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HER Number:MDV5447
Name:Butspill Mine, Tamar Valley Mine, Bere Ferrers

Summary

Tamar Valley Mine, also known as Buttspill Mine and Green Valley Mine, opened in late 17th century and worked until late 19th century. Remains include ruins of engine house with attached stack and a number of shafts.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 437 676
Map Sheet:SX46NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBere Ferrers
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBERE FERRERS

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46NW/514

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MINE (Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Tamar Valley Mine (Silver & Lead) shown. Map object based on this Source.


Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Tamar Valley Mine (Silver & Lead Disused) shown. Map object based on this Source.


Ordnance Survey, 1907, 111NW (Cartographic). SDV323423.


Syme Saunders, E. G., 1936, Plymouth Silver, 299-302 (Article in Serial). SDV340282.


Ramsden, J. V., 1952, Notes on the Mines of Devonshire, 91 (Article in Serial). SDV60737.

B 46 Buttspill, see Beer, Calstock. Lead and fluorspar. References, including Mining Journals of 1843-1845. Other details: Figure 1.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 332 (Monograph). SDV17562.


Devon County Council, 1970, Devon County Council, Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969, Register of Disused Tips, Vol. 1 (Report - Survey). SDV356723.

Mineral worked, silver and lead.

Waste material tipped.

Well covered and wooded.

Two location maps included, 1:10560 and 1:2500


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1971 - 1983, SX46NW10 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV340281.

Tamar Valley Mine, silver, lead. Now disused. The silver mines at Bere Alston were worked from about 1290 intermittently down to the late 19th century. An ordinance of 1298 shows that they were mined at the King's expense. Mudge's map marks a silver mine where traces of quarrying are shown.


Atkinson, 1988, Index of Mines (Unknown). SDV361827.

Buttspill, 1870-1886
Northwest of Bere Alston.
Production: 95 tons lead; 6508 oz silver 710 tons fluorspar; 20 tons pyrites.

Th ivy-covered shell of the engine house stands in dense wood.


Cranstone, D., 1991, Bere Alston Mines: Overall Assessment (Un-published). SDV359166.

The Bere Alston mines are documented from 1290 onwards, and the early features are ranged along a lead/silver vein running north-south from Butspill mine to South Tamar mine, interspersed with 19th century mines.


Cranstone, D., 1991, The Lead Industry, Site 1K (Report - non-specific). SDV90317.

19th century mine to the north; engine house ruin with boiler house, flywheel pit, loadings, and washing floor (intact?, though detailed features not visible). South end of site contains shafts and other earthworks, includes possible early buddling areas.

The 19th century washing floor is likely to retain undisturbed stratigraphy. The southern area retains stratigraphy and earthworks that may include medieval features.


Nance, R. W. + Nance, R. D., 1996, A Survey of Engine Houses on the Mines of South Devon, 118 (Article in Serial). SDV241746.

At the northern end of the eastern silver lode lies Buttspill Mine. Said to have been worked in Elizabethan times and operated intermittently throughout the 19th century under a variety of names. At the turn of that century it formed part of the Old Bere mines. In 1843 it was re-worked as the Green Valley Mine but changed hands shortly after and was re-named Wheal Fancy. In 1855 it was re-opened as Bere Alston United and a smelting furnace erected. At this time, attention was turned to the mine's reserves of fluorspar. Output records for both silver and fluorspar exist for the 1870's and, under the name of Tamar Valley, fluorspar was again produced during the mid 1880's. Other details: Figure 13, plate 1.


Dyer, M. J. + Manning, P. T., 1998, Objective 5B: Lower Tamar Valley Recreation and Land Management Iinitiative: Cultural Heritage Appraisal, 43 (Report - non-specific). SDV319814.


Buck, C., 1998, Preliminary Assessment of Industrial Sites of Archaeological Importance in the Tamar Valley, 53 (Report - Assessment). SDV336795.

Site visited on 11th March 1998. This mine site marks the north end of a silver/lead lode running north to south which starts near South Tamar Consols. Worked in Elizabethan times, and further documentary evidence suggests its operation in 1780's. In 19th century, documented as being operational from early years and by 1843, under the name of Green Valley Mine, an engine was erected. By 1855, re-opened as Berealston United, and a smelting furnace was erected. Main features consist of shafts (some fenced) and lode-back pits along the bottom of the valley, indicative of medieval/post-medieval mining; stamping/winding engine house with full height chimney, and three metre high boiler house walls. Site of smithy and magazine not visible in nearby working area. Capstan site visible north-west of engine house but related shafts not visible. Large spoil heap to north-west of engine house obscures probable furnace site.


Henry, A., 2001, Silver and Salvation: A Late Fifteenth Century Confessors Itinerary Throughout the Parish of Bere Ferrers, Devon, 17-63 (Article in Serial). SDV216264.

Possibly silver mine associated with tenement of Ezenridge noted in late 15th century document. Other details: Copy in parish file.


Claughton, P. F., 2003, Silver Mining in England and Wales, 1066-1500 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV81879.


Rippon, S. + Claughton, P. + Smart, C., 2009, Mining in a Medieval Landscape: The Royal Silver Mines of the Tamar Valley, 69, 78 (Monograph). SDV344097.

A new silver mine was opened up at Butspill in the late 17th century. This was on the same mineralised crosscourse as the medieval workings, but well to the north, and there is no evidence to suggest that it was worked during the earlier period. It appears on a map dated to circa 1690, and is referred to as the 'New Works of the Silver Mines' in 1737. Other details: figure 4.3.


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Map object based on this Source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 332.
SDV216264Article in Serial: Henry, A.. 2001. Silver and Salvation: A Late Fifteenth Century Confessors Itinerary Throughout the Parish of Bere Ferrers, Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 133. Photocopy + Digital. 17-63.
SDV241746Article in Serial: Nance, R. W. + Nance, R. D.. 1996. A Survey of Engine Houses on the Mines of South Devon. Mining History: Bulletin PDMHS. The Archaeology of Mining and Metallurgy in South-West Britain. 13, Number 2. A4 Paperback. 118.
SDV319814Report - non-specific: Dyer, M. J. + Manning, P. T.. 1998. Objective 5B: Lower Tamar Valley Recreation and Land Management Iinitiative: Cultural Heritage Appraisal. Exeter Archaeology Report. 98.60. A4 Stapled + Digital. 43.
SDV323423Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1907. 111NW. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336795Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 1998. Preliminary Assessment of Industrial Sites of Archaeological Importance in the Tamar Valley. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 53.
SDV340281Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1971 - 1983. SX46NW10. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV340282Article in Serial: Syme Saunders, E. G.. 1936. Plymouth Silver. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 68. A5 Hardback. 299-302.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV344097Monograph: Rippon, S. + Claughton, P. + Smart, C.. 2009. Mining in a Medieval Landscape: The Royal Silver Mines of the Tamar Valley. Mining in a Medieval Landscape: The Royal Silver Mines of the Tamar Valley. Paperback Volume. 69, 78.
SDV356723Report - Survey: Devon County Council. 1970. Devon County Council, Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969, Register of Disused Tips, Vol. 1. Devon County Council. Mixed Archive Material.
SDV359166Un-published: Cranstone, D.. 1991. Bere Alston Mines: Overall Assessment. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV361827Unknown: Atkinson. 1988. Index of Mines. A4 single sheet.
SDV60737Article in Serial: Ramsden, J. V.. 1952. Notes on the Mines of Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 91.
SDV81879Post-Graduate Thesis: Claughton, P. F.. 2003. Silver Mining in England and Wales, 1066-1500. University of Exeter Thesis. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV90317Report - non-specific: Cranstone, D.. 1991. The Lead Industry. English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Step 3 Site Assessments. A4 Unbound. Site 1K.

Associated Monuments

MDV76251Parent of: Capstan at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV61685Parent of: Engine House and Stack at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV76250Parent of: Four Old Shafts at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV76248Parent of: Old Shaft at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV76246Parent of: Old Shafts at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV76252Parent of: Possible Furnace Site at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV74298Parent of: Shaft at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV74300Parent of: Shaft at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV76241Parent of: Shaft at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV53114Parent of: Shafts at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)
MDV74299Parent of: Smithy at Tamar Valley Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Apr 5 2019 11:10AM