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HER Number:MDV5019
Name:Southern stamping mill at Black Tor Falls


This is the best preserved of the two buildings (the other on the opposite bank of the river), with walls up to 2.2m high and door lintel remaining in situ. A wheelpit lies adjacent to outer wall of east room. Leading from the lower end is a small underground channel which emerges on the other side of the wall.


Grid Reference:SX 574 716
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWalkhampton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/125
  • Old SAM County Ref: 1003
  • Old SAM Ref: 24106

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TIN MILL (Built, Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description


Vis=1/10/1996 (gerrard, s. ) at sx57487162. Southern stamping mill at black tor falls (mpp).

Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV326214.

Smc granted for consolidation of masonry (doe).

Greeves, T. A. P., Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV69961.

Stamping mill. No documentary date. Field evidence (greeves).

Falcon, T. A., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV139243.

Stamping mill at black tor falls, left bank. The ruins of a building.(across the stream there is another ruin). It has a recess in the wnw corner. Wall about 2.0m at the highest with a well preserved doorway to ssw. In the ene corner a small raised platform or stand juts out in quarter circle (falcon).

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

Vis=20/6/1977 (os) the remains of the blowing house on the left bank are substantial. Doorway remains intact in the south wall. Furnace, wheelpit and leat visible with one mortar stone. Internal dimensions 5.1m x 4.5m. Height of walls 1.3m - 2.0m (os).

WORTH,1940, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252649.

Black tor falls, left bank. The ruins of the blowing house are unusually well preserved; the main door with its lintel, and a portion of the wall above it are preserved. The lintel bears the inscription "xiii", in letters from 57-64mm high, obviously roman numerals. This may have some connection with the registration of the blowing houses. There is a second compartment built onto the house, and some of the stone used is unusually large and well dressed. It has been supposed to have contained a wheel-pit, but this is doubtful. The leat is still traceable. No mould or mortar stones have been found (worth,1940).

WORTH,1946, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252650.

On the left bank of the meavy, the stone bearing of the water-wheel was found lying on the top of the wall of the wheel-pit. It is of quartz schorl rock, of irregular outline. Plate (worth,1946).

AM, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV252652.

Vis=-/1/1977 (ancient monuments) several mortarstones lie in the building. Probably 17th century (probably refers to r bank mill) (am).

RCHM APP 1985, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252656.

Not visible on raf 1946 photos (rchm app 1985).

1906, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252658.

'blowing houses (remains of)' marked on os 6" (1906) map (os).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252663.

Falcon, t. A. /dcnq/2(1902-1903)226-227 pl.1/dartmoor mining.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252664.

Worth, r. H. /tda/65(1933)313-6 fig.17 pl.31 fig.18/blowing houses in the valleys of the sheepstor brook, the meavy, the erme and the avon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252665.

Worth, r. H. /tda/72(1940)225/the dartmoor blowing house.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252666.

Worth, r. H. /tda/78(1946)281-4 pl.30 fig.1-2/dartmoor blowing houses, a supplement.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252667.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252668.

Anon/daes newsletter/12(1965)6/dartmoor damage.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252669.

Des=greeves, t. /list of known devon tin mills c.1450-c.1750/(1981)no.8 (in smr).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252670.

Burnard, r. /tpi/9(1887)401/recent dredging in cattewater.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252671.

Burnard, r. /tpi/10(1888-1889)106-107/on the track of the "old men".

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252672.

Crossing, w. /western antiquary/10(1890-1891)179.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252673.

Crossing, w. /guide to dartmoor/(1912)101.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252674.

Woodhouse, h. B. S. /tda/33(1901)114-115.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252675.

Newman, p. /tda/119(1987)228/the moorland meavey - tinners' landscape/fig 2.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252676.

Doe/smc/letter/(4/9/1989) in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252677.

Des=os 6"(1906)106se.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252678.

Devon cttee rescur arch/5().

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252679.

Cba res rept/40()/medieval industry.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252681.

Des=greeves, t. /an assessment of dartmoor tin working/(1990)41/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV252682.

Des=bodman, m. /water-powered sites in devon/(1998)23,38/in smr.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset. (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

(01/10/1996) At SX 5748 7162. Southern stamping mill at Black Tor Falls.

Gerrard, S., 1997, Black Tor Falls Tin Mills, 7; fig 2 (Article in Serial). SDV360976.

(October 1996) Detailed plane-table survey of the two tin mills and adjacent streamwork earthworks.
This is the best preserved of the two buildings, with walls up to 2.2m high and door lintel remaining in situ.
Wheelpit lies adjacent to outer wall of east room. Leading from the lower end is a small underground channel which emerges on the other side of the wall.
Absence of mortar stones from left bank mill is probably significant and suggests a different developmental history to the right bank mill.
Building cuts into earlier streamworking. Two rooms, the eastern more recent. Western room is 2.5m by 4.6m internally, defined by a 1m wide substantial drystone wall up to 1.5m high. A 1.4m square recess in the south-west corner represents a fireplace. Another possible fireplace survives in north-east corner, although this one was added at a later date. Well-preserved doorway into western room is 1.35m high by 0.96m wide internally (1.58m externally). The eastern door jamb has a 0.09m high, 0.03m wide, 0.04m deep slot in its south-facing side on which a door would have been hung. The door would have opened outwards. To west of door and built into southern wall is a small cupboard, 0.66m wide at front, tapering to 0.4m at back, 0.22m high, 0.68m deep. In the centre of the room is a mortarstone with two hollows. This is known to have originally lain within the right bank mill, and so cannot be used to suggest a function for this building. Identification as a mill relies on a wheelpit, an associated underground tailrace and at least two axle bearing stones. However, the wheelpit is associated with the later, eastern room. This room is 4m by 3m and defined by a drystone wall together with some huge granite boulders. The relationship of the wheelpit to the mill building suggests that the stamping machinery would have been housed in the eastern room. The whole structure may be a tinners' shelter to which a stamping mill was later added, although a stone lined channel apparently leading under the west wall of the structure belongs more comfortably with a stamping mill than a tinners' shelter. The number XIII carved above the doorway has been seen as a form of registration of blowing mills.
On balance until further work reveals more information to the contrary it seems most likely that a small stamping mill was constructed upon an earlier streamwork. After some time a new room was added and the stamping machinery moved. A new wheelpit was built and the earlier one backfilled, and the original room converted into a multifunctional shelter.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

Majority of the building clearly visible on the aerial photograph, although the western end is less obvious.

Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording forms, WLK-95 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited 01/12/2019. Overall condition good. Photo taken.

Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording photographs, WLK-95 (Photograph). SDV363073.

Photo looking 260° showing grass/moss and reeds with small ferns on inside of S wall.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV139243Migrated Record: Falcon, T. A..
SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. OSA. Card Index.
SDV252649Migrated Record: WORTH,1940.
SDV252650Migrated Record: WORTH,1946.
SDV252652Report - Survey: AM.
SDV252656Migrated Record: RCHM APP 1985.
SDV252658Migrated Record: 1906.
SDV252663Migrated Record:
SDV252664Migrated Record:
SDV252665Migrated Record:
SDV252666Migrated Record:
SDV252667Migrated Record:
SDV252668Migrated Record:
SDV252669Migrated Record:
SDV252670Migrated Record:
SDV252671Migrated Record:
SDV252672Migrated Record:
SDV252673Migrated Record:
SDV252674Migrated Record:
SDV252675Migrated Record:
SDV252676Migrated Record:
SDV252677Migrated Record:
SDV252678Migrated Record:
SDV252679Migrated Record:
SDV252681Migrated Record:
SDV252682Migrated Record:
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital.
SDV326214Migrated Record: Department of Environment.
SDV331Migrated Record: Unknown. MIGRATED RECORD - MONUMENT PROTECTION PROGRAMME DATA. Monument Protection Programme. Unknown.
SDV360976Article in Serial: Gerrard, S.. 1997. Black Tor Falls Tin Mills. Meavy Valley Archaeology. 3. Paperback Volume. 7; fig 2.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #123089 ]
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-95.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-95.
SDV69961Worksheet: Greeves, T. A. P..

Associated Monuments

MDV5020Related to: Northern stamping mill at Black Tor Falls (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7517 - Survey of Har Tor tin works
  • EDV7520 - Survey of Black Tor Falls Tin Mills

Date Last Edited:Dec 12 2019 9:51AM