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HER Number:MDV5113
Name:Blacklane Brook/Wollake tin mill

Summary

Described as a blowing house with the remains of a water course leading to it; may be identified with the Wallack Mill mentioned in 1538 as being let to Richard Coole and Thomas Hele (according to Crossing). Worth could find no trace of a leat to the building, in 1933 and suggested the dimensions 5.4m by 2.4m were small for a blowing house. Although others have agreed it may represent a tinners hut instead of a mill, Greeves confirmed the existence of a leat in 1984 and has indicated that the building is 'considerably more substantial than is indicated by a superficial glance’ and it is probably the best candidate for ‘Well Lake Mill’ (1532) and ‘Wallack Mill’ of (1538-9).

Location

Grid Reference:SX 629 669
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 (Yes): sx66nw28
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NW/33
  • Pastscape: 441638

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TIN MILL (Constructed, XVI to XVII - 1530 AD to 1699 AD (Between))

Full description

Moore, S. A. + Birkett, P., 1890, A Short History of the Rights of Common upon the Forest of Dartmoor and the Commons of Devon, 44-5 (Article in Serial). SDV235822.

Crossing, W., 1890 - 1891, Western Antiquary, 175-6175-6 (Monograph). SDV154702.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 374-5 (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.

Blacklane Brook. Blowing house. Remains of a water course leading to it and may be identified with the Wallack Mill mentioned in 1538 as being let to Richard Coole and Thomas Hele (citing Crossing). No trace of a leat to the building, and its dimensions 5.18m by 2.4m appear small for a blowing house. It stands on the right bank of Black Lane Brook.

Worth, R. H., 1940, The Dartmoor Blowing House, 219 (Article in Serial). SDV154693.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950/1977, SX66NW28 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV235819.

(08/05/1950) This building must be considered a doubtful blowing house. It lacks the first essentials of a blowing house i.e.: a leat and wheel pit and no mortar or mould stones were found within the area. Name may be confused with SX66NW/14.
(11/05/1977) SX 6291 6692. This rectangular building, 5.4m by 2.4m is built against the river cliff on the west bank of Blacklane Brook at 410m above OD. The walling, 0.9m wide, is built of coursed small boulders and stands, in poor condition, up to 1.0m high. The east wall is staggered about an entrance 1.1m wide. There is no evidence of a leat, wheel pit, mould or mortar stones to confirm the building's use as a blowing house and it is probably a tinner's hut. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, List of Doubtful Devon Tin Mills c1450-c1750, No.6 (Un-published). SDV336693.

Unverified site. There is no proof that this was a mill but it is a likely candidate.

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

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) SX 62917 66924. A tinners hut cut into the steep east facing slope above the right bank of Wollake some 220m north-north-east of Blacklane Brook Ford. The building is as described by the Ordnance Survey in 1977. It is in a very poor condition and the north-east end appears to have recently been rebuilt. There are no identifiable internal features.

Greeves, T. A. P., 2017, Lodges and Mills: The Field Archaeology of Tin Accommodation, Stamping and Smelting on Dartmoor, 66, table 1, No 14 (Article in Serial). SDV363284.

Blacklane Brook/Wollake (1532, 1538-9) SX 6269 6690.

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

Blacklane Brook/Wollake tin mill. Although Newman's 2018 survey report suggests some doubt over the identification of this as a mill, Greeves offers the following in support of the identification:
Site visited 7.8.1970, 25.9.1975, 2.6.1976 and 31.8.1984. On the latter visit Greeves confirmed that there was a leat leading to the site, and that in places it was quite distinct especially where stones forming its outside edge are still in situ. ‘The building is considerably more substantial than is indicated by a superficial glance’. It is probably the best candidate for ‘Well Lake Mill’ of 1532 and ‘Wallack Mill’ of 1538-9 as the Blacklane Brook is known as the ‘Wollake’ in this lower section.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154693Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1940. The Dartmoor Blowing House. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. 219.
SDV154702Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1890 - 1891. Western Antiquary. Western Antiquary. 10. 175-6175-6.
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.
SDV235819Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950/1977. SX66NW28. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
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. 44-5.
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. 374-5.
SDV336693Un-published: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1981. List of Doubtful Devon Tin Mills c1450-c1750. Unknown. No.6.

Associated Monuments

MDV5160Related to: Erme Pits Hill, Blacklane Mire, Middle Mire and Red Lake streamworks (Monument)
MDV103672Related to: Semi-circular enclosure on Erme Pits Hill (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Oct 22 2019 3:56PM