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HER Number:MDV41528
Name:Part of Furzehill Mine, or Birch Mine

Summary

Remains of the southern part of Furzehill Mine, also referred to as Birch Mine. Amalgamated with Lockridge and Whitsam mines in mid 19th century to form East Tamar Consols. Earthworks and a structure associated with the mine were transcribed from aerial photographs of 1949 and visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2019 as part of the Tamar Valley NMP and Tamar/Lidar projects.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 436 654
Map Sheet:SX46NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBere Ferrers
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBERE FERRERS

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46NW/538

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • EXTRACTIVE PIT (XIV to XIX - 1301 AD to 1900 AD (Between))
  • MINE (XIV to XIX - 1301 AD to 1900 AD (Between))
  • SPOIL HEAP (XIV to XIX - 1301 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Untitled Source (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV344104.

"Birch Mine, Buildings etc" marked on Bere Ferrers Tithe Map of 1842 (1541), in the Devon Record Office.

Claughton, P. F., 03/03/1993, Mine at Bere Alston; Collapse of Ground at Cleave Mine (Correspondence). SDV359155.

South West Heritage Trust, 1838-1848, Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments (Cartographic). SDV359954.

The visible earthworks correspond with land parcels 1381, 1536, 1537 and 1541 which are recorded as ‘Waste’, ‘Outer Quarry Park’, ‘Homer Quarry Park’ and ‘Birch Mine’,respectively.

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

Earthworks and features labelled as ‘Furze Hill Mine’ are shown in this location.

Ordnance Survey, 1884, Untitled Source (Cartographic). SDV344105.

"Furzehill Mine (Tin and Copper, disused)" marked.

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

Map object based on this Source.

Ordnance Survey, 1907, 111SW (Cartographic). SDV240062.

Booker, F., 1967, Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley, 54-60, 67 (Monograph). SDV240774.

Also known as East Tamar Consols. Workings connected to South Tamar Consols. Continued working after flooding of 1856 by working the ground of Lockeridge mine. By 1861 the engine was unable to cope with rising water and production ceased.

Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K., 1974, Mines of Devon. Volume 1: The Southern Area, 36-38 (Monograph). SDV336694.

Mayer, P., 1990, Calstock and Bere Alston Silver/Lead Mines in the 14th Century, 79-95 (Article in Serial). SDV343017.

Cranstone, D., 1991, The Lead Industry, 1G (Report - non-specific). SDV90317.

Birch/Furzehill Mine. Linear mineworkings along vein, betweeen SX436651 and SX437658. Survives as two lengths separated by reclaimed area. The only linear 'rake' workings surviving in Bere Alston mines. May retain medieval/tudor deposits, though the visible features look like 18th - 19th century reprocessing of earlier dumps. Nineteenth century mine at southern end consists of an intact chimney and a ruined engine house, with dressing waste and spoil heaps surviving as earthworks. The northern part of the complex consists of dressing waste, rake, shaft and spoil heaps surviving as earthworks, and other unspecified earthworks. Other details: Photocopy of Devon sites in parish file.

Only linear 'rake' workings surviving in Bere Alston mines. Medieval origins likely, but this area probably Lrgely reworked later. Less important than sub-sites 1F and 1H, but merits protection.

Claughton, P., 1994, Silver-Lead - A Restricted Resource: Technological Choice in Devon Mines, 54-59 (Article in Serial). SDV337126.

An adit of 50 fathoms was proposed at Furshill silver-lead mine in early 14th century.

Nance, R. W. + Nance, R. D., 1996, A Survey of Engine Houses on the Mines of South Devon, 109-122 (Article in Serial). SDV241746.

Claughton, P. F., 1996, The Lumburn Leat - evidence for new pumping technology at Bere Ferrers in the 15th Century, 35-40 (Article in Serial). SDV229681.

Mine drainage may have benefited from power supplied by the 16 kilometres 15th century Lumburn leat from the vicinity of Millhill west of Tavistock. Other details: Photcopy in Tavistock Hamlets parish file.

Buck, C., 1998, Preliminary Assessment of Industrial Sites of Archaeological Importance in the Tamar Valley, 55 (Report - Assessment). SDV336795.

Documentary evidence confirms area was mined for silver from circa 1290, this mine specifically mentioned in 1305. Was also worked in 19th century, being amalgamated with Whitsam and Lockridge under the name of East Tamar Consols in 1845.

Buck, C., 1998, Preliminary Assessment of Sites of Archaelogical Importance in the Tamar Valley, 50 (Report - Assessment). SDV241750.

Site visit 11th March 1998. Long narrow section of lode back pits, and possibly shallow medieval shafts (and 19th century air shafts) following the lode. Chimney and remains of engine house and boiler house appear stable. Large spoil heap south of the main building, eroding and may be toxic.

Environment Agency, 2000-2019, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: Tamar Aerial Survey project area, LIDAR Environment Agency LAST RETURN 19-APR-2019 (Cartographic). SDV363954.

Sub-oval and irregularly shaped pits and banks are visible as earthworks.

Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 2001-2002, Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records, RAF/540/226/5288&89 1949 (Interpretation). SDV346287.

An earthwork cutting, spoil heap and structure of post-medieval date are visible on aerial photographs of 1949.

Claughton, P. F., 2003, Silver Mining in England and Wales, 1066-1500 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV81879.

Rippon, S. + Claughton, P. + Smart, C., 2009, Mining in a Medieval Landscape: The Royal Silver Mines of the Tamar Valley, 32, 62, 75, 80-82, 144 (Monograph). SDV344097.

One of four mines at Bere Ferrers, on the silver bearing deposit running from Lockridge Hill to the Tamar, in the early 14th century. Documentary evidence suggests deeper working by shafts was in progress at Furzehill by the early 16th century. Other details: Figures 3.5, 4.3-4.6, 6.15, 6.17.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Map object based on this Source.

Hegarty, C., Houghton, E., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2020-2021, Tamar/Lidar; A Single Source Approach to Landscape Survey and Socially Distanced Community Archaeology Area 1 (AI&M project) (Interpretation). SDV363945.

Sub-oval and irregularly shaped pits and banks, between 6-80 metres long, are visible as earthworks on visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2019. The visible earthworks extend to a length of circa 610 metres along north-west, south-west and south facing slope.
Given the subtle nature of the earthworks visible to the south at SX43666527, not all features in this location have been transcribed. Instead an extent of area polygon has been used to define their approximate limits.
The earthworks correspond with land parcels 1381, 1536, 1537 and 1541 on the mid-19th century Parish Tithe Map which are recorded as ‘Waste’, ‘Outer Quarry Park’, ‘Homer Quarry Park’ and ‘Birch Mine’, respectively, on the accompanying Tithe Apportionment. The pits and banks also correspond with several earthworks depicted and labelled as ‘Furze Hill Mine’ on both the late-19th century and early-20th century First and Second Edition Ordnance Survey maps.
The earthworks are interpreted as the extractive pits and/or shafts and spoil heaps associated with this mine, that had passed out of use by the late-19th century.
One of the earthworks at SX43646546 corresponds with a banked feature recorded from aerial photographs of 1949 as part of the Tamar Valley NMP project. This earthwork has been re-transcribed during this survey from lidar data which has provided additional clarity and detail as well as improved spatial accuracy, but which was unavailable to the previous survey.

Buck, C., 27/04/2010, Lode of Silver Mines (Correspondence). SDV344548.

Attached copy of part of John Hobart's map of 1737 shows the lode of the silver mines from South Tamar Consols northwards through Lower and Higher Birch.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV229681Article in Serial: Claughton, P. F.. 1996. The Lumburn Leat - evidence for new pumping technology at Bere Ferrers in the 15th Century. Mining History: Bulletin PDMHS. The Archaeology of Mining and Metallurgy in. 13, Number 2. A4 Paperback. 35-40.
SDV240062Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1907. 111SW. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV240774Monograph: Booker, F.. 1967. Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. A5 Hardback. 54-60, 67.
SDV241746Article in Serial: Nance, R. W. + Nance, R. D.. 1996. A Survey of Engine Houses on the Mines of South Devon. Mining History: Bulletin PDMHS. The Archaeology of Mining and Metallurgy in South-West Britain. 13, Number 2. A4 Paperback. 109-122.
SDV241750Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 1998. Preliminary Assessment of Sites of Archaelogical Importance in the Tamar Valley. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. A4 Bound. 50.
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).
SDV336694Monograph: Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K.. 1974. Mines of Devon. Volume 1: The Southern Area. Mines of Devon. Volume 1: The Southern Area. One. Hardback Volume. 36-38.
SDV336795Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 1998. Preliminary Assessment of Industrial Sites of Archaeological Importance in the Tamar Valley. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 55.
SDV337126Article in Serial: Claughton, P.. 1994. Silver-Lead - A Restricted Resource: Technological Choice in Devon Mines. Mining History: Bulletin PDMHS. 12, Number 3. Photocopy + Digital. 54-59.
SDV343017Article in Serial: Mayer, P.. 1990. Calstock and Bere Alston Silver/Lead Mines in the 14th Century. Cornish Archaeology. 29. Paperback Volume. 79-95.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV344097Monograph: Rippon, S. + Claughton, P. + Smart, C.. 2009. Mining in a Medieval Landscape: The Royal Silver Mines of the Tamar Valley. Mining in a Medieval Landscape: The Royal Silver Mines of the Tamar Valley. Paperback Volume. 32, 62, 75, 80-82, 144.
SDV344104Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unknown.
SDV344105Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1884. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Unknown.
SDV344548Correspondence: Buck, C.. 27/04/2010. Lode of Silver Mines. Email and Map. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV346287Interpretation: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2001-2002. Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records. National Mapping Programme. Map (Digital). RAF/540/226/5288&89 1949.
SDV359155Correspondence: Claughton, P. F.. 03/03/1993. Mine at Bere Alston; Collapse of Ground at Cleave Mine. Letter. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV359954Cartographic: South West Heritage Trust. 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Digital.
SDV363945Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Houghton, E., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2020-2021. Tamar/Lidar; A Single Source Approach to Landscape Survey and Socially Distanced Community Archaeology Area 1 (AI&M project). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363954Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2000-2019. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: Tamar Aerial Survey project area. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR Environment Agency LAST RETURN 19-APR-2019.
SDV81879Post-Graduate Thesis: Claughton, P. F.. 2003. Silver Mining in England and Wales, 1066-1500. University of Exeter Thesis. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV90317Report - non-specific: Cranstone, D.. 1991. The Lead Industry. English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Step 3 Site Assessments. A4 Unbound. 1G.

Associated Monuments

MDV77914Parent of: Building, Furzehill Mine (Monument)
MDV48778Parent of: Chimney at Furzehill Mine (Monument)
MDV48779Parent of: Shaft at Furze Hill Mine (Monument)
MDV41527Related to: Cleave or Ware Mine (Monument)
MDV41529Related to: Furzehill Mine, Bere Ferrers (Monument)
MDV5443Related to: Lockridge Silver and Lead Mine (Monument)
MDV41530Related to: Whitsam Down Mine, Bere Ferrers (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6911 - Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme
  • EDV8345 - Tamar/Lidar; A Single Source Approach to Landscape Survey and Socially Distanced Community Archaeology Area 1 (AI&M) (Ref: ACD2380)

Date Last Edited:May 10 2021 11:37AM