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HER Number:MDV5493
Name:South Tamar Silver and Lead Mine

Summary

South Tamar Silver and Lead Mine, operated in early 19th century until flooded in 1856. The mine is depicted on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of between the 1880's-90's and is visible as an earthwork spoil heap and structure on aerial photographs of 1946.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 435 644
Map Sheet:SX46SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBere Ferrers
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBERE FERRERS

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46SW/502

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MINE (XIX - 1801 AD to 1856 AD (Between))

Full description

Claughton, P. F., 04/01/1993, Mine at Bere Alston; Collapse of Ground at Cleave Mine. (Correspondence). SDV344106.

The southern part of Cleave Mine was worked by the Bearalstone Mining Company as South Tamar Mine, until an unflux of river water halted operations in 1856. The surviving plan and section for South Tamar ( AM R7C, in the Devon Record Office), shows that part of the mine south of Glyns Shaft. The South Tamar company is known to have examined ground north of Glyns and to have sunk or reopened two shafts, Smiths and Mundys, but any extensive working in depth was curtailed by the flooding of 1856. Other details: Sketch plan.


Ordnance Survey, 1809, Untitled Source (Cartographic). SDV40346.


Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 41 (Monograph). SDV323771.


Unknown, 1842, Bere Ferrers (Cartographic). SDV344147.

Tithe Map has mine marked at SX436645.


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

'South Tamar Mine (Silver & Lead, disused)' shown.


Ordnance Survey, 1907, 111SW (Cartographic). SDV240062.


Chope, R. P., 1912 - 1913, Silver Mines in Devonshire, 54-7 (Article in Serial). SDV337061.

In the reign of Henry VII there were silver mines at Combe Martin and Bere Ferrers in Devon. Together they employed about 1000 men and during a short period yielded up to 44000 pounds in bullion and lead yearly.


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


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

The silver mines at Bere Alston were worked intermittently from the 1290's down to the late 19th century.


Barton, D. B., 1964, The Mines and Mineral Railways of East Cornwall and West Devon, 101-2 (Monograph). SDV240068.


Booker, F., 1967, Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley, 65-7 (Monograph). SDV240774.

Richest mine on the east lode. Solitary chimney and dumps are only surface remains. In line with chimney is a shallow adit in the roadside bank through which workings can be approached. Tracing of subsurface workings run between Hole's Hole and Cargreen. Flooded on the 30th of August 1856. Five steam engines and sections of tramway sold off in 1857.


Minchinton, W. E., 1973, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 28 (Monograph). SDV7016.

South Tamar Consols Mine; the ruins of this mine, disastrously flooded in 1856, lie a quarter mile south of Weir Quay.


Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K., 1974, Mines of Devon. Volume 1: The Southern Area, 44-7 (Monograph). SDV336694.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX46SW3 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV344158.

South Tamar Mine (disused).
The silver mines at Bere Alston were worked intermittently from the 1290s down to the late 19th century. An ordinance of 1298 shows that they were mined at the King's expense.


Atkinson, B., 1988, Untitled Source, 79 (Monograph). SDV344160.


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 1E (Report - non-specific). SDV90317.

Site visited during 1990. Important earlier 19th century mine. Medieval and Tudor working possible. Tips and chimney survive, with adit beside road. Most of the site is now a Ministry of Defence training area.

Reliable assessment not possible; no features worth protection seen from road.


Nance, R. W. + Nance, R. D., 1996, A Survey of Engine Houses on the Mines of South Devon, 118-9 (Article in Serial). SDV241746.


Dyer, M. J. + Manning, P. T., 1998, Objective 5B: Lower Tamar Valley Recreation and Land Management Iinitiative: Cultural Heritage Appraisal, 52 (Report - non-specific). SDV319814.


Middleton, R., 1999, Lower Birch Farm Field Inspection Report, 2 (Report - non-specific). SDV344152.

Site visit 22nd September 1999. A large area of spoil heaps, fenced off, and partly inaccessible due to dense vegetation. No structures were visible in the area visited, nor were any signs of the 'adit' noted previously. Damageto remains caused by removal of material for hardcore in early 1990s, and some small consolidation works.


Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 2001-2002, Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records, RAF/CPE/UK/1890 4019-20 10-DEC-1946 (Interpretation). SDV346287.

The mine is visible as an earthwork spoil heap and structure on aerial photographs of 1946. Map object partly based on this source.


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, 77 (Monograph). SDV344097.

South from Cleave Wood to the river Tamar, at what was known as South Tamar Consols in the 1850s, the pattern of mineralisation takes the workable lead/silver deposits deeper into the strata, forcing mining under the river in the first half of the nineteenth century. Other details: Figure 4.3.


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

Map object partly based on this Source.


Buck, C., 2010, South Tamar Consols, Bere Alston, Devon: Archaeological Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV344718.


Buck, C., 2010, South Tamar Consols, Bere Alston, Devon: Archaeological Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV344718.


Buck, C., 2010, South Tamar Consols, Bere Alston, Devon: Archaeological Assessment, 6-10 (Report - Assessment). SDV344718.

A timeline has been used to illustrate the history, fortunes and failures of the mine, compiled from a variety of sources. A walk-over field survey of the south-western end, either side of the road, was undertaken to assess the potential for buried archaeology. The small section of ground to the east of the road consists of rough ground made into two laybys and an intervening wooded section which includes mounds of mine waste. A barbed wire fence restricts public access to the core of the mine, but visible just inside there is evidence of a small number of walled remnants of former buildings, aligned parallel with the fence, one or two more than 5 metres long and up to 1.5 metres high. The only archaeological feature revealed was an adit shaft, covered with rotting timber and a loose wire fence. The adit drains under the road and into the River Tamar via a small defined rivulet through the riverine silt.grass. The shape and form of a possible 'quay/hard' was not visible and is not shown on recent Ordnance Survey maps. Other details: Figures 4-8.


Buck, C., 27/04/2010, Lode of Silver Mines (Correspondence). SDV344548.

Attached copy of part of John Hobart's map of 1737 shows the lode of the silver mines from South Tamar Consols (referred to as 'mouth of the Silver Mines'.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 332.
SDV240062Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1907. 111SW. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV240068Monograph: Barton, D. B.. 1964. The Mines and Mineral Railways of East Cornwall and West Devon. The Mines and Mineral Railways of East Cornwall and West Devon. A4 Stapled. 101-2.
SDV240774Monograph: Booker, F.. 1967. Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. A5 Hardback. 65-7.
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. 118-9.
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. 52.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 41.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #95011 ]
SDV336694Monograph: Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K.. 1974. Mines of Devon. Volume 1: The Southern Area. Mines of Devon. Volume 1: The Southern Area. One. Hardback Volume. 44-7.
SDV337061Article in Serial: Chope, R. P.. 1912 - 1913. Silver Mines in Devonshire. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 7.1. Unknown. 54-7.
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. 77.
SDV344106Correspondence: Claughton, P. F.. 04/01/1993. Mine at Bere Alston; Collapse of Ground at Cleave Mine.. Letter and Map. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV344147Cartographic: Unknown. 1842. Bere Ferrers. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Unknown.
SDV344152Report - non-specific: Middleton, R.. 1999. Lower Birch Farm Field Inspection Report. Farming, Rural and Countryside Agency Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV344158Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX46SW3. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV344160Monograph: Atkinson, B.. 1988. Mining Sites in Cornwall and South-west Devon. Unknown. 79.
SDV344548Correspondence: Buck, C.. 27/04/2010. Lode of Silver Mines. Email and Map. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV344718Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2010. South Tamar Consols, Bere Alston, Devon: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall County Council Report. 2010R042. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6-10.
SDV346287Interpretation: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2001-2002. Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records. National Mapping Programme. Map (Digital). RAF/CPE/UK/1890 4019-20 10-DEC-1946.
SDV359166Un-published: Cranstone, D.. 1991. Bere Alston Mines: Overall Assessment. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV40346Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1809. Ordnance Survey 1 inch map. Map (Paper).
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1973. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 28.
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 1E.

Associated Monuments

MDV48785Parent of: Chimney at South Tamar Mine (Monument)
MDV76228Parent of: Chimney at South Tamar Mine (Monument)
MDV76229Parent of: Chimney at South Tamar Mine (Monument)
MDV77921Parent of: Former Mine Buildings, South Tamar Consols (Monument)
MDV48784Parent of: Glyn's Shaft, South Tamar Mine (Monument)
MDV77918Parent of: Shallow Adit Shaft, South Tamar Consols (Monument)
MDV41527Related to: Cleave or Ware Mine (Monument)
MDV77938Related to: Possible Hard at South Tamar Consols (Monument)
MDV76224Related to: Possible Mine Workings near Cleave (Monument)
MDV77924Related to: Possible Quay, South Tamar Consols (Monument)
MDV48786Related to: Tin Hill, Cleave (Monument)
MDV62620Related to: Waterwheel at Bere Alston Mines (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4762 - South Tamar Consols, Bere Alston, Devon: Archaeological Assessment
  • EDV4763 - Rapid Field Survey, South Tamar Consols
  • EDV6911 - Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme

Date Last Edited:Apr 5 2019 11:01AM