have processed tin ore from the nearby Atlas Mine. Immediately to the south (but not included in the listing) is the water-wheel pit of a former stamping mill. The burning house is a rare and unusually complete survival; it has been said that it "presents a textbook picture, rendering the functioning of this type of furnace very easy to understand". Sources: P H G Richardson in Plymouth Mineral and Mining Club Journal, Vol.7, No.3, January 1977, (with plan and section), information from Mr A S Courtier (owner), Dr T A P Greeves, Mr Dick Wills.
Listing NGR: SX7810376584


Newman , P., 2016, The Burning House at Atlas Mine, Ilsington, Devon, 1-13 (Report - Survey). SDV359621.

A burning house is first mentioned at the site in 1861, but this building is a later incarnation; thought to date to the later 19th century. Depicted on the First Edition Ordnance Survey historic map (1886), by the Second Edition (1904) a different layout is depicted, following a reorganisation of the mining company and the construction of a number of new structures, including two new burning houses.
The survey noted the burning house comprises four main elements; two rectangular calciners, a central structure joining the two and a detached chimney stack. The building and chimney were built from locally available slate, known as killas, as well as brick and re-used granite rails from the Haytor Tramway. The latter would originally have had flanges to engage the tram wheels but these were chiselled off the blocks before use in this construction.
The combined external length of the building is 13.45 metres by 3.96 metres. The gable ends are around 5 metres high and the average height of the front and rear walls is 3.8 metres. The western end of the building is obscured by a 0.6 metre deep silt build-up, washed from the nearby stream.
The two calciners are built on the same axis; approximately north-west to south-east and are similar in design. Each is built on two levels; the lower level contained the furnace at one end, and the burning chamber taking up most of the space. Below the burning chamber; at the opposite end to the furnace, is a cooling chamber. The upper level has a brick floor over the burning chamber and a central drying pan into which ore was fed. The area is enclosed by stone walls and a gable roof. (See report for full detail of construction).
The condition of building has been improved by past owners removing the ivy which almost entirely covered it in 1996. The building has also been used in the past as a hay barn. The eastern calciner has been missing its roof for a number of years which has caused an increase in internal vegetation growth.
The building is a fine surviving example of a 19th century, twin reverberatory calciner, which although in need of repair, is mostly intact and is one of the most significant examples of its type in Britain.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 201.
SDV282410Monograph: Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K.. 2005. Mines of Devon. Mines of Devon. Paperback Volume. 128, 130, 156.
SDV282617List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1986. Ilsington. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 45.
SDV309640Article in Serial: Richardson, P. H. G.. 1977. Unknown title. Plymouth Mineral and Mining Club Journal. 3. Unknown. 16.
SDV323598Article in Serial: Richardson, P. H. G.. 1992. The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913. British Mining. 44. A5 Paperback. 61-5.
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).
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #89363 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 07/06/2016.
SDV359621Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2016. The Burning House at Atlas Mine, Ilsington, Devon. Southwest Landscape Investigations. A4 Comb Bound. 1-13.
SDV60709Report - Assessment: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1991. An Assessment of Copper Mining in Devon (Copper, Brass, Tin). A4 Stapled + Digital. 18-19+3.

Associated Monuments

MDV34442Related to: MINE in the Parish of Ilsington (Monument)
MDV8071Related to: Smallacombe Mine, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV65856Related to: Tramway in Middlecott Wood, Ilsington (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6976 - Historic building survey at Atlas Mine Burning House

Date Last Edited:Jun 7 2016 3:41PM