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HER Number:MDV3956
Name:Wheal Crowndale Mine, Tavistock

Summary

Site of 18th century Crowndale Copper Mine with five shafts shown on 19th century map. The earthwork pits of possible mine shafts and quarries, spoiheaps, structural remains and trackways were transcribed as part of the NMP survey of the Tamar Valley AONB.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 470 724
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTavistock
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SE/19

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TIN MINE (Constructed, XVI - 1508 AD to 1599 AD? (Between))
  • COPPER MINE (Constructed, XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD to 1825 AD (Between))

Full description

Hunt, R., Mineral Statistics (Unknown). SDV241727.


de la Beche, H. T., 1839, Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset (Monograph). SDV337075.


Ree, 1842, Encyclopedia (Monograph). SDV337407.


Henwood, W. J., 1843, Metalliferous Deposits (Monograph). SDV337406.


Unknown, 1843-1849, Mining Journal (Article in Serial). SDV337403.


White, W., 1850/1968, White's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire (Monograph). SDV6497.


Spargo, T., 1864, Mines of Cornwall and Devon (Monograph). SDV242422.


1867, Bedford Estate Survey Map of Crowndale Mine (Cartographic). SDV351515.

Estate map shows areas of filled shafts to the south and south-west of Crowndale.


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

Site of 'Crowndale Mine (Copper, disused) shown on 19th century map to the west of the Tavistock Canal with five 'Shafts' & a small rectangular building on the east side of the northwestern boundary.


Collins, J. H., 1895, Mineralogy of Cornwall and Devon (Monograph). SDV242421.


Collins, J. H., 1912, Observations on the West of England Mining Region (Monograph). SDV323594.


Unknown, 1920, Special Report on Mineral Resources (Report - Assessment). SDV337404.


Dewey, H., 1921, Lead, silver and zinc ores of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, 337 (Article in Serial). SDV62838.

Other details: Tavistock.


H. M. Stationary Office, 1929, Abandoned Mines (Monograph). SDV215700.


Ordnance Survey, 1938, 105SE. Revision of 1905 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition (Cartographic). SDV336767.

Crowndale Mine (Copper, Disused) marked on 1938 map.


Finberg, H. P. R., 1945, Morwell, 169 (Article in Serial). SDV215737.

Wheal Crowndale was one of the richest copper mines in the Tavistock area.


Ramsden, J. V., 1952, Notes on the Mines of Devonshire, 92; Figure 1 (Article in Serial). SDV60737.


Minchinton, W. E., 1973, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 29 (Monograph). SDV7016.

C 29 Crowndale Mine. Plans R 27 C - R 105 A M. R. O. and Bedford Estate office. Copper, tin, arsenic. Wheal Crowndale was opened in 1799, and it was one of the main reasons for the building of the Tavistock Canal. The Duke of Bedford was averse to the development of this mine and it was not worked on a large scale after 1858. It was prospected in 1924 for the working of arsenic. A timbered shaft from the 1924 workings can be seen from the Tavistock Canal towpath.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX47SE34 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV337408.

Crowndale Mine (copper, disused) OS 6" 1971

Crowndale Mine opened in 1799 and was one of the main reasons for building the Tavistock canal. It produced mainly copper, arsenic and some tin and iron. The Duke of Bedford was averse to the development of this mine and it was not worked on a large scale after 1858. It was prospected in 1924 for the working of arsenic. A timbered shaft from the 1924 workings can be seen from the Tavistock canal towpath. Industrial Archaeology in Devon 1976, 29 (Minchinton, W.)


Richardson, P. H. G., 1992, The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913, 131 (Article in Serial). SDV323598.

Some work was undertaken above adit by toll in 1923-26.


Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 31; No 59 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.


Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 2001-2002, Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records, RAF/CPE/UK/2501/4111-2 (Interpretation). SDV346287.

Transcriptions of at least four possible mine shafts, quarries, spoiheaps, structural remains and trackways set within an area of industrial ground disturbance visible on aerial photographs RAF/CPE/UK/2501/4111-2 correspond with a database record of a post-medieval copper mine at Crowndale Mine. Map object based on this source.


Greeves, T., 2003, The Tavistock Canal: A Review, 14 (Report - non-specific). SDV356552.


Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 220 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

'Wheal Crowndale Mine' was described in a sale of 1802 as a copper mine with a "water-engine, stamping mill and whims". In 1824 a 40 foot x 6 foot water-engine was advertised for sale.


Smith, J. R., 2006, Bere Alston to Tavistock Railway: Archaeological Assessment, 28 (Report - Assessment). SDV336796.

Two open Mine Shafts (Sites 44 & 45) at the former Crowndale Mine lie adjacent to the former Bere Alston to Tavistock section of the railway on the northwest side of the line. The survey in 2006 found the shaft at SX47017247 was cut into the solid rock & poorly capped with two wooden sleepers & some steel mesh. The shaft at SX4702372489 had run in to a choked cone at the surface & was surrounded by a fence in poor condition.


Pearson, C., 2007, Bere Alston Railway Line, Devon: Results of Mine Shaft Inspections (Report - non-specific). SDV351516.

Inspections were carried out on two shafts which are part of the former Crowndale copper mine. The abandonment mine plans for the mine are incomplete and inaccurate and they do not show the full extent of the mine working. See report for full details.
Map object based on this source.


Newman, P., 2011, Mining in the Tavy Valley, West Devon. An Assessment of Archaeological Potential, 50; No. 25 (Report - Assessment). SDV347105.

Wheal Crowndale, also known as Crowndale Copper Mine and New Crowndale. Tinworks are recorded at Crowndelham in 1539 and a large tin openwork survives at the site of 19th century activity. This is one of the largest setts in the Tavy valley and an undated abandoned mine plan shows a well-developed mine with 10 shafts. The lode was an eastern extension of the Wheal Crebor lode which continued into the sett of East Crowndale. The mine worked throughout much of the 19th century, although figures show that it was not particularly productive in the 1850s-1870s. The mine reopened during the First World War and a further attempt to work the site for arsenic occurred in 1924-26. The main surface remains are capped shafts and levelled spoil although the outline of a possible wheelpit is visible but it is thought there is little in the way of upstanding remains.


Buck, C., 2011, Tavistock-Bere Alston Railway, Devon: Archaeological Impact and Mitigation Recording Report, 6-7, 11-12 (Report - non-specific). SDV348278.

In late 2008 work was undertaken which was required for the conversion of the disused Bere Alston to Tavistock railway line to a footpath and cycleway. The railway passes close by the sett of Crowndale Mine, and during archaeological recording in October 2008, a partly open mine shaft adjacent to the up side of the railway line was photographed, as was the closed mine shaft to the north (Gill's Shaft). The report includes a sketch plan and section of the estimated extent of related mine workings which extend underneath the railway line from the unnamed open shaft. Other details: Figures 2-3, 6-12.


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

Map object 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 aerial photograph reference given in the Tamar Valley NMP transcription attributes is incomplete; the date of the photograph is not included.


Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 215-217, Figs 6.70-72 (Monograph). SDV361789.

Wheal Crowndale and East Crowndale
Began as a tinwork known as 'Crondell Ham', recorded in 1508, the mines close-set multiple shafts and a broad openwork near the River Tavy suggest it was reworked for copper from the early 18th century.
A group led by John Gill and John Taylor were granted the sett from 1799 and initially the work progressed well, but as the lode progressed, problems with water were experienced. A leat was cut from Abbey Bridge to the mine and this allowed progress to be made by the end of 1801.
The lease on the mine was given up in 1815 and the sett passed to the Canal Company who documented a long section of the mine. This included the workings east of the river, separated after 1820 and worked as East Crowndale (confusingly re-named East Wheal Crebor in the later 19th century).
Workings were extensive and the lode was followed on several levels including ones below the river. The mine was recorded as abandoned in the early 1820s. See figures showing the mine's development.
East Wheal Crowndale/East Wheal Crebor
Worked the eastern part of the Wheal Crowndale lode , initially east of the river as an independent concern, but was later amalgamated with the workings to the west of the river. Never particularly successful. Achieved notoriety in 1880 when the Tavy flooded the mine, drowning three miners in the 70 fathom level of its deep adit.


Unknown, Unknown, Plans of Crowndale Mine, Tavistock (Plan - measured). SDV351269.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV215700Monograph: H. M. Stationary Office. 1929. Abandoned Mines. Abandoned Mines. Unknown.
SDV215737Article in Serial: Finberg, H. P. R.. 1945. Morwell. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 77. A5 Paperback. 169.
SDV241727Unknown: Hunt, R.. Mineral Statistics. Mineral Statistics. Unknown.
SDV242421Monograph: Collins, J. H.. 1895. Mineralogy of Cornwall and Devon. Mineralogy of Cornwall and Devon. Unknown.
SDV242422Monograph: Spargo, T.. 1864. Mines of Cornwall and Devon. Mines of Cornwall and Devon. Unknown.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 31; No 59.
SDV323594Monograph: Collins, J. H.. 1912. Observations on the West of England Mining Region. Observations on the West of England Mining Region. Unknown.
SDV323598Article in Serial: Richardson, P. H. G.. 1992. The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913. British Mining. 44. A5 Paperback. 131.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 220.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336767Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1938. 105SE. Revision of 1905 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV336796Report - Assessment: Smith, J. R.. 2006. Bere Alston to Tavistock Railway: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall County Council Report. 2006R006. A4 Stapled + Digital. 28.
SDV337075Monograph: de la Beche, H. T.. 1839. Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset. Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset. Unknown.
SDV337403Article in Serial: Unknown. 1843-1849. Mining Journal. Mining Journal. Unknown.
SDV337404Report - Assessment: Unknown. 1920. Special Report on Mineral Resources. 15. Unknown.
SDV337406Monograph: Henwood, W. J.. 1843. Metalliferous Deposits. Metalliferous Deposits. Unknown.
SDV337407Monograph: Ree. 1842. Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia. Unknown.
SDV337408Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX47SE34. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV346287Interpretation: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2001-2002. Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records. National Mapping Programme. Map (Digital). RAF/CPE/UK/2501/4111-2.
SDV347105Report - Assessment: Newman, P.. 2011. Mining in the Tavy Valley, West Devon. An Assessment of Archaeological Potential. SW Landscape Investigations Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 50; No. 25.
SDV348278Report - non-specific: Buck, C.. 2011. Tavistock-Bere Alston Railway, Devon: Archaeological Impact and Mitigation Recording Report. Cornwall Council Report. 2011R093. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6-7, 11-12.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV351269Plan - measured: Unknown. Unknown. Plans of Crowndale Mine, Tavistock. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV351515Cartographic: 1867. Bedford Estate Survey Map of Crowndale Mine. Digital.
SDV351516Report - non-specific: Pearson, C.. 2007. Bere Alston Railway Line, Devon: Results of Mine Shaft Inspections. Frederick Sherrell Report. Digital.
SDV356552Report - non-specific: Greeves, T.. 2003. The Tavistock Canal: A Review. Digital. 14.
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. 215-217, Figs 6.70-72.
SDV60737Article in Serial: Ramsden, J. V.. 1952. Notes on the Mines of Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 92; Figure 1.
SDV62838Article in Serial: Dewey, H.. 1921. Lead, silver and zinc ores of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. Memoirs of the Geological Survey. 26. Unknown. 337.
SDV6497Monograph: White, W.. 1850/1968. White's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire. white's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire. Hardback Volume.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1973. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 29.

Associated Monuments

MDV104413Parent of: Former Mine Shafts at Crowndale Mine, Tavistock (Monument)
MDV80869Parent of: Gill's Shaft at Crowndale Mine, Tavistock (Monument)
MDV80868Parent of: Shaft at Crowndale Mine, Tavistock (Monument)
MDV123099Parent of: Wheal Crowndale Leat (Monument)
MDV123100Related to: Canal bridge at Wheal Crowndale (Monument)
MDV73013Related to: Crowndale Bridge, Bere Alston to Tavistock Railway (Monument)
MDV4065Related to: Crowndale Medieval Settlement (Monument)
MDV3879Related to: Tavistock Canal, Western Section (Monument)
MDV72928Related to: Tavistock to Bere Alston Railway (Monument)
MDV79975Related to: Tinworks at Crowndale, Tavistock (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4099 - Bere Alston to Tavistock Railway
  • EDV5659 - Archaeological Monitoring and Recording of Part of the Tavistock to Bere Alston Railway Line
  • EDV6911 - Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme

Date Last Edited:Nov 22 2018 5:03PM