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HER Number:MDV4735
Name:Bachelors Hall Tin Mine


Remains of a post medieval, possibly 18th century tin mine. An archaeological field survey in 1989 identified a number of features including leats, a wheel pit, dressing floors and stamping mills. Mine buildings including the site of a possible smelting house documented in 1797 were also recorded.


Grid Reference:SX 599 735
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork and walling remains of the late 18th century Bachelor's Hall Tin Mine, Princetown, including remains of a stamping mill and smelting house, leats, stamping floor and a dam
  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains of a section of the late 18th century Devonport Leat running from Nun's Cross to Princetown including extensive tinning remains at Whiteworks Tin Mine

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57SE139
  • National Monuments Record: SX67SW269
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 620481
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 916057
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/117
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/33

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TIN MINE (XVIII - 1701 AD (Between) to 1799 AD (Between))
  • ADIT (XVIII to XIX - 1795 AD (Between) to 1862 AD (Between))
  • DRESSING FLOOR (XVIII to XIX - 1795 AD (Between) to 1862 AD (Between))
  • RESERVOIR (XVIII to XIX - 1795 AD (Between) to 1862 AD (Between))
  • WHEEL PIT (XVIII to XIX - 1795 AD (Between) to 1862 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV235882.

Des=mining journal/(1846), (1860-1864).

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Bachelor's Hall depicted on the early 20th century historic map with some of the mine features indicated, but not labelled.

Brooking-Rowe, J., 1905, Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt and Princetown, 472 (Article in Serial). SDV237567.

Corn for the prison was ground at Bachelor's Hall. Remains of wheel-pits can still be seen.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149, 4432 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.

Ramsden, J. V., 1952, Notes on the Mines of Devonshire, 89 fig.1 (Article in Serial). SDV60737.

Batchelor's Hall, tin-mine. Plan R288 B. M. R. O.

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 203 (Monograph). SDV149229.

Bachelors Hall Mine was at SX 599736, but little is left to see. Small quantities of tin were worked in the early part of the 19th century.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1980, Batchelors Hall Mine: historical notes & preliminary identification of field remains (Un-published). SDV217719.

(October 1980) (SX 602 736) A smelting house and adit may be identified here (see also SX57SE/117). The first lease for work here was granted in 1795, and work seems to have ended in the 1870s.
(SX 598 734) In this area several shafts, an adit, two dressing floors and a possible whim plat and engine shaft may be seen (see also SX67SW/33).

Dartmoor National Park Authority, 1982, Tor Royal Farm (Plan - measured). SDV265836.

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

Workings visible between SX 60157370 and SX 60187348.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

Relics of the old mine are scant but include the leat from Blacka Brook which flowed over its final stretch to the launder beside a newtake wall, the bank of the hedge forming its right bank; the launder over-shot the wheel, and beside the pit are the stamping-floors and some blocks of worked masonry. North of the farm sheds of Bachelors Hall and middle adit are the remains of a building which could well have been the smelting-house erected by Mr Gray. On the opposite side of the stream is a solidly built embankment high enough to have conducted water via an aqueduct into or beside the house. A leat is easily traced from the embankment to the ford on the stream below the farm sheds. Still further down-stream is the site of the stamping-mill with a wheel-pit and levelled area for the stamps. The leat to it runs beside the wall on the bank above and can be followed as far as Ockery (sic). (citing Hemery, Robins, 1983 and 1805-18 Freehold Map).
(Visited 24/04/1989) SX 60137372. The ruins of a substantial building lie along, and are set into, a fairly steep east slope ("A" on plan). It measures 20.5m by 7.8m, the crumbling coursed mortared walling composed of boulders and stones is 1.1m wide and now up to 2.1m high. The interior, sub-divided into three rooms, and covered by debris is very overgrown.
A strong dam ("B") which crosses the shallow stream-valley extends from the SE corner of the building. It is 21.0m long with a 1.9m high, 1.8m thick coursed wall on the lower side and an earthen bank 3.8m to 5.0m wide on the upper side. It is breached and the effaced section, adjacent to the building, may have once contained a sluice or even a waterwheel.
The origin and function of the building is not discernible from the visible evidence however coupled with the dam it clearly had an industrial use. Whether it was a smelting house or as discussed elsewhere (Monument HOB UID 909817) a corn mill, later converted to a naphtha works is debateable. The dam is not, as recorded, an embankment for an aqueduct and the leat is in fact a by-pass channel which takes water from the stream near Bachelors Hall, skirts the east side of the dam and empties into the Blackbrook beyond the coursed field wall.
One of the recorded stamping mills lies upstream at SX 60167345 (Monument HOB UID 620463); and the documentary evidence suggests that the site of a second stamping mill occupied the level stances at SX 60147375 (Follow the Leat, 1983), downstream from the building. Two stances cut into the steep east slope and separated by an eroded gulley are 13.0m by 4.2m and 11.0m by 5.8m respectively; the uphill sides are crudely edged by large boulders and notably there are a number of large rectangular dressed granite blocks "lying about". The eroded gulley might be the site of a wheel-pit however there is no trace of masonry nor leats either entering or leaving the area. The alleged leat to the west along the hedge/wall is almost certainly an erosion gully extending from a hedging ditch; the leat (Monument HOB UID 620435) which is alleged to feed this channel can clearly be traced continuing beyond the hedge line into the inbye.
The footings of a possible store or barn lie across the stream at SX 60177375 (1805-18 map). It is 11.0m by 5.1m and the walling of boulders, stones and upright slabs is now 0.6m wide and 0.6m high; the east side is overlain by a 1.2m high enclosure wall. (See illustration card for the plan of the site).
(15/10/1990) Bachelor's Hall Mine. (Centred at SX 5978 7345) - A tin mine opened in 1795, originally as an opencast working, and closed in 1862. Though now thoroughly stripped of most of its stonework an associated fittings the majority of its main features are clearly evident as well-defined turf-covered earthworks or scarps. These features comprise:
1. A series of small tin pits, possibly contemporary with the early opencast working of the area.
2. Three shafts, 'Footway', 'Engine' and 'Ann's' shafts, running NNE-SSW along the main tin lode. All three are now collapsed and capped.
3. A whim, attached to 'Engine Shaft', about 11m in diameter within a bank 3.5m wide, 0.6m high with entrance in the WSW.
4. Shallow Adit, one of three adits known to have been associated with the mine.
5. Two dressing floors with associated earthen platforms for buddles.
6. Two wheelpits associated with stamps and dressing floors.
7. The main wheelpit.
8. A pump rod gulley from the main waterwheel up to 'Engine Shaft'.
9. The Prison, or Foul Leat. Initially called the Bachelor's Hall Leat and only extending as far as the mine it was once the only source of water. After being taken over for use by the Prison, mainly for sewage disposal, it was extended southwards and discontinued from mine use; it is now defunct.
10. Blackbrook Leat. Its construction probably necessitated by the original leat being used for the Prison. Now also defunct.
11. Small reservoirs associated with the treatment areas of the mine.
12. Areas of Ridge and Furrow cultivation, possibly contemporary with the mine.
13. The Devonport, or Dock, Leat skirting the east side of the mine.
Surveyed at 1:500. 15:10:90.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1990, An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking, 29 (Report - Assessment). SDV343684.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1997, Dartmoor Mines in 1799, 7-8 (Article in Serial). SDV262863.

'Bachelors Hall Mine' was one of 11 mines working on Dartmoor in 1799. It was owned by Gray & Company and had been discovered in 1795 when digging the 'dock leat' (i.e.: the Devonport Leat).

Greeves, T. A. P., 1997, Tin Stamping Mills of Dartmoor after AD 1750, 6-8 (Article in Serial). SDV346020.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

English Heritage, 2005, Survey Information (miscellaneous date) (Report - Survey). SDV345855.

Site of Bachelor's Hall Tin Mine. Stamping mill and smelting house built in 1797. Remains of leats, stamping floor, possible smelting house and a dam were recorded in 1989.
Map object based on this source.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Remains of the mine in the form of earthworks are depicted on the modern mapping.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Some of the buildings associated with the mine are depicted, including those that are now in use as a YMCA outdoor centre. Map object based on this source.

Historic England, 2021-2022, NRHE to HER website, Accessed 15/10/2021 (Website). SDV364039.

NRHE record cites Bachelor's Hall Mine/ink survey [object number: 1066377]; no further information supplied.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 203.
SDV217719Un-published: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1980. Batchelors Hall Mine: historical notes & preliminary identification of field remains. Note to HER. Digital.
SDV235882Migrated Record:
SDV237567Article in Serial: Brooking-Rowe, J.. 1905. Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt and Princetown. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 37. Digital. 472.
SDV262863Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1997. Dartmoor Mines in 1799. Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group Newsletter. Unknown. 7-8.
SDV265836Plan - measured: Dartmoor National Park Authority. 1982. Tor Royal Farm. 6 inch. Unknown.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4432.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound.
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.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV343684Report - Assessment: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1990. An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking. Digital. 29.
SDV345855Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Survey Information (miscellaneous date). English Heritage. Digital.
SDV346020Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1997. Tin Stamping Mills of Dartmoor after AD 1750. Dartmoor Magazine. 49. Paperback Volume. 6-8.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #92907 ]
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown.
SDV364039Website: Historic England. 2021-2022. NRHE to HER website. https://nrhe-to-her.esdm.co.uk/NRHE. Website. Accessed 15/10/2021.
SDV60737Article in Serial: Ramsden, J. V.. 1952. Notes on the Mines of Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 89 fig.1.

Associated Monuments

MDV54470Parent of: Adit, Bachelors Hall Mine (Monument)
MDV54420Parent of: Corn Mill at Bachelors Hall Mine (Monument)
MDV25982Parent of: Leat to Bachelors Hall Mine (Monument)
MDV131690Parent of: Leat to Bachelors Hall Mine, Princetown (Monument)
MDV63089Parent of: Site of a smelting house, Bachelors Hall Mine (Monument)
MDV12972Parent of: STAMPING MILL in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV54473Parent of: Stamping mill, Bachelors Hall Mine (Monument)
MDV113177Related to: Bachelor's Hall, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV18410Related to: Foul water prison Leat, Princetown (Monument)
MDV54472Related to: Streamworks on tributary of the Blackbrook River (Monument)
MDV19902Related to: The Devonport Leat, Dartmoor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8628 - Tor Royal Farm Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8659 - Bachelor's Hall, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8664 - Torgate House, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Oct 18 2021 12:15PM