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HER Number:MDV3861
Name:Bedford United Mine, Gulworthy

Summary

The location of Bedford United Mine, depicted on historic maps and visible as a series of earthworks on aerial photographs of 1947 and 1948. The important mine produced arsenic, copper, fluorspar, tin, uranium, and wolfram. It was opened in 1840 and became the third largest copper producer in Devon and worked intermittently until 1930.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 438 726
Map Sheet:SX47SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SW/503

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MINE (XVII to XX - 1700 AD to 1930 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV1142.

Worksheet contains more details and a copy of 1906 25" map (worksheet).


BUCK, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV219466.

Vis=19/3/1998 (buck) re-started in 1841 as an amalgamation of several old workings using adits cut into the hillside (documented from 1707). Throughout the life of the mine waterwheels were used to pump out deeper levels. A 2 mile leat supplied water from s end of tavistock canal. Centre of mine was centred immediately n of (present day) west gulworthy farm. Only converted count house remains. Modern barns sited over location of mine buildings. Part of boiler pond and causewayed rail route to consols main line also remain. Shafts not located (buck).


Minchinton, W., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV2310.

Bedford united mine. The important bedford united mine produced arsenic, copper, fluorspar, tin, uranium, and wolfram. Situated on high ground ne of gunnislake bridge. It was opened in 1840. Its water power was brought by a leat from the tavistock canal 2 miles away (see sx47sw/514). This mine became the third largest copper producer in devon and had its own tramway linking up with the devon great consols railway. The mine worked intermittently until 1925. An adit may be seen along the river, above gunnislake bridge (minchinton).


Jenkin, A. K. H., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV240158.

Also b9 bedford. Plans. R 151 - r 153 - r 19 a - 190 2559 m. R. O. Copper, tin, arsenic, tungsten. Shaft 822m deep. Also m3 marquis - copper, tin, tungsten (ramsden). Although generally thought to have opened in 1840 in fact started in early 18th century. Worked for copper as the marquis mine in the 18th century (jenkin).


OS 1884, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241595.

From the 1884 map it appears that at this time only the ne part of the mine was working, for copper. The area to the sw served by the leat had presumably been abandoned by this time (os 1884).


OS 1906, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241596.

The 1906 map shows two distinct parts of the mine. The ne area (described above) is now called "copper, disused", while the area to sw appears to have been reactivated for mundic and wolfram. A shaft and level are shown here. The substantial group of buildings next to the railway which were shown on the 1884 map have virtually disappeared (os 1906).


OS 1953, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241597.

The modern 25" map shows most of the buildings on the 1906 map, the magazine is indicated. Vegetation cover has increased (os 1953).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241601.

Minchinton, w. /industrial archaeology in devon/(1973)28.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241602.

Ramsden, j. V. /tda/84(1952)89 fig.1/notes on the mines of devonshire.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241603.

Bawden, m. /tda/46(1914)256/tavistock mining district.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241604.

Ramsden, j. V. /tda/84(1952)98 fig.1/notes on the mines of devonshire.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241605.

Jenkin, a. K. H. /the mines of devon vol 1/(1974)29-32.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241606.

Booker, f. /the industrial archaeology of the tamar valley/(1971)138.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241607.

Dines, h. G. /metalliferous mining region of sw england vol 2/(1956)664-666.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241608.

Des=os 6" map/(1884)copy in parish file.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241609.

Des=os 25" map/(1906)copy on worksheet.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241610.

Des=os 25" map/(1953).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241611.

Des=worksheet/weddell, p.(9/3/1984)in parish file.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241613.

Des=os 6"(1907)105sw.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241614.

Des=buck, c. /preliminary assessment of sites of archaeological importance in the tamar valley/(1998)41/copy in smr.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241615.

Des=buck, c. /preliminary assessment of industrial sites of archaeological importance in the tamar valley/(1998)46/in smr.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241616.

Richardson, p. H. G. /british mining/44(1992)129/mines of dartmoor and the tamar valley after 1913.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV241617.

Des=buck,c.(cornwall archaeological unit)/bedford united mine: archaeological assessment/(2003)14-16/report no 2003ro43 in smr.


BOOKER, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV256537.

The level associated with the 19th century working can be seen above the river. It was the 3rd largest copper producer in devon. Had a branch to devon consols railway. It was worked intermittently into the 20th century mainly producing arsenic, wolram, tin and iron ore: processing plant on site removed in 1938 (booker).


Dines, H. G., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV265453.

Worked through five lodes and about ten shafts. Recorded outputs given for 1845-1869, and 1906-1909. Worked in a small way till 1828 (dines).


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

Map object partly based on this source.


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

Map object partly based on this source.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1976-1980, SX47SW31 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV241612.

Bedford United Mine (Mundic and Wolfram Disused).
Bedford United Mine was opened in 1840 and produced arsenic, copper, fluorspar, tin, uranium and wolfram. It became the third largest copper producer in Devon and worked intermittently until 1925.


Atkinson, 1988, Index of Mines (Unknown). SDV361827.

Bedford United 1845-1909
A short distance north of Gunnislake Bridge.

Production: 65,950 tons of copper; 12,444 tons mispickel; 16 tons wolfram, 25 tons tin.

A cavernous system of levels on the Marquis Lode has its portal adjacent to the riverside footpath. The entrance is accessible, but the inner recesses are flooded. Old burrows are in the vicinity of Gulworthy Farm, the site of the original workings.


Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 2001-2002, Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records, RAF/CPE/UK/2501/4107&8 1947; RAF/CPE/2149/3141 1948 (Interpretation). SDV346287.

Post-medieval earthworks of cut features and spoil heaps are visible on aerial photographs of 1947 and 1948. Map object partly based on this source.


Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2016, Backlog Recording of the Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Survey (Personal Comment). SDV359374.

The earthworks recorded here as part of the Tamar Valley NMP survey have been attributed to this monument record. This monument record has in itself been amended into a parent record to include the many individually recorded features which make up Bedford United Mine. Defining the extent of this mine has been problematic owing to the absence of any marked boundaries of this site and may as a consequence be slightly arbitrary in places.


Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 190-2, Figs 6.46-6.55 (Monograph). SDV361789.

The Marquis (later part of Bedford United Mines)
One of the most important Tamar Valley copper producers the Marquis lode was worked in its own right and later as part of Bedford United Mines. Well documented in the early 18th century by Swedish traveller Henric Kelmeter, who visited the Marquis Copper Work on 13/11/1724, who described the nature of its workings and an underground water chamber (this survives and has been surveyed by Waterhouse).
Part of the Tavistock Canal Company collection of mining interests between 1807-21, surprisingly it doesn't appear to have been exploited to any great extent by them.
The next major period of working at the sett came in the late 1830s, when the sett was amalgamated with several others, under the name Bedford United Mines. To work them, the Wheal Tamar Leat was extended from the Impham Valley to the Gutterhole Valley (completed 1842). This enabled the copper working to extend below adit in an easterly direction, being pumped from Marquis Engine Shaft (see MDV70329) via flat-rods from a 50 feet dimeter water engine in the Gutterhole Valley (Figs 6.47 and 6.50).
These deeper workings were also rich in arsenic and were accessed from surface via a long inclined shaft containing a railway, hauled by a steam whim (see MDV70337). Figs 6.46 and 6.47 show the extent of the mine’s surface features, concentrated in two east-west bands (mostly following the sites of the Marquis and Phillips’ Lodes. The mine was benefitted by the construction of the Devon Great Consols Railway in the mid-19th century, which included a siding into the Marquis Engine Shaft complex built in 1863.
The mine was last worked between 1909-1930, significant as this was the only remaining mine deriving its power from canal water. A small tin dressing mill for processing dump material from Devon Great Consols and ores from Bedford United Mine was erected near the Marquis Shaft, connected to Phillips Engine Shaft by an overhead cableway on timber and concrete stands, some of which survive. The mill and cableway were operated by electricity generated by a water turbine mounted in Phillips Engine Shaft and fed by a large-diameter steel pipe, which can still be seen running down the hillside from the Bedford United Leat into the shaft (Fig 6.50).
Work ceased in 1930 due to a slump in tin prices and decrease in demand for arsenic.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV1142Migrated Record:
SDV219466Migrated Record: BUCK.
SDV2310Migrated Record: Minchinton, W..
SDV240158Migrated Record: Jenkin, A. K. H..
SDV241595Migrated Record: OS 1884.
SDV241596Migrated Record: OS 1906.
SDV241597Migrated Record: OS 1953.
SDV241601Migrated Record:
SDV241602Migrated Record:
SDV241603Migrated Record:
SDV241604Migrated Record:
SDV241605Migrated Record:
SDV241606Migrated Record:
SDV241607Migrated Record:
SDV241608Migrated Record:
SDV241609Migrated Record:
SDV241610Migrated Record:
SDV241611Migrated Record:
SDV241612Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1976-1980. SX47SW31. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV241613Migrated Record:
SDV241614Migrated Record:
SDV241615Migrated Record:
SDV241616Migrated Record:
SDV241617Migrated Record:
SDV256537Migrated Record: BOOKER.
SDV265453Migrated Record: Dines, H. G..
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).
SDV346287Interpretation: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2001-2002. Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records. National Mapping Programme. Map (Digital). RAF/CPE/UK/2501/4107&8 1947; RAF/CPE/2149/3141 1948.
SDV359374Personal Comment: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2016. Backlog Recording of the Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Survey. Not Applicable.
SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 190-2, Figs 6.46-6.55.
SDV361827Unknown: Atkinson. 1988. Index of Mines. A4 single sheet.

Associated Monuments

MDV70260Parent of: ADIT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70263Parent of: ADIT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70264Parent of: ADIT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70265Parent of: ADIT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70338Parent of: Agents House at Bedford United Mines (Building)
MDV70279Parent of: BLACKSMITHS WORKSHOP in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70336Parent of: BUILDING in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70280Parent of: CHIMNEY in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70335Parent of: CHIMNEY in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70266Parent of: DAM in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70278Parent of: Delves Kitchen mine shaft, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70262Parent of: DRESSING FLOOR in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70267Parent of: DRESSING FLOOR in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70281Parent of: DRESSING FLOOR in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70332Parent of: ENGINE HOUSE in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70320Parent of: FINDSPOT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Find Spot)
MDV70337Parent of: Inclined shaft at Bedford United Mines, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70261Parent of: LEAT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70327Parent of: MAGAZINE in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70329Parent of: Marquis Engine Shaft, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70274Parent of: PIT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70272Parent of: PLATFORM in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70273Parent of: POND in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70277Parent of: POND in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70331Parent of: POND in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70325Parent of: RAILWAY in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70268Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70275Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70319Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70323Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70324Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70326Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70328Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70345Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70346Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70348Parent of: SHAFT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70321Parent of: SPOIL HEAP in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70349Parent of: SPOIL HEAP in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV20814Parent of: STAMPING MILL in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70282Parent of: WATER WHEEL in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70276Parent of: WHEEL PIT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV70322Parent of: WHEEL PIT in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV22884Related to: Bedford United Mine, Leat (Monument)
MDV3880Related to: Devon Great Consols, Railway (Monument)
MDV123232Related to: Tavistock Canal, Main record (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6911 - Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme
  • EDV5407 - Surface Reconnaissance Inspection at Devon Great Consols and Bedford United Mines
  • EDV5535 - Walkover Reconnaissance Inspection, Devon Great Consols and Bedford United Mines

Date Last Edited:Nov 15 2018 12:24PM