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HER Number:MDV5169
Name:Deserted buildings 1.2 kilometres south-east of Red Lake, Ugborough


Group of deserted buildings associated with the Redlake China Clay Works (early 20th century) to the north. Exact function of all the structures unknown, although the pair of narrow parallel structures may be filter beds or settling pits. There is also a 102 metre long mica drag


Grid Reference:SX 650 656
Map Sheet:SX66NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishUgborough
DistrictSouth Hams
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/5
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CLAY WORKINGS (Constructed, Edwardian to Early 20th Century - 1910 AD to 1932 AD (Between))
  • FILTER BED (Constructed, Edwardian to Early 20th Century - 1910 AD to 1932 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 4275 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Gaskell-Brown, C. + Hankin, C., 1974 -1978, Ugborough Parish Checklist (Worksheet). SDV161354.

Western Whitebarrow, china clay workings.

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

Group of three deserted buildings visible on the 1946 aerial photograph.

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

Visible on the aerial photography.

Cushing, J., 2014, Clay working structures at Redlake (Photograph). SDV356908.

Images of two of the structures west of Western Whitebarrow - possibly filter beds? Function of the small rounded structure unknown.

Knights, R., 2014, Dartmoor Walks (Website). SDV356909.

Clay was hosed out from a deep pit at Redlake and the slurry was transported via pumps to settling beds here at Greenhill (about a mile from Redlake). After a week or so of settling the sluices were opened and the clay in suspension flowed down pipes some 7 miles to the clay processing works near Ivybridge.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Structures depicted on the modern mapping.

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, Figures 51-52 (Report - Survey). SDV362921.

Disused mica drag at the Greenhill clayworks, north-west of Western White Barrow on Ugborough Moor. This clayworks was operated by the China Clay Corporation from about 1913 to 1932 to refine the clay from Redlake Pit (MDV107445), 1.3 kilometres to the north. The remains comprise a rectangular, sunken platform 102 metres by 13.5 metres, cut into the hillside and contained within a low, stone wall of up to 0.6 metres high, capped with concrete. The interior has very slight north-south gradient and would have been subdivided by narrow lengthwise channels or strips with planked sides, 50-60 centimetres apart and about 15 centimetres high. As the clay slurry flowed along these strips, the heavier sand and mica was trapped by boards set at 90⁰ across each of the strips. Each board had a drain to periodically wash the sand and mica out of the drags. The drains, which are essentially concrete-lined channels, 35 centimetres wide, running across the width of the drags are the only internal component to survive. Eight drains survive, though some are very silted, at intervals of approximately 16 metres, reducing to 8 metres near the north end. Corresponding with these drains, on the west side, the waste water was conveyed away from the drags in pipes or ditches. Five of these have manhole inspection points over 1 metre below ground level with rectangular brick-lined shafts, 1 metre west of the drag wall. A series of circa 30 metre-long linear spoil heaps extending from the west side of the drags, are likely to be result of digging the terrace, to accommodate the drags, and not a waste product from the drags. Although the perimeter wall and some of the drains are visible, the interior now has a thick covering of molinia grass. A granite structure 64 metres south of Crossways marks the southern terminal of the rising main from Redlake clay pit, 1.2 kilometres to the north, and from where clay slurry pumped up the pipe was fed into the drags. The building is semicircular on the northern end with right-angled corners on the southern end. It is approximately 1.5m high with granite walls of 0.6m thick, coursed and mortared, and capped with concrete. The external dimensions are 3.5 metres by 3.1 metres. Iron bar steps have been set into the west side to allow inspection, though it is not known if the structure was covered. The walls all stand to their full original height though the semicircular end has a hole pierced right through, leaving the capping in a perilous state. This may have been the entry point of the rising main, now removed, or a result of vandalism. On the north side of the building a trench may be traced leading down past Crossways, which accommodated the rising main pipe from the clay pit. It is not know if the pipe remains in situ. Connected to the south of the building, are two, large bore, partly buried ceramic pipes still in situ, which directed the slurry into two sand drags 6 metres below. These comprise sunken parallel, elongated pits, 1.4 metres apart, lined with mortared stone and capped with concrete. Both are 15.7 metres long by 0.6 metres deep and 1.9 metres wide, tapering into a bull nosed southern end, housing the pipe outlets into the large drag.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, UE-9 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(23/01/2019) Recorded by experienced volunteer condition assessor. Condition assessed as very good. Significant remains appear substantially as left. Some small frost cracking to the concrete wall cappings visible and one small corner of the mica drag has tumbled. The sand drags are deeper at the southern end than the HER record shows. Vegetation encroachment in the mica drags is covering over the drains.

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

Photographs taken in January 2019.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV161354Worksheet: Gaskell-Brown, C. + Hankin, C.. 1974 -1978. Ugborough Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4275.
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.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV356908Photograph: Cushing, J.. 2014. Clay working structures at Redlake. Photograph (Digital).
SDV356909Website: Knights, R.. 2014. Dartmoor Walks. http://www.richkni.co.uk/dartmoor/redlake.htm. Website.
SDV361913Cartographic: Newman, P.. 2018. Erme Valley Survey data (GIS and Excel spreadsheet). GIS ShapeFile. Digital. [Mapped feature: #94064 ]
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UE-9.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV107445Part of: Redlake China Clay works, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV5159Related to: China clay settling tanks west of Western Whitebarrow, Ugborough (Monument)
MDV25057Related to: LEAT in the Parish of Ugborough (Monument)
MDV122910Related to: Mica dams on the northern side of Greenhill clay works, Ugborough Moor (Monument)
MDV5167Related to: Redlake Clay works pipeline, Harford and Ugborough parishes (Monument)
MDV5158Related to: Zeal Tor or Redlake peat tramway, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Nov 23 2020 2:32PM