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HER Number:MDV3776
Name:Wheal Chance Tin Mine, Walkhampton

Summary

Remains of Wheal Chance Tin Mine, dating from the early 19th-century, on the site of a possible post-medieval stamping mill. The tin mine comprises shafts, whim platforms, adits, leats, tramway or track and a stamping mill with dressing floor. There is a minimum of seven blocked shafts, though possibly many more, associated with the 19th-century activity, each survive as a conical pit. The northern group of shafts is concentrated around an earlier openwork. At SX 59837021 is a blocked shaft sited within the openwork. Adjacent to it is a whim platform of approximately 10m diameter. To the east of the Devonport Leat at SX 5992 7023 is a large shafthead, comprising a conical pit. It has a diameter of 10m approximately 3m deep with a spoil heap forming a 2m-high collar around the circumference. An open ended three-sided structure, sunk into the ground on the SE side measures 3.5m by 3.5m by 1.2m deep. It has well-built and well-preserved moorstone walls which, despite being partially turf-covered and the presence of some tumble, are probably intact. The structure has the appearance of a bob pit associated with pump rods but the site of an associated waterwheel has not been identified. For the second group of shafts see separate entry (SX 56 NE 351). A linear earthwork runs from the whim shaft, south-west to the area behind the dressing floors, a distance of approximately 300m. The remains are very subtle, consisting of a linear depression of up to 3m wide but mostly less than 0.2m deep. This is likely to have been a trackway or possibly a tramway for transporting material from this area of extraction, down to the dressing floors. The dressing floors are centred SX 5951 7002 at the confluence of the two streams. The stone wheelpit survives though mostly filled with tumble. It is 6.5m long by 0.8m wide and 0.9m deep. The tailrace end of the pit curves away to the south. The stone-reinforced stamping area is attached to the south side of the wheelpit. The dressing floor was contained on a level area to the south of the wheelpit, defined by a revetment wall of 14.3m long by 1.3m high. The subtle earthwork remains of several rectangular buddles survive on the dressing floor, the clearest of which is 3.2m by 1m. Attached to the south end of the dressing floor wall is a ruined rectangular structure, built into the base of the slope. The roofless building measures 5m by 3.4m internally with walls of 1m high and 0.8m thick. There is a compartment of 1.2m wide built into the rear eastern wall. The door opening is on the west wall and is approximately 1m wide. The interior of the building is strewn with tumbled masonry and the whole is covered by turf and heather. A double mortarstone with two shallow hollows is built into the north wall and is evidence that this is the site of a much earlier tin stamping mill which was probably destroyed when Wheal Chance was established. Water was supplied to the 19th century complex via three leats, some of which may also have earlier origins. Two dry and silted channels can be traced running in parallel along the escarpment of Newleycombe Lake between SX 5961 7015 and the rear of the wheelpit. Both are approximately 0.8m wide by 0.5m deep. A 8m-long launder embankment 3m east of the wheelpit would have delivered the water from at least one of these leats onto the top of the wheel. A third leat extends 170m along Drivage Bottom between the dressing floor and SX 5978 6986. This leat has similar dimensions to the others and although more clearly defined no connection between it and the 19th century wheelpit can be made on the ground. However, a second launder embankment of 8m long stands east of the dressing floor but no wheelpit has been identified associated with it. An elongated hollow 24m long by 5m wide with rounded ends is sited 15m to the west of the dressing floors. It is now permanantly filled with water and marsh plants but could either be the site of a wheelpit, perhaps associated with the launder, or a blocked adit.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 597 700
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWalkhampton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains of a section of the late 18th century Devonport Leat running from Raddick Hill to Nun's Cross, including extensive tinning remains at Cramber Tor

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57SE60
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 440204
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/36

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ADIT (XVIII - 1767 AD to 1800 AD (Between))
  • BLOWING HOUSE (XVIII - 1767 AD to 1800 AD (Between))
  • HORSE ENGINE (XVIII - 1767 AD to 1800 AD (Between))
  • LEAT (XVIII - 1767 AD to 1800 AD (Between))
  • SHAFT (XVIII - 1767 AD to 1800 AD (Between))
  • STAMPING MILL (XVIII - 1767 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV272261.

Osa=sx57se60 (nb there are two sx57se60 os cards).
Site of tin-stamping mill known as wheal chance.14/8/1970 (os) tin mill with associated buildings and settling beds or pits in the newleycombe lake valley. Comprised of: wheel-pit and leat with crushing platform and settling beds, a possible second wheelpit with settling beds and a possible blowing mill. Probably late xviii century.
Vis=12/8/1977 (os) as above (nmr, citing os).

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

Not visible on 1946 aerial photographs.

Newman, P., 1996, Early Tin Mills in the Newleycombe Valley, 9-10 (Article in Serial). SDV220914.

Level site with choice of water supplies for the two surviving wheelpits and dressing floor. Likely earlier evidence of metal working was probably destroyed by the early 19th century activity. A double mortar is built into the wall of a ruined building at Wheal Chance Mine.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 23, 48 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

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

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

(01/08/2006) Remains of Wheal Chance Tin Mine, dating from the early 19th-century, on the site of a possible post-medieval stamping mill. The tin mine comprises shafts, whim platforms, adits, leats, tramway or track and a stamping mill with dressing floor. There is a minimum of seven blocked shafts, though possibly many more, associated with the 19th-century activity, each survive as a conical pit. The northern group of shafts is concentrated around an earlier openwork. At SX 59837021 is a blocked shaft sited within the openwork. Adjacent to it is a whim platform of approximately 10m diameter. To the east of the Devonport Leat at SX 5992 7023 is a large shafthead, comprising a conical pit. It has a diameter of 10m approximately 3m deep with a spoil heap forming a 2m-high collar around the circumference. An open ended three-sided structure, sunk into the ground on the SE side measures 3.5m by 3.5m by 1.2m deep. It has well-built and well-preserved moorstone walls which, despite being partially turf-covered and the presence of some tumble, are probably intact. The structure has the appearance of a bob pit associated with pump rods but the site of an associated waterwheel has not been identified. For the second group of shafts see separate entry (SX 56 NE 351). A linear earthwork runs from the whim shaft, south-west to the area behind the dressing floors, a distance of approximately 300m. The remains are very subtle, consisting of a linear depression of up to 3m wide but mostly less than 0.2m deep. This is likely to have been a trackway or possibly a tramway for transporting material from this area of extraction, down to the dressing floors. The dressing floors are centred SX 5951 7002 at the confluence of the two streams. The stone wheelpit survives though mostly filled with tumble. It is 6.5m long by 0.8m wide and 0.9m deep. The tailrace end of the pit curves away to the south. The stone-reinforced stamping area is attached to the south side of the wheelpit. The dressing floor was contained on a level area to the south of the wheelpit, defined by a revetment wall of 14.3m long by 1.3m high. The subtle earthwork remains of several rectangular buddles survive on the dressing floor, the clearest of which is 3.2m by 1m. Attached to the south end of the dressing floor wall is a ruined rectangular structure, built into the base of the slope. The roofless building measures 5m by 3.4m internally with walls of 1m high and 0.8m thick. There is a compartment of 1.2m wide built into the rear eastern wall. The door opening is on the west wall and is approximately 1m wide. The interior of the building is strewn with tumbled masonry and the whole is covered by turf and heather. A double mortarstone with two shallow hollows is built into the north wall and is evidence that this is the site of a much earlier tin stamping mill which was probably destroyed when Wheal Chance was established. Water was supplied to the 19th century complex via three leats, some of which may also have earlier origins. Two dry and silted channels can be traced running in parallel along the escarpment of Newleycombe Lake between SX 5961 7015 and the rear of the wheelpit. Both are approximately 0.8m wide by 0.5m deep. A 8m-long launder embankment 3m east of the wheelpit would have delivered the water from at least one of these leats onto the top of the wheel. A third leat extends 170m along Drivage Bottom between the dressing floor and SX 5978 6986. This leat has similar dimensions to the others and although more clearly defined no connection between it and the 19th century wheelpit can be made on the ground. However, a second launder embankment of 8m long stands east of the dressing floor but no wheelpit has been identified associated with it. An elongated hollow 24m long by 5m wide with rounded ends is sited 15m to the west of the dressing floors. It is now permanently filled with water and marsh plants but could either be the site of a wheelpit, perhaps associated with the launder, or a blocked adit.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV220914Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1996. Early Tin Mills in the Newleycombe Valley. Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group Newsletter. 10. Unknown. 9-10.
SDV233640Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2006. Cramber Tor Training Area Archaeological Field Investigation. English Heritage.
SDV272261Migrated Record:
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 23, 48.
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.
SDV354588Report - Survey: Wessex Archaeology. 2002. Cramber Tor Training Area Rapid Condition Survey. Wessex Archaeology Report. Unknown. [Mapped feature: #132261 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV3779Parent of: Ruined building at Wheal Chance (Monument)
MDV3777Parent of: WHEEL PIT in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV3778Parent of: WHEEL PIT in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV42440Related to: East Hughes Mine, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV28180Related to: STREAMWORKS in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7382 - Condition Survey of the Cramber Tor Training Area
  • EDV8351 - Walkhampton Premier Archaeological Landscape; Field Investigation Project
  • EDV6034 - Monument Condition Survey in Cramber Tor Training Area
  • EDV6152 - Follow-up Works to Threatened Sites in the Cramber Tor Training Area
  • EDV6153 - Monument Baseline Condition Survey in the Cramber Tor Training Area

Date Last Edited:Aug 6 2021 4:55PM