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HER Number:MDV5020
Name:Northern stamping mill at Black Tor Falls

Summary

Less well preserved than that to the south-east, this mill survives as a 7m by 3.8m area defined on 3 sides by drystone walls up to 1.04m high. The fourth side is denoted by a steep slope and it is likely that the original walling survives below ground. A 1.2m wide, 1.2m deep recess in western end of the northern wall is probably a fireplace which, with its chimney, survived until the early 20th century.

Summary from record MDV57352:
Vis=-/10/1996 (gerrard) several mortarstones in the vicinity of the right bank mill. One was reused as an axle bearing stone after it was discarded.

Location

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

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57SE33
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 440121
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/125/1
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/125/3
  • Old SAM County Ref: 1003
  • Old SAM Ref: 24106
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX57SE33

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FINDSPOT (Unknown date)
  • BLOWING HOUSE (First mentioned, XVII to XVIII - 1654 AD to 1750 AD (Pre))
  • TIN MILL (First mentioned, XVII to XVIII - 1654 AD to 1750 AD (Pre))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV249948.

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

Anonymous, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV76927.

Blowing house on right bank of the River Meavy. Walls overthrown and inside turned upside down in 1965 (anon).

Burnard, R., 1887-1888, Unknown (Article in Serial). SDV263134.

Volume 9 (18871888), page 401. Also Volume 10 (1888-1889), page 106.

Crossing, W., 1890 - 1891, Western Antiquary, 179 (Monograph). SDV154702.

Baring Gould, S., 1900, A Book of Dartmoor, 111 (Monograph). SDV277387.

Brooking-Rowe, J., 1901, 22nd Report of the Scientific Memoranda Committee, 115-116 (Article in Serial). SDV249947.

(citing Woodhouse, H. B. S.)

Falcon, T. A., 1902-1903, Dartmoor Mining, 226 (Article in Serial). SDV154698.

Stamping mill at Black Tor Falls, right bank. At Meavy, under Black Tor, Princetown, are the ruins of a building, with the southern wall still standing and the fireplace in the north-west corner fairly perfect. This contains two mortar stones in the south-east corner.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 101 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Worth, R. H., 1933, Blowing Houses in the Valleys of the Sheepstor Brook, the Meavy, the Erme and the Avon, 314-16 pl.31-32 fig.20 (Article in Serial). SDV235818.

Worth, R. H., 1940, The Dartmoor Blowing House, 225 (Article in Serial). SDV154693.

Black Tor Falls, right bank. The clavel or lintel over the furnace mouth still remains, and in 1893 there remained nearly 914mm in height of the chimney above the clavel, later stonework taken down to release a colt which had fallen into the chimney. Leat still traceable, probable site of the wheel-pit identified. No mould stone has been found. There are three mortar stones, each with mortars back-to-back on opposite faces. One of these stones has been used as a bearing for a small iron-axle. In 1933 Mr T. Davey found, close to the house, a granite ball, least diameter 95mm, greatest 115mm. Artificially formed and may have been used as a pounder or pestle in conjunction with the mortars. Nothing similar has been found elsewhere.

Worth, R. H., 1946, Dartmoor Blowing Houses, a supplement, 281-4, pl. 30, figs 1-2 (Article in Serial). SDV249939.

On the right bank of the Meavy the furnace and clavel or lintel disappeared in 1940.
Two further mortar stones were found in 1941.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX57SE33 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV249940.

(20/06/1977) Of the blowing house on the right south bank of the river Meavy, only the south east wall is now standing (the north west wall was built into the natural hillside or river bank). All the rest is ruinous, though the sites of the furnace and wheel pit can be determined and the course of the leat can be traced for some 30.0m. Two mortar stones, one inside and one outside the building, are visible. The internal dimensions, as far as can be ascertained, are 5.2m x 3.3m.
The remains of the blowing house on the north (left) bank and more substantial; the doorway, complete with door jambs and lintel, remains intact in the south wall.
The sites of the furnace and wheel pit are visible, and part of the course of the leat can be traced. One mortar stone is visible. The internal dimensions are 5.1m by 4.5m, and the height of the walls from 1.3m to 2.0m. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD.

Worth, R. H., 1981, Dartmoor, plate 65a (Monograph). SDV231173.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750, no.9 (in SMR) (Report - non-specific). SDV319826.

(January 1977) Probably 17th century. Stamping mill (undocumented). Field evidence.

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

Not visible on 1946 aerial photographs.

Newman, P., 1987, The Moorland Meavy - a Tinner's Landscape, 228, fig 2. (Article in Serial). SDV231207.

Austin, D. + Gerrard, G. A. M. + Greeves, T. A. P., 1989, Tin and Agriculture in the Middle Ages and beyond: Landscape Archaeology in St. Neot Parish, Cornwall, 6-251 (Article in Serial). SDV249953.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1990, An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking, 41/in SMR (Report - Assessment). SDV343684.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 152465 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

(01/10/1996) SX 57487164. Northern stamping mill at Black Tor Falls.

Gerrard, S. + Greeves, T. A. P., 1992, Excavation of Upper Merrivale Tin Blowing and Stamping Mill, Peter Tavy, Dartmoor, Devon (Interim Report no.2), 5 (Report - Interim). SDV249952.

Gerrard, S., 1994, The Dartmoor Tin Industry: An Archaeological Perspective, 173-198 (Article in Serial). SDV167112.

Gerrard, S., 1997, Black Tor Falls Tin Mills, 7, 14; fig 2 (Article in Serial). SDV360976.

(October 1996) Detailed plane-table survey of the two tin mills and adjacent streamwork earthworks.
Probably survives less well than that on left bank because of its exposed position rather than any obvious dating or functional difference. Both mills have recesses built into one of the corners both of which are situated as far as possible from the wheelpit. These probably represent fireplaces rather than furnaces. No surface indications of wheelpit survive although a slight hollow leading towards the river from the north-east corner of the building may be a tailrace. Mortarstones within and around right bank mill are all in secondary positions and therefore do not necessarily relate directly to the surviving building. They must have been produced by machinery in a building which was superseded by the present one.
This mill survives as a 7m by 3.8m area defined on 3 sides by drystone walls up to 1.04m high. The fourth side is denoted by a steep slope and it is likely that the original walling survives below ground. A 1.2m wide, 1.2m deep recess in western end of the northern wall is probably a fireplace which, with its chimney, survived until the early 20th century when Crossing describes it being partly dismantled to free a trapped colt. A photo by Worth shows the lintel still in-situ, with five or six courses of masonry forming the lower part of the chimney. Entrance to mill is at south end of western wall. The door jambs shown on Worth's plan have been removed or buried. Outside the entrance a revetment clearly denotes the original walkway leading to the building. The interior is filled with rubble, including Two mortar stones. Two further stones lie outside the building though a third described by Newman could not be found. The surviving stones suggest that
(1) the stamping machinery appears to have consisted of two iron shod stamps;
(2) the dressing floor revetment was added after stamping had commenced and at least mortar stones had been discarded;
(3) the visible building was built partly from discarded mortar stones. This indicates that the existing mill replaced an earlier one from which stones were taken.
Several mortarstones in the vicinity of the right bank mill. One was reused as an axle bearing stone after it was discarded.
At least two other axle bearing stones survive in the vicinity. The largest lies on the steep slope immediately next to the waterfall, and the other abuts the outer face of the southern wall. The first is at least 1m long by 0.6m wide and 0.3m thick and the axle bearing groove is cut into the western edge. The groove measures 0.05m long, 0.07m wide and 0.08m deep and the polished area which denotes the point on which the axle rotated measures 0.02m wide. The second axle stone is 0.4m long by 0.35m and the axle bearing groove is 0.05m long, 0.05m wide and 0.04m deep. The polished part of the groove is stained with rust and measures 0.02m wideanother worked stone now lies close to the mill in the river. This is a large slab of granite, 0.92m long, 0.54m wide, 0.33m thick. On the upper face are two rectangular holes formed during an attempt to split the rock using wedge and groove technique (i.e. pre-1800 date).

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 23, 39/in SMR (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Fletcher, M. J., 2007-2008, Walkhampton Premier Archaeological Landscape; Field Investigation Project (Report - Survey). SDV359195.

(16/10/2007) The two roofless thick-walled buildings lie within the streamworks; various mortar stones are visible around the structures Neither building is overgrown with vegetation. Surveyed at 1:2500 scale.

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

Remains of one wall clearly visible on the aerial but the remainder of the building appears far less clear.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, WLK-95 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

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

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs, WLK-95 (Photograph). SDV363073.

Photo looking 250° showing grass/moss and reeds with gorse encroaching on N and W walls.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154693Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1940. The Dartmoor Blowing House. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. 225.
SDV154698Article in Serial: Falcon, T. A.. 1902-1903. Dartmoor Mining. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 2. 226.
SDV154702Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1890 - 1891. Western Antiquary. Western Antiquary. 10. 179.
SDV167112Article in Serial: Gerrard, S.. 1994. The Dartmoor Tin Industry: An Archaeological Perspective. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 52. 173-198.
SDV231173Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1981. Dartmoor. Dartmoor. plate 65a.
SDV231207Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1987. The Moorland Meavy - a Tinner's Landscape. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 119. Paperback Volume. 228, fig 2..
SDV235818Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1933. Blowing Houses in the Valleys of the Sheepstor Brook, the Meavy, the Erme and the Avon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 65. Unknown. 314-16 pl.31-32 fig.20.
SDV249939Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1946. Dartmoor Blowing Houses, a supplement. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. Paperback Volume. 281-4, pl. 30, figs 1-2.
SDV249940Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX57SE33. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown.
SDV249947Article in Serial: Brooking-Rowe, J.. 1901. 22nd Report of the Scientific Memoranda Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 34. Paperback Volume. 115-116.
SDV249948Migrated Record:
SDV249952Report - Interim: Gerrard, S. + Greeves, T. A. P.. 1992. Excavation of Upper Merrivale Tin Blowing and Stamping Mill, Peter Tavy, Dartmoor, Devon (Interim Report no.2). Unknown. 5.
SDV249953Article in Serial: Austin, D. + Gerrard, G. A. M. + Greeves, T. A. P.. 1989. Tin and Agriculture in the Middle Ages and beyond: Landscape Archaeology in St. Neot Parish, Cornwall. Cornish Archaeology. 28. Unknown. 6-251.
SDV263134Article in Serial: Burnard, R.. 1887-1888. Unknown. Transactions of the Plymouth Institute. 10. Unknown.
SDV277387Monograph: Baring Gould, S.. 1900. A Book of Dartmoor. A Book of Dartmoor. Unknown. 111.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 152465.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 23, 39/in SMR.
SDV319826Report - non-specific: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1981. List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750. List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750. 35. Unknown. no.9 (in SMR).
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.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 101.
SDV343684Report - Assessment: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1990. An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking. Digital. 41/in SMR.
SDV359195Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. J.. 2007-2008. Walkhampton Premier Archaeological Landscape; Field Investigation Project. English Heritage. Unknown.
SDV360976Article in Serial: Gerrard, S.. 1997. Black Tor Falls Tin Mills. Meavy Valley Archaeology. 3. Photocopy + Digital. 7, 14; fig 2.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #123090 ]
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-95.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-95.
SDV76927Monograph: Anonymous.

Associated Monuments

MDV62242Related to: DRESSING FLOOR in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV62242Related to: DRESSING FLOOR in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV57354Related to: DRESSING FLOOR in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV62242Related to: DRESSING FLOOR in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV62242Related to: DRESSING FLOOR in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV58106Related to: Eastern tinwork at Black Tor, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV62241Related to: Leat leading to the northern stamping mill at Black Tor Falls (Monument)
MDV57353Related to: PLATFORM in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV5019Related to: Southern stamping mill at Black Tor Falls (Monument)
MDV57355Related to: STREAMWORKS in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV2773 - MORTAR STONE (Unknown date)

Associated Events

  • EDV7517 - Survey of Har Tor tin works
  • EDV7520 - Survey of Black Tor Falls Tin Mills
  • EDV7522 - Survey of Black Tor
  • EDV8351 - Walkhampton Premier Archaeological Landscape; Field Investigation Project

Date Last Edited:Apr 30 2021 1:26PM