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HER Number:MDV43325
Name:Brunton Calciners, Gawton Mine


The remains of four Brunton calciners at Gawton mine are terraced into the hillside by the access way to the quay. Built in 1897; a rare survival.


Grid Reference:SX 451 688
Map Sheet:SX46NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46NE/527/3
  • Old SAM County Ref: 1024

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CALCINER (Built, XIX to XX - 1897 AD to 1987 AD (Between))

Full description

Timms, S., 1985, An Archaeological Assessment of the Remains of the Quay, Mine and Arsenic Works at Gawton, Tavistock Hamlets, 8.2, appendix (Report - Assessment). SDV352213.

8.2 - Calciners noted on sources dated 1906, 1953, 1984. Fair to poor condition. Remains of three Brunton calciners built in 1897. Rare survival.

Dixon, T. + Matthews, A. + Pye A. R. + Slater, W. D., 1988, Gawton Mine and Arsenic Works. The Field Survey. 1988, 25-27 (Report - Survey). SDV222516.

Four Brunton calciners (a-d) are terraced into the hillside by the access way to the quay.

(a) largely ruinous, with only small fragments of the south and north walls surviving. Partially blocked opening in south wall equivalent to that in south wall of (b), and door/opening in west wall facing that in east wall of (b). Holes through lower part of walls probably held frames supporting machinery. Brick arched stokehole in centre of north wall. Inside, a fragment of the brick lining of the calciner table setting survives. On the east side a low shillet wall forms a platform or small structure.

(b) north and south walls partly survive with a fragment of east wall. Otherwise a mirror image of (a). Apparent doorway at north end of east wall. Stokehole in north wall. Small, partly blocked opening in east end of south wall may represent exhaust for fumes. At some point the gap between (b) and (c) has been blocked on its south side by a high shillet wall.

(c) apart from west wall and fragment of south wall this has almost completely collapsed. Opening or small doorway survives high up in west wall. Small trace of wht may be calciner table setting. Top of stokehole visible in centre of side of north wall.

(d) interior filled with the setting for a Brunton calciner. Most walls survive, though in fairly poor condition, and partly demolished. Roofline appears to be orientated east-west since east gable survives to full height, with doorway at its north end. Probable entrance at east end of south wall, but this is obscured by rubble. Several openings in north, south and east walls level with top of calciner setting. Any equivalent holes in west wall obscured by rubble. Stokehole in north wall.

Between (c) and (d) is a small gap which may correspond with a possible culvert indicated by presence of a tunnel through trackway to north. Flues belonging to (a) and (b), and (c) and (d) feed into the 1895 flue. Of these, that belonging to (a) is the best preserved, though rapidly deteriorating. An iron plate survives on inner edge of flue (b). Other details: Fig 17, Plates 15-16. Survey- Spring/summer 1988.

Weddell, P. J. + Pye, A. R., 1989, Gawton Mine and Arsenic Works: The Documentary Research 1988 (Report - non-specific). SDV263249.

Buck, C., 2003, Gawton Mine, Devon, 8 (Report - Survey). SDV222530.

The best preserved Brunton calciner at Cawton mine was filled with rubble in 2003 and the walls were partially ruinous. Brick quoins in the south west corner had been removed causing instability. Exterior consolidation was recommended. Other details: Figs 5, 8.

Buck, C., 2006, Gawton Mine, Devon: Archaeological Assessment, 46-7 (Report - Assessment). SDV344672.

Four new Brunton Calciners had been erected by 1897, to replace the 1895 Oxland Calciner. The buildings are in relatively poor condition. The remains mainly consist of parts of the four corners of each calciner building, with rubble filled interiors. The crumbling remains of the interconnecting arsenic flues upslope of the calciners can be seen going towards the main arsenic flue. Other details: Figure 36, site 43.

Buck, C., 2006, Gawton Mine, Devon: Impact Assessment Report, 24-25 (Report - Assessment). SDV348353.

Survival of the calciners is poor, the most extant being the southernmost, however the brick masonry quoins running up the corner return are missing and the building is suffering as a result. Also, a lintelled opening recorded in 2003 has now disappeared, the lintel and part of the wall now lying on the ground. In order for the building to remain intact, parts of the front elevation of the building will need to be repointed and the brick quoins replaced with a similar brick. Some of the bricks forming the quoin stones on the north side of the building are loose and will need to be re-mortared, otherwise the front wall will collapse. The building is also contaminated with arsenic, and the intention is to de-contaminate, it before conserving it in order to ensure its structural stability. Other details: Figure 4, site 43; photograph figure 14.

Ordnance Survey, 2019, MasterMap 2019 (Cartographic). SDV362729.

Depicted on the modern maps.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV222516Report - Survey: Dixon, T. + Matthews, A. + Pye A. R. + Slater, W. D.. 1988. Gawton Mine and Arsenic Works. The Field Survey. 1988. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 89.02. A4 Stapled + Digital. 25-27.
SDV222530Report - Survey: Buck, C.. 2003. Gawton Mine, Devon. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. 2003R086. A4 Stapled + Digital. 8.
SDV263249Report - non-specific: Weddell, P. J. + Pye, A. R.. 1989. Gawton Mine and Arsenic Works: The Documentary Research 1988. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 89.01. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV344672Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2006. Gawton Mine, Devon: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall County Council Report. 2006R023. A4 Stapled + Digital. 46-7.
SDV348353Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2006. Gawton Mine, Devon: Impact Assessment Report. Cornwall County Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 24-25.
SDV352213Report - Assessment: Timms, S.. 1985. An Archaeological Assessment of the Remains of the Quay, Mine and Arsenic Works at Gawton, Tavistock Hamlets. Devon County Council. A4 Stapled + Digital. 8.2, appendix.
SDV362729Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2019. MasterMap 2019. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #119601 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV5490Part of: Gawton Mine, West Devon (Monument)
MDV43340Related to: Engine house and shaft complex at Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV43336Related to: Small building at east end of Limekilns at Gawton Mine (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3171 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV4746 - Archaeological Assessment of Gawton Mine, Devon
  • EDV4747 - Field Survey of Gawton Mine

Date Last Edited:Aug 29 2019 10:26AM