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HER Number:MDV5167
Name:Redlake Clay works pipeline


The China Clay Corporation 1911-1932 extracted the clay at Redlake, washed and desanded it and finally pumped the remaining clay suspended in water via a pipeline to the drying beds at Cantrell.


Grid Reference:SX 650 616
Map Sheet:SX66SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
Civil ParishUgborough
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishUGBOROUGH

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork remains of the early 20th century China Clay works at Redlake Mine and the associated railway, as well as prehistoric remains on Ugborough Moor

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NE/3
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PIPELINE (XX - 1911 AD to 1932 AD (Between))

Full description

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 96 (Monograph). SDV149229.

Clay from the Redlake workings was pumped from the pits by a rising main to the 'micas' at Greenhill, about a mile away. There it was allowed to settle for about a week for separation of the mica, following which the sluices were opened, and the clay suspended in water passed through a pipeline to the works at Cantrell, where the water was taken off and the resulting clay dried by baking before being dispatched on the main railway line.

Gaskell Brown, C. + Hankin, C. (eds), 1975, Archaeological Checklist of Ugborough Parish, page 50-51/215 (IDOX) checklist (Un-published). SDV340715.

China Clay works pipeline, SX650657 - 656570.
The China Clay Corporation 1911-1932 extracted the clay at Redlake, washed and desanded it and finally pumped the remaining fluid to a pipeline whence it fell by gravity to the drying beds at Cantrell. Some of the pipeline passes through Ugborough parish at Quickbeam Hill but moves west into Harford and does not re-join Ugborough until it reaches the southern slope of Western Beacon and on to Cantrell.
The pipe was earthenware, 23 centimetres in diameter and laid beneath the surface except where the natural fall of the ground took it across streams or gullies. At these points, e.g. Stony Bottom (Hook Lake) and Drylake, the pipe was taken over on a concrete conduit. At intervals of several hundred metres there were brick-built vents with cast iron covers, many of which remain intact. The ground over the pipeline appears to have been carefully replaced. The fall is about 230 metres in 8 miles.
The pipe laying contract appears to have run into labour and other difficulties, and in part had to be re-laid. Signs of a second channel having been cut appear on Harford Moor.
Exposed sections of the pipe on Sharpitor show that the earthenware pipes were 23 centimetres in diameter, with a rim of 2.5 centimetres thickness. Each pipe was 0.7 metres long and when turned into the next unit gave an effective length of 0.6 metres. The line is double, the two sets running closely alongside one another. Piping made by Candy and Company of Newton Abbot.

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

Parts of the pipeline incorrectly identified from aerial photographs as leats.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Route of the pipeline can be traced on the aerial photographs.

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

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 96.
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.
SDV340715Un-published: Gaskell Brown, C. + Hankin, C. (eds). 1975. Archaeological Checklist of Ugborough Parish. Parish Checklist. A4 Stapled. page 50-51/215 (IDOX) checklist.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital. [Mapped feature: #94062 ]
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital. [Mapped feature: #118980 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV107445Part of: Redlake China Clay works (Monument)
MDV3066Related to: Blackwood Path, Ugborough Moor (Monument)
MDV2988Related to: Butterdon Hill stone row (Monument)
MDV5159Related to: China clay workings west of Western Whitebarrow (Monument)
MDV3073Related to: Clay drying beds, Cantrell (Monument)
MDV5169Related to: Deserted buildings 1.2 kilometres south-east of Red Lake (Monument)
MDV114612Related to: Foundations of a shelter on Piles Hill (Monument)
MDV3084Related to: Quarry at Cantrell, Ugborough (Monument)
MDV122889Related to: Redlake Cottage (Building)
MDV123441Related to: Trial pit near Crossways (Monument)
MDV123442Related to: Trial pit on Quickbeam Hill (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Jul 29 2019 11:38AM