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HER Number:MDV5089
Name:Tin mill on Duck's Pool Stream, Dartmoor Forest

Summary

This blowing house, about 4.5 metres by 2.8 metres internally, is built against the river terrace on the west bank of the Blacklane Brook. The coursed, boulder walling, 0.8 metres wide is in very poor condition. The axle-bearing stone is still in position and the outline of the wheel pit can be seen on the north side, below the raised bank, 3.0 metres high, which leads from the leat (1977 visit). In 1994 it was described as being in very poor condition; the stream has inundated the site and the structure is largely obscured by marsh.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 629 676
Map Sheet:SX66NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Structural and earthwork remains of Medieval or later tin streamworks on the River Erme and its tributaries, Blacklane Brook, Dry Lake and Red Lake, as well as blowing houses and tinners buildings and possible prehistoric enclosures at Wollake

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX66NW1
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NW/14
  • Pastscape: 441565

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Small rectangular building shown on 19th century map.

Moore, S. A. + Birkett, P., 1890, A Short History of the Rights of Common upon the Forest of Dartmoor and the Commons of Devon, 44-45 (Article in Serial). SDV235822.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 374 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Worth, R. H., 1933, Blowing Houses in the Valleys of the Sheepstor Brook, the Meavy, the Erme and the Avon, 316 (Article in Serial). SDV235818.

Worth, R. H., 1940, The Dartmoor Blowing House, 2219 (Article in Serial). SDV154693.

Tin mill on right bank of Ducks Pool stream. Remains of blowing house. The leat is clearly traceable, and there is the usual raised bank to take the launder which fed the wheel. No moulds or mortars are to be seen, but there is a stone with a bearing well worn and polished. May have been Wallack Mill.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX66NW1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV250975.

(20/11/1950) The building on the right bank of Blacklane Brook was sound and is very probably the remains of a blowing house. No trace was found of the building on the left side of the bank.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX66NW1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV250977.

(20/08/1977) SX 6294 6765 This blowing house, about 4.5 metres by 2.8 metres internally, is built against the river terrace on the west bank of the Blacklane Brook at 435 metres above OD. The coursed, boulder walling, 0.8 metres wide is in very poor condition. The axle-bearing stone is still in position and the outline of the wheel pit can be seen on the north side, below the raised bank, 3.0 metres high, which leads from the leat. Survey revised at 1:10000 on PFD.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750, No.24 (Report - non-specific). SDV319826.

There is a well defined leat leading to the building from the Ducky Pool stream, and within the building is a stone bearing for an iron spill or axle. Wallack Mill is documented in 1532-3 and 1537-9. Field evidence. Identification of this site with Wallack Mill is uncertain. The latter should possibly be identified with the unverified mill site on Blacklane Brook (see SX66NW/33).

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

Not visible on the aerial photographs referred to in the project.

Probert, S. A. J., 1994, Survey visit (Report - Survey). SDV363285.

(10/11/1994) Centred SX 6295 6766. The remains of a blowing house and two tinners huts flank the right bank tributary of the Blacklane Brook.
the blowing house, at SX 62939 67644, adjacent to the tinners cliff on the right bank of the stream is in very poor condition. the stream has inundated the site and the structure is largely obscured by marsh. The bearing stone recorded by Worth (1933) and the Ordnance Survey (1977) remains in position though the wheel pit is little more than an indistinct silty hollow 2.3m east to west by 1 metre. A linear stone pile south of the wheel pit marks the original east wall of the building. Immediately north of the wheel pit is a slight platform above the stream measuring about 2.0m square and bounded on the west by a well-constructed revetment 1.9m high.
The leat supplying the site is visible between SX 6293 6765 and SX 6288 6776 as a silted channel 1.1m wide and a maximum of 0.3m deep with a slight bank 1.0m wide and 0.2m high on its downslope side.
The tinners huts at SX 62952 67648 and SX 62949 67675 are in a better state of preservation and remain as described by the Ordnance Survey.
A small crudely constructed shelter lies at SX 62957 67690 immediately to the north of these features.

Greeves, T. A. P., 2017, Lodges and Mills: The Field Archaeology of Tin Accommodation, Stamping and Smelting on Dartmoor, 68, table 1, No 59 (Article in Serial). SDV363284.

Ducks Pool Stream tin mill listed in early (pre-1750) list. SX 6293 6766.

Newman, P., 2018, Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet) (Cartographic). SDV361913.

Newman, P., 2018, The Upper Erme Valley, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: An Archaeological Survey, Appendix 1 (Report - Survey). SDV362921.

An alleged tin mill was recorded at this site beside Duck's Pool Stream by R H Worth. Although the leat and raised bank of the possible launder are visible on the west bank of the Blacklane streamworks, no trace of the building itself is visible under the extemely dense rushes which cover the site.

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

(03/07/2020) The fragmentary north-western wall corner of this site appears to be all that remains after the swift flowing waters of the Duck’s Pool Stream, a substantial tributary to the Blacklane Brook, have washed away all else that once may have been there. Condition remains consistent with the recorder's memories over the past few years; the stream washes alongside the remaining fragment and may well undermine and cause its eventual collapse and disappearance.

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

Photographed 03/07/2020. The range pole pictured is standing in water too deep to tread in.

Greeves, T. A. P., 2019, Supplementary information on the Upper Erme Valley 2018 survey (Un-published). SDV363283.

Tin mill on Ducks Pool Stream. Although indicated as a doubtful tin mill by Newman in his 2018 survey, Greeves offers the following in support of the identification:
Visited 25.09.1975; recorded a smoothly worn bearing stone seemingly in situ, perhaps on the inside edge of the stamps area i.e. to support an extended axle of a wheel. Worth’s plan of the structure in 1933 seemed reliable though Greeves queried the position of the wheelpit. Although the site is now concealed by rushes, its confirmed status as a mill is known.

Ordnance Survey, 2020, MasterMap 2020 (Cartographic). SDV363413.

'Blowing House (remains of )' shown on modern mapping as a small rectangular building.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154693Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1940. The Dartmoor Blowing House. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. 2219.
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. 316.
SDV235822Article in Serial: Moore, S. A. + Birkett, P.. 1890. A Short History of the Rights of Common upon the Forest of Dartmoor and the Commons of Devon. Dartmoor Preservation Association Publication. 1. Unknown. 44-45.
SDV250975Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX66NW1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV250977Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX66NW1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown.
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.24.
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. 374.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital. [Mapped feature: #125131 ]
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV5160Related to: Erme Pits Hill, Blacklane Mire, Middle Mire and Red Lake streamworks (Monument)
MDV20839Related to: Tinners' building in streamworks east of Ducks Pool Stream (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Jul 21 2020 9:20AM