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HER Number:MDV4207
Name:Blowing mill 350 metres north-east of Merrivale Bridge

Summary

A blowing house in remarkably good condition, measuring 11.5m by 5.3m internally. Large blocks are used for the drystone walls which are 1.0m thick and generally 1.0m high though on the east side, where the building is cut back into the hillside, it is 2.3m high. The wheelpit is not now visible but the remains of the furnace, the mould stone and the float are as depicted on Worth's plan. The leat, from the north is not very distinct. There is considerable evidence of tin streaming along the water courses which empty into the Walkham River from the east particularly and the blowing house is probably associated with these workings.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 552 753
Map Sheet:SX57NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57NE25
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NE/8
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NE/8/1
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NE/8/2
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NE/8/3
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NE/8/4
  • Old SAM County Ref: 788
  • Old SAM Ref: 22379
  • Pastscape: 439644

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FURNACE (Constructed, Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD? (Between))
  • TIN MILL (Built, Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Kelly, T., 1866, Celtic remains on Dartmoor, 46 (Article in Serial). SDV154696.

Burnard, R., 1888 - 1889, On the Track of the 'Old Men', Dartmoor, 236 (Article in Serial). SDV154694.

Burnard, R., 1890, The Antiquity of Mining on Dartmoor, 102-3 (Article in Serial). SDV152712.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, (1912 version ) 93-94 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Worth, R. H., 1931, Blowing Houses in the Valley of the Walkham, 361-4, fig.1-2, pl.20-21, fig.3-4a (Article in Serial). SDV255152.

Worth, R. H., 1931, Blowing Houses in the Valley of the Walkham, 361-4, fig.1-2, pl.20-21,fig.3-4a (Article in Serial). SDV255152.

Worth, R. H., 1940, The Dartmoor Blowing House, 235, 277-8 (Article in Serial). SDV154693.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX57NE25 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV255233.

Blowing house (remains of)' marked on Ordnance Survey 6 inch (1906) map.
(21/08/1950) East side of the house built into hillside. No obvious trace of wheel pit and no mortar stones found. In western interior are two mould stones, one of which is partly buried and it is impossible to be certain of the length of the mould. Remains of internal walling in north-west corner of building, but this may be later and not contemporary with the rest of the structure. Measures 5.5m x 11.5m, width of walls 1.0m.

Ancient Monuments, 1970, Details of Scheduled site (Schedule Document). SDV255206.

(14/04/1970) Blowing house. Drystone wall structure walls well preserved to a maximum height of five courses. Entrance on west side. Rectangular mould just inside entrance. Rectangular drystone structure (hearth?) to north of entrance. Wheel pit probably within house at one end. Leat traceable (plan referred to). A mould stone lies close to the furnace and hard by the door. There is a notch in the upper marin at one end, but not centrally placed, would hold 115 kilograms of tin. Measurements given.
Furnace is still preserved, sides still standing to height of 1.37m. The worked float still forms the bottom of the furnace but slightly displaced as to the level. No mortar stones found. Length 0.6m, width 0.4m.
A sample mould also noted, would hold about 1.02 kilograms of tin.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979, SX57NE25, plan/photo. (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV255234.

(13/11/1979) A blowing house in remarkably good condition, measuring 11.5m by 5.3m internally. Large blocks are used for the drystone walls which are 1.0m thick and generally 1.0m high though on the east side, where the building is cut back into the hillside, it is 2.3m high. The wheelpit is not now visible but the remains of the furnace, the mould stone and the float are as depicted on Worth's plan. The leat, from the north is not very distinct.
There is considerable evidence of tin streaming along the water courses which empty into the Walkham River from the east particularly at SX 554759 and SX 560755 and the blowing house is probably associated with these workings. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750, No.55 (Report - non-specific). SDV319826.

Blowing mill (undocumented) field evidence.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 1043 (Monograph). SDV249702.

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

Not visible on 1940s vertical aerial photographs.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1987, List of donations to the Plymouth Museum (Un-published). SDV243606.

(22/07/1975) Stone, possibly slagged, from lower blowing mill, left bank, above Merrivale Bridge. Of killas, found in interior of structure.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 152430 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

(1999) Blowing mill 390m north-east of Merrivale Bridge.

Greeves, T. A. P. + Newman, P., 1994, Tin working and land use in the Walkham Valley, 211 (Article in Serial). SDV255251.

Newman, P., 1995, Field Survey in the Walkham Valley, 4-5 (Article in Serial). SDV275799.

Lower Merrivale tin mill was surveyed at 1:100 by Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group members in 1995.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV152712Article in Serial: Burnard, R.. 1890. The Antiquity of Mining on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Plymouth Institution and Devon and Cornwall Natural History Society. 11. 102-3.
SDV154693Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1940. The Dartmoor Blowing House. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. 235, 277-8.
SDV154694Article in Serial: Burnard, R.. 1888 - 1889. On the Track of the 'Old Men', Dartmoor. Transactions of the Plymouth Institute. 10. 236.
SDV154696Article in Serial: Kelly, T.. 1866. Celtic remains on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 1. 46.
SDV243606Un-published: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1987. List of donations to the Plymouth Museum. Unknown.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 1043.
SDV255152Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1931. Blowing Houses in the Valley of the Walkham. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 63. Paperback Volume. 361-4, fig.1-2, pl.20-21, fig.3-4a.
SDV255206Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1970. Details of Scheduled site. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV255233Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX57NE25. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV255234Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SX57NE25. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown. plan/photo..
SDV255251Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P. + Newman, P.. 1994. Tin working and land use in the Walkham Valley. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Exploration Society. 52. Unknown. 211.
SDV275799Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1995. Field Survey in the Walkham Valley. Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group Newsletter. 9. Unknown. 4-5.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 152430.
SDV319826Report - non-specific: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1981. List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750. List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750. 35. Unknown. No.55.
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.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. (1912 version ) 93-94.

Associated Monuments

MDV61971Related to: Vermin trap near Blowing Mill north-east of Merrivale Bridge (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV3169 - MOULDSTONE (XIV to XVII - 1400 AD to 1699 AD?)

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Aug 17 2020 4:04PM