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HER Number:MDV41536
Name:Wheal Betsy Engine House

Summary

This building was erected in 1868 to house a Cornish Beam pumping engine for Wheal Betsy silver / lead mine, which closed in 1877. Standing remains are in good condition, but roof has gone.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 510 813
Map Sheet:SX58SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMary Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMARY TAVY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 440756
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX58SW/6/1
  • Old SAM County Ref: 787

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENGINE HOUSE (XIX to XXI - 1868 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX58SW42 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV253760.


Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995, 4385 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224714.


Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica (Monograph). SDV323771.


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

################


Watson, J. Y., 1843, A compendium of British Mining (Monograph). SDV253743.


Crossing, W., 1901, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV253763.


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


Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor (Monograph). SDV320981.


Unknown, 1921, Special Report on Mineral Resources, 21 (Report - Scientific). SDV253744.

Other details: Lead, 337 Tavistock.


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


Ramsden, J. V., 1952, Notes on the Mines of Devonshire, 90 (Article in Serial). SDV60737.


Barton, D. B., 1964, The Mines and Mineral Railways of East Cornwall and West Devon, 84-92 (Monograph). SDV240068.


Department of Environment, 1970, Wheal Betsy Pumping House (Schedule Document). SDV259946.

Engine house and chimmney stack remaining of building erected in 1868 to house a Cornish Beam pumping engine for Wheal Betsy silver / lead mine (1806-1877). Acquired and made safe by the national trust in 1967.
This structure has a fine position on Black Down above the valley of the Cholwell Brook. Stone-built engine house has no remaining roof, but is unchanged and is generally in good condition.


Booker, F., 1971, Untitled Source, 129-130 (Monograph). SDV345749.


Minchinton, W. E., 1973, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 25 (Monograph). SDV7016.

Other details: Photo.


National Trust, 1984, Wheal Betsy (Report - Survey). SDV253747.

The engine house was erected in 1868 following the re-opening of the mine in 1806. The mine closed in 1877. In 1967 the engine house and stack were repaired as monuments by the National Trust.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

B16 Wheal Betsy, also known as Prince Arthur Consols, used in lead mining. Recorded in survey.


1985, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV253748.

Series of photographs of Wheal Betsy engine house, including one of the National Trust memorial plaque, which reads:
Wheal Betsy
This ancient silver-lead mine was reopened in 1806 and worked successfully for the next seventy years. The mine was worked by water power until 1868 when this building was erected to house a Cornish Beam pumping engine. Until its closure in 1877, all pumping, winding and crushing of ore was carried out by steam power.
In 1967 the ruined engine house and stack were acquired and made safe by the National Trust as a memorial to the mining industry of Dartmoor. Other details: 656/ 15-20.


Cranstone, D., 1991, HBMC Assessment of the Lead Industry (Report - non-specific). SDV344159.

(Site visited during 1990) Engine house is at the core of an important mining landscape. Chimney is intact and engine house conserved.


Pye, A. + Westcott, K., 1992, Archaeological survey of the pumping engine house at Wheal Betsy, Mary Tavy (Report - Survey). SDV253761.

Surveyed in 1991. Narrow rectangular building, three-and-a-half storeys high with pitched roof. Constructed of roughly dressed locally quarried stone. All windows, arches, doors etc have timber lintels (replaced 1967-8). Side walls 0.80 meters thick at base, 0.65 meters at first floor, 0.25 meters at the top. Rear wall 0.7 meters thick for full height. Front wall 1.50 meters thick, to accommodate weight of the bob and stress caused by piston thrust.
In the interior, the rear two thirds of the ground floor occupied by platform of rubble masonry (the 'cylinder bed'). The engine cylinder would have been sited at the front of this, held in place by iron tie bolts running down through the bed. The bottoms were accessed via tunnels which are now largely blocked. The cylinder would have been installed (and removed) through a 2.40 meters wide doorway in the rear wall.
West of the cylinder bed lies the cockpit or cataract pit, accommodating the water clocks (cataracts) which regulated the engine timing. The education pipe carried exhaust steam from the cylinder across the top of the pit and through the front (west) wall into the condenser, which was housed outside the bob wall.
The ground floor was lit by a window in the north wall and a window or door in the south wall. First floor would have been level with top of engine cylinder. Joists probably ran east-west with sockets being removed during 1960s alterations. Lit by windows in north and south walls. Second floor corresponded with top of west (bob) wall and was used for maintenance of the bob and its associated machinery. Sockets for massive stress-accommodating beams identified. Lit by window in rear wall and probably through glazing in the doors opening onto the bob gantry at the front. The front wall from bob wall to roof gable would have been of timber.
The whole of the interior, except cataract, was plastered. Much of this survives. Built 1868 or 1871 and saw only 6-9 years of use before the mine closed in 1877. Other details: Figures 3-6, plates 1-3,5,6.


Department of Environment, 1993, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV259950.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for general repairs.


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


Nance, R. D., 1996, Project Design for a Survey of Engine Houses on the Mines of South Devon (Report - Assessment). SDV222663.


Nance, R. W. + Nance, R. D., 1996, Wheal Druid and the Engine Houses of Dartmoor, 4-6 (Article in Serial). SDV340907.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV215700Monograph: H. M. Stationary Office. 1929. Abandoned Mines. Abandoned Mines. Unknown.
SDV222663Report - Assessment: Nance, R. D.. 1996. Project Design for a Survey of Engine Houses on the Mines of South Devon. Project Design for a Survey of Engine Houses on the Mines of South Devon. Unknown.
SDV224714Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4385.
SDV240068Monograph: Barton, D. B.. 1964. The Mines and Mineral Railways of East Cornwall and West Devon. The Mines and Mineral Railways of East Cornwall and West Devon. A4 Stapled. 84-92.
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.
SDV253743Monograph: Watson, J. Y.. 1843. A compendium of British Mining. A compendium of British Mining. Unknown.
SDV253744Report - Scientific: Unknown. 1921. Special Report on Mineral Resources. Unknown. Unknown. 21.
SDV253747Report - Survey: National Trust. 1984. Wheal Betsy. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV253748Photograph: 1985. Digital.
SDV253760Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX58SW42. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV253761Report - Survey: Pye, A. + Westcott, K.. 1992. Archaeological survey of the pumping engine house at Wheal Betsy, Mary Tavy. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Field Investigation. 92.08. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV253763Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1901. One Hundred Years on Dartmoor.
SDV259946Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1970. Wheal Betsy Pumping House. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Unbound.
SDV259950Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1993. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Unknown.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume.
SDV323594Monograph: Collins, J. H.. 1912. Observations on the West of England Mining Region. Observations on the West of England Mining Region. Unknown.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown.
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.
SDV340907Article in Serial: Nance, R. W. + Nance, R. D.. 1996. Wheal Druid and the Engine Houses of Dartmoor. Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group Newsletter. 10. A4 Stapled. 4-6.
SDV344159Report - non-specific: Cranstone, D.. 1991. HBMC Assessment of the Lead Industry. Manuscript.
SDV345749Monograph: Booker, F.. 1971. The Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. Hardback Volume. 129-130.
SDV60737Article in Serial: Ramsden, J. V.. 1952. Notes on the Mines of Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 90.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1973. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 25.

Associated Monuments

MDV43165Parent of: Boiler House, Wheal Betsy (Monument)
MDV43165Related to: Boiler House, Wheal Betsy (Monument)
MDV3185Part of: Wheal Betsy Mine (Monument)
MDV43167Related to: Balance bobs, Wheal Betsy (Monument)
MDV43165Parent of: Boiler House, Wheal Betsy (Monument)
MDV43165Related to: Boiler House, Wheal Betsy (Monument)
MDV43168Related to: Job's Shaft, Wheal Betsy (Monument)
MDV43166Related to: Machinery at Wheal Betsy (Monument)
MDV43164Related to: Wheel pit, Wheal Betsy (Monument)
MDV43169Related to: Wheel Pit, Wheal Betsy Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Mar 14 2014 10:14AM