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HER Number:MDV43330
Name:Engine House Complex, Gawton Mine


Engine house complex at Gawton mine constructed 1894-5. Comprises engine house, crushing houses, jigger house and reservoir.


Grid Reference:SX 452 688
Map Sheet:SX46NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46NE/527/8
  • Old SAM County Ref: 1024

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENGINE HOUSE (XVIII to XXI - 1751 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Dixon, T. + Matthews, A. + Pye A. R. + Slater, W. D., 1988, Gawton Mine and Arsenic Works. The Field Survey. 1988, 35-41 (Report - Survey). SDV222516.

Engine house complex constructed 1894-5. Comprises engine house for 22" cylinder engine (with boiler house), two crushing houses either side and a jigger house to the front. Behind the complex was a reservoir which powered the dressing machinery.

Engine house: two storeys, surviving to full height. Gable end on east wall. Beam of beam engine protruded out of west face at second floor level, and balance box situated underneath west wall. Lower ground floor contains setting for balance box and shillet lined area which held engine condensers. Wooden balance box is fairly complete, though flimsy and rubble filled. At ground level main access is by brick arched doorway through west wall. Opening to boiler house to north. Other openings in north and west walls presumably relate to machinery. Bolt holes in centre of building at this level probably held main piston. First floor (evidenced by joist holes in east wall) probably extended only half the length of the building. Second floor occupied full length, level with beam of beam engine. Window in east wall.

Northern crusher: immediately south of engine house. Survives to full height. West wall gabled. Two storeys. Ground floor doorway in south wall presumably relates to machinery. Openings in east wall contain machinery fittings left in-situ. First floor loading bay to east and window to west. Small building abutting east wall of crusher and southwall of engine house. Machine fittings survive. Access from west, between crusher and engine house. Possible loading bay to east at first floor level.
Southern crusher: immediately north of engine house. Two storeys with gable ends surviving on west and (partially) east walls. Held a Cornish rolls crusher. North, east and west walls thicker up to first floor level than above. This appears mainly to be original, but partly covers an earlier doorway in west wall. eMain entrance from west. Window to north and a number of openings through east and west walls, probably related to machinery. Above first floor level are windows in north and west walls, loading bay in south wall and small doorway high in east wall. Roofline of boiler house visible, suggesting these two were built as one.

Boiler house: immediately east of south crusher and north of engine-house. Complete stack survives at east end. Appears of one build with engine-house and crusher. Single storey with sloping roof at west end and gable at east. Main access through north wall at west end. Small openings in north and south walls. Internal plan is of two parallel flues running through east wall to merge into one flue running into stack. Remains of secondary brick features at east end.

Count house: a secondary development south east of boiler house. Access from east through doorway later partly blocked. Ruinous - only north wall surviving to any height. To south of count house is a shillet-lined passage leading onto platform fronted by brick revetment. May be continuation of channel feeding water from reservoir, or holding-area for ore-trucks.

Reservoir: 10-20m east of count-house. Rectangular. Cement lined. Full of vegetation, trees and rubbish. Shillet lined and roofed tunnel leads from its south west corner, possibly towards engine and boiler houses.

Jigger house: long rectangular structure below and west of engine house. South and east walls terraced into rock. North wall of shillet. Open at west end. Just outside and to north west is a small wooden barrel set into mine waste - probably originally a kieve.

Buddles: Two buddles immediately west of jigger house. Circular with shillet walls. Easternmost in fair to good condition; western poor to fair.

Incline: runs from dumps adjoining 1895 engine house down towards refinery area. Wooden supporting posts visible at top and about a fifth of the way down. Lower portion of shute survives in part, though ruinous. Stone foundation to anchor its base is visible adjoining site of 1895 calciner (PRN43333). Other details: Fig 20-22, pls 25-32. Survery - Spring/Summer 1988.

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

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

Buck, C., 2003, Gawton Mine, Devon, 7-8 (Report - Survey). SDV222530.

The ore crusher engine house at Gawton mine was recommended for conservation in 2003 as the west wall and timber components were damaged. The west wall of the north ore crusher had recently collapsed in 2003. Other details: figs 5, 7.

Buck, C., 2006, Gawton Mine, Devon: Archaeological Assessment, 39-44 (Report - Assessment). SDV344672.

Other details: Figures 25-28, 36, sites 29-38.

Buck, C., 2006, Gawton Mine, Devon: Impact Assessment Report, 15-24 (Report - Assessment). SDV348353.

The Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project has proposed that a programme of building conservation and public safety works be undertaken to a number of sites within Gawton Quay and Mine. This includes several buildings in the engine house complex (see individual records for details). Other details: Figure 4, sites 32-38; figures 9-13.

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. 35-41.
SDV222530Report - Survey: Buck, C.. 2003. Gawton Mine, Devon. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. 2003R086. A4 Stapled + Digital. 7-8.
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.
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. 39-44.
SDV348353Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2006. Gawton Mine, Devon: Impact Assessment Report. Cornwall County Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 15-24.

Associated Monuments

MDV77746Parent of: Boiler House Chimney, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77747Parent of: Boiler House, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77738Parent of: Count House, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77748Parent of: Crusher Engine House, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77750Parent of: Crusher House, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77749Parent of: Grinder House, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77751Parent of: Jigger House, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77744Parent of: Ore Crusher, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77744Related to: Ore Crusher, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77737Parent of: Reservoir, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77753Parent of: Two Buddles West of Engine House, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV5490Part of: Gawton Mine, West Devon (Monument)
MDV69516Related to: Incline Tramway, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV43337Related to: INDUSTRIAL BUILDING in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV77744Parent of: Ore Crusher, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77744Related to: Ore Crusher, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV77795Related to: Tramway to Spoil Heap, Gawton Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3176 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV4746 - Archaeological Assessment of Gawton Mine, Devon
  • EDV4747 - Field Survey of Gawton Mine

Date Last Edited:Nov 11 2011 11:07AM