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HER Number:MDV5160
Name:Erme Pits Hill, Blacklane Mire, Middle Mire and Red Lake streamworks

Summary

Approximately 32 hectares of streamworking remains flank the left bank of the River Erme and the floodplains of three of its tributaries, Blacklane Brook, Dry Lake and Red Lake. Several related blowing houses, tinners huts and leats recorded (see related records). Little deposition or disturbance has occurred since the abandonment of these workings and as a consequence they constitute some of the clearest and best preserved examples of this type of tin extraction on Dartmoor.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 629 674
Map Sheet:SX66NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCORNWOOD

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: SX 66 NW 72
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NW/62
  • Pastscape: 1063445
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STREAMWORKS (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Collier, W. F., 1879, Third Report of the Committee on Dartmoor, 120 (Article in Serial). SDV347531.

Erme Pits. Blacklane Brook. Remains of early tin streamers.

Worth, R. H., 1930, Proceedings at the Annual Meeting, 71 (Article in Serial). SDV231168.

Worth refers to evidence of tinworking in the area of Erme Pits.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223, 5041 (Aerial Photograph). SDV147275.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 4278 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Waste heaps are visible on the Royal Air Focre aerial photographs.

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 194 (Monograph). SDV149229.

Some way down stream are the remains of a tinners hut. There are two ruined blowing houses on the "Yealm", one on each side of the river. There are remains of tinners working along the Erme.

Hankin, C. F., 1980, Streamworks at Red Lake, 16/12/1980 (Worksheet). SDV145374.

SX637663 Red Lake (Erme Valley). Marshy ground near the left bank of the River Erme where the stream known as 'Red Lake' meets the river; the ground is covered with waste heaps on both banks of the stream. Possibly 'Little Redelake' or 'the Riche Redelake' of early tin records.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, Medieval Industry, 88 (Article in Serial). SDV275197.

Good examples of tin streaming remains consisting of parallel ridges of waste material are widespread in this area. Probably relating to the period before 1600.
SX 628 679 - Tinners heaps on left bank of Ducks Pool stream. Visible as linear spoil heaps with drystone retaining walls arranged in parallel ridges 1.0 - 1.5 metres high (on average).

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

Extensive streamwork and openwork which runs to streamworks at SX62896655 and to openworks at SX62306695.
(SX628679) Streamwork extends to SX62906789 where it meets an openwork.
(SX637663) Extensive streamwork associated with a number of openworks. The streamwork extends to SX63696567 and to SX62896655.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, Map 55 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Streamworking and some tinners huts sketch depicted by Butler.

Cranstone, D. + Hedley, I., 1995, The Tin Industry, Step 3 Site Assessments: Devon, 45a 59 (Report - Assessment). SDV346887.

English Heritage, 2005, Industrial Survey Information (Report - Survey). SDV346396.

National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape, Accessed 15/09/2016 (Website). SDV359354.

Approximately 32 hectares of streamworking remains flank the left bank of the River Erme and the floodplains of three of its tributaries, Blacklane Brook, Dry Lake and Red Lake. The former workings are marked by the characteristic spoil heaps and water channels enclosed by a sharply cut cliff. In several places, most noticeably on the Blacklane Brook between SX 63066793 and SX 63026720 and at SX 63466655 on Dry Lake, are large bands of parallel linear spoil heaps most of which are revetted through at least half of the worked area appears to have been more randomly exploited or reworked at a later date. The cliffs marking their edges also remain well preserved and range in height from around 1.0 metre to 3.5 metres. Several leats (National Monument Record numbers 1063683, 1063691 and 1063696) formerly feeding the sides of the streamworkings and openworks that extend up the various valley sides are visible on the surrounding hillsides and unexploited areas of floodplain.
The remains of one (MDV5089), possibly two (MDV20838) blowing houses, seven identifiable tinners huts (MDV54857, MDV5114, MDV5113, MDV116601-116604 and MDV116605) and two other structures (MDV116606 and MDV116604) are visible within the investigated area of streamworks.
Little deposition or disturbance has occurred since the abandonment of these workings and as a consequence they constitute some of the clearest and best preserved examples of this type of tin extraction on Dartmoor (citing Probert, S. A. J., Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England Field Investigation, 10/11/1994).

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 (Report - Survey). SDV362921.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV145374Worksheet: Hankin, C. F.. 1980. Streamworks at Red Lake. Worksheet. Unknown. 16/12/1980.
SDV147275Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5041.
SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 194.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4278.
SDV231168Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1930. Proceedings at the Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 62. 71.
SDV275197Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1981. Medieval Industry. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. 40. Unknown. 88.
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.
SDV337765Monograph: Butler, J.. 1993. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Four. Paperback Volume. Map 55.
SDV346396Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Industrial Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV346887Report - Assessment: Cranstone, D. + Hedley, I.. 1995. The Tin Industry, Step 3 Site Assessments: Devon. English Heritage Report. Unknown. 45a 59.
SDV347531Article in Serial: Collier, W. F.. 1879. Third Report of the Committee on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 11. Unknown. 120.
SDV359354Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. Accessed 15/09/2016.
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital. [Mapped feature: #122463 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV5113Related to: Blacklane Brook/Wollake tin mill (Monument)
MDV116606Related to: Building 200 metres east of Ducks Pool Memorial, Lydford (Building)
MDV122899Related to: Dry leat channel east of Blacklane Brook (Monument)
MDV122897Related to: Dry leat channel on Erme Pits Hill (Monument)
MDV122898Related to: Dry leat channel on Erme Pits Hill (Monument)
MDV122896Related to: Dry leat channel supplying tin works on Erme Pits Hill and at Erme Head (Monument)
MDV103562Related to: Enclosures and hut circle east of Wollake (Monument)
MDV126723Related to: Grant's Pot (Monument)
MDV24815Related to: OPEN CUT in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV24811Related to: Open cut on Stinger's Hill, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV28298Related to: Open cut on Stinger's Hill, Cornwood (Monument)
MDV126725Related to: Phillpott's Cave (Monument)
MDV122900Related to: Ruined building at Erme Pits Hill (Building)
MDV20838Related to: Tin mill close to Dry Lake Ford on the north bank of the Erme (Building)
MDV5089Related to: Tin mill on Duck's Pool stream (Monument)
MDV116602Related to: Tinners' building 200 metres south-east of Dry Lake Ford, Lydford (Building)
MDV116604Related to: Tinners' building at Dry Lake Ford (Building)
MDV116601Related to: Tinners' building at Dry Lake, Lydford (Building)
MDV116603Related to: Tinners' building at Middle Mire, Lydford (Building)
MDV116605Related to: Tinners' building at Red Lake, Lydford (Building)
MDV126701Related to: Tinners building east of the Blacklane Brook (Monument)
MDV5114Related to: TINNERS BUILDING in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Building)
MDV54857Related to: TINNERS BUILDING in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Building)
MDV126699Related to: Tinners building west of the Blacklane Brook (Monument)
MDV25040Related to: TRIAL PIT in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Oct 25 2019 2:24PM