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HER Number:MDV43338
Name:Tavistock Hamlets, Gawton Mine, Mine Captain's House


Remains of Mine Captain's House at Gawton Mine.


Grid Reference:SX 450 688
Map Sheet:SX46NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46NE/527/16
  • Old SAM County Ref: 1024

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FOREMANS HOUSE (Built, XVIII to XIX - 1770 AD? to 1842 AD (Between))

Full description

Timms, S., 1985, An Archaeological Assessment of the Remains of the Quay, Mine and Arsenic Works at Gawton, Tavistock Hamlets, 4.1, appendix (Report - Assessment). SDV352213.

4.1 - Houses. Noted on sources dating to 1842, 1895 ('housing'), 1906, 1953, 1984. Fair condition. L-shaped range of at least two phases. Tall, three-storey range (east-west) of two dwellings with two-storey range of two dwellings running north-south at west end. Attached outbuilding/store to rear of east-west range.

Dixon, T. + Matthews, A. + Pye A. R. + Slater, W. D., 1988, Gawton Mine and Arsenic Works. The Field Survey. 1988, 17-21 (Report - Survey). SDV222516.

Mine Captain's House. Three main structural phases, all present by 1875. Thought to have formed the focus of a complex of buildings behind the quay and east of engine shaft. West range (units c-e) probably rebuilt at some time after 1842 - possibly in 1853 when a suite of new buildings was nearing completion, including offices, material house, smithy and carpenter's shop. House divided into two major living areas.

Phase 1: (units a and b) rectangular range, aligned east-west, subdivided into two cottages. Both are on three floors. Common, central stack.
(a): doorway at east end of north wall. One window on each floor to north. Wide fireplace on ground floor, narrow one on first floor. Remains of plaster facing on ground and first floors. Traces of stairway on inside east wall.
(b): almost exact mirror of (a). Stairway on inside west wall. When later phase iii added to west side a doorway was inserted at ground floor underneath stairway. Rectangular ground floor fireplace.

Phase 2: (Unit 6) Long rectangular two-storey building built against south wall of cottages (a) and (b). Walls survive to full height and roof line continuous with that of (a) and (b). Ground floor doorway at east end and doorway and window at west end. First floor windows through centre of east and west walls. Doorway through south wall accessed by slate steps. May have possessed a loft. No fireplaces - perhaps a store or office.

Phase 3: (Units c-e) small range of buildings aligned north-south along west side of (b), apparently all of one build apart from wall dividing (c) and (d) at ground floor. Walls seem to survive to full height with gables at north end. Units (c) and (d) originally one unit at ground floor and they remain so at first floor. Ground floor of (c) has large wide door or gateway in west wall and smaller doorway through east wall into (b). Plaster survives on inside of south wall.
Unit (d) ground floor has doorway into (e) which appears original, and small window in west wall. Small semi-circouth wall of (c) at this level accessed by slate steps. Series of bread ovens inserted in south west corner. Doorway into (e) appears secondary. Roof was perhaps flat. No fireplaces.
Unit (e) two storeys with stack in outh wall and fireplace on both levels. All walls survive to full height. Ground floor has doorway and window to east and possible remains of porch. Doorway into (d) through south wall. Remains of wall cupboards in alcove east of fireplace. First floor has window to east. Doorway into (d) west of stack. Both floors plastered. Evidence of stairway inside north wall.
Phase 3 range seems to consist of domestic accomodation on ground and first floor levels at north end with with perhaps subsidiary store rooms and domestic catering facilities at south end. Wall of garden to north survives, as do remains of hedges.
Unit (h): low range of shillet sheds at bottom of garden. Walls and gables survive to full height. Single storey. Three units, each with doorway to south. Small fragment of roof survives. Doorway of east unit blocked with concrete blocks at some point, and opening inserted in north wall. First appears on 1892 map. Other details: Fig 15, pls 11-12. 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, 10-11 (Report - Survey). SDV222530.

The east and west walls of the Mine Captain's House at Gawton Mine were collapsing in 2003 due to rotten timbers. Management recommendations included repair to damaged walls and replacing the timber. Other details: Fig 5.

Buck, C., 2006, Gawton Mine, Devon: Archaeological Assessment, 54-55 (Report - Assessment). SDV344672.

Both the buildings are largely extant, with open doorways, windows, walls and fireplaces. The buildings are built of killas stone with outer face stone arched lintels and inner timber lintels. The timber lintels have rotted causing localised collapse of the masonry above. The later south facing pair of symmetrical buildings are three storeys high, whilst the earlier is two storeys high.
All of the stone arched window lintels on the northern elevation of the eastern three storied building have collapsed due to rotten interior timber lintels, leaving the outer stone arched lintel to support the entire wall. The outer stone arched window lintels on the northern elevation of the western three storied building are extant, but in a very precarious state, as these interior timber lintels have also rotted. The earlier building has 6 metres high masonry walls, but the east and west walls are collapsing inwards as horizontal timber components have rotted causing the wall to drop and come away from its corner returns. The doorway interior timber lintel has rotted and the inner wall face which had previously been supported is beginning to collapse.
The small range of single storey killas stone buildings at the bottom of the garden are in a relatively stable condition. All the main walls survive to their original height with many intact gable ends and doorway openings. Other details: Figures 3, 7, 33, 36, site 57.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

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. 17-21.
SDV222530Report - Survey: Buck, C.. 2003. Gawton Mine, Devon. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. 2003R086. A4 Stapled + Digital. 10-11.
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. 54-55.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #91692 ]
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. 4.1, appendix.

Associated Monuments

MDV5490Part of: Gawton Mine, West Devon (Monument)
MDV126386Related to: Embankment, Gawton Mine (Monument)
MDV43337Related to: INDUSTRIAL BUILDING in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV126384Related to: Industrial building, Gawton Mine (Building)
MDV126385Related to: Industrial building, Gawton Mine (Building)
MDV126371Related to: Small store building, Gawton Mine (Building)
MDV43339Related to: Smithy, Gawton Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3184 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV4746 - Archaeological Assessment of Gawton Mine, Devon
  • EDV4747 - Field Survey of Gawton Mine

Date Last Edited:Aug 29 2019 10:11AM