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HER Number:MDV4652
Name:Torwood Mine, Sourton


Remains of a very small lead mine are located beside the Deep Valley Brook, a tributary of the Crandford Brook, and adjacent to Tor Wood, 300m east-north-east of Lake viaduct.


Grid Reference:SX 536 890
Map Sheet:SX58NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSourton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSOURTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX58NW58
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1468854
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX58NW/15

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LEAD MINE (Post Medieval to Early 20th Century - 1540 AD to 1901 AD? (Between))

Full description

Ramsden, J. V., 1952, Notes on the Mines of Devonshire, 100, fig.1 (Article in Serial). SDV60737.

Torwood, t4. Tin

Dines, H. G., 1956, The Metalliferous Mining Region of South West England (Monograph). SDV62852.

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 221 (Monograph). SDV149229.

There are remains of an old shaft east of Lake viaduct; a small copper mine, its date is unknown.

Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K., 1981, Mines of Devon: North and East of Dartmoor (Monograph). SDV364319.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1985, Steeperton Tor Tin Mine, Dartmoor, 119 (Article in Serial). SDV310154.

Historic England, 2021-2022, NRHE to HER website, Accessed 10/05/2021 (Website). SDV364039.

(30/11/2007) Remains of this very small mine are located beside the Deep Valley Brook, a tributary of the Crandford Brook, and adjacent to Tor Wood at SX 5365 8908, 300m east-north-east of Lake viaduct.
Torwood Mine has been noted by both Dines (1956) and Hamilton Jenkin (1981) as having worked in the 1820s when a 70-fathom adit was driven along a lead lode of 2ft wide. Also that the mine was for sale in 1828 where a 30ft by 4ft water wheel, pumps, pitwork, a horse whim, capstan and other materials were on offer. Further documentary evidence is yet to come to light regarding this particular location, although some documentation associates this mine with Wheal Fanny over 1km to the south west which operated also in the 1850s (citing Justin Brook Index. Westcountry Studies Library). The mine is also one of 38 mines marked on Woods Map of Dartmoor (1850), though this does not confirm that it was working at that date. Some elements of the mine are depicted on the 1885 OS 1:2500 map, including spoil heaps, two ruined buildings and an elongated structure at SX 5353 8903, which may have been a wheelpit.
The remains survive on both sides of the brook, in an area previously worked by tin streamers. The main surviving components are the spoil heaps, of which there are two, one either side of the brook. On the south side of the brook the stony heap extends from east to west and the dumped material emanates from a blocked shaft. The shafts is now filled to the brim with a wet ochreous liquid and surrounded by boggy ground.
A larger linear spoil heap is sited on the north side of the stream and is approximately 20m long by 5m high. The source of this material is not certain but it is possible that an adit was driven north into the hillside just east of the spoil, where a spring emerges from a cutting which runs up the slope within Tor Wood. This area is currently inaccessible but it is possible that other evidence may survive within the wood.
Of the two buildings depicted on the OS map, that on the north bank survives only as a silted terrace with a fragment of stone wall on the eastern end. The building on the south bank (SX 5371 8907) survives as a rectangular earthwork terrace, with a slight 0.6m high revetment on the east side. Some stone survives amid the turf, probably part of the foundations, but this is likely to have been a mainly timber building of which nothing else remains. The terrace measures approximately 7m by 6m.
A rectangular feature marked on the 1885 OS map on the south side of the stream at SX 5353 8903 is suggestive of a wheelpit. Only fragments of the structure survive, built onto the stream bed where traces of walling remain in place. It is not possible to make out its original form because much of it has been washed away, probably by storm water over time. It may have once measured 7m by 1m wide. Despite the unconvincing remains there is no reason why this should not be a wheelpit. It is well positioned to take advantage in the fall of the stream via a very short leat and to power flatrods to the shaft. However, in the condition that it survives it is a little small to have contained the 30ft (9.1m) by 4ft (1.2m) waterwheel recorded in 1828, though this may be because the structure is incomplete.
The headweirs of two disused leats, now dry and silted, are located at the vicinity of the mine, though neither are associated with it. The lower leat, directed water across the streamworks then around the contour of the hillside to a quarry on the south-west side of Lake Down. The upper leat follows a roughly parallel course, though its purpose has not been investigated. Both survive as shallow earthwork channels of up to 1m wide with linear banks of spoil on the downslope side (citing Newman, P., 30-NOV-2007, EH Archaeological Field Investigation).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 221.
SDV310154Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1985. Steeperton Tor Tin Mine, Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 117. 119.
SDV364039Website: Historic England. 2021-2022. NRHE to HER website. https://nrhe-to-her.esdm.co.uk/NRHE. Website. Accessed 10/05/2021. [Mapped feature: #130255 ]
SDV364319Monograph: Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K.. 1981. Mines of Devon: North and East of Dartmoor. Mines of Devon.. Unknown.
SDV60737Article in Serial: Ramsden, J. V.. 1952. Notes on the Mines of Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 100, fig.1.
SDV62852Monograph: Dines, H. G.. 1956. The Metalliferous Mining Region of South West England. The metalliferous mining region of South West England. Vol 2. Unknown.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 10 2021 12:13PM