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HER Number:MDV56079
Name:Wheal Maria, Foundry


Features at the 'Iron and Brass Foundry' included a house, a wheelpit, a copper grinder, a water tunnel, two reservoir ponds & a large waste tip at Wheal Maria mine which was part of Devon Great Consols


Grid Reference:SX 416 738
Map Sheet:SX47SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SW/504/1/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FOUNDRY (XVIII to XXI - 1751 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880s, Ordnance Survey (Cartographic). SDV848.

Site of 'Iron & Brass Foundry' Shown on OS 25" (1880s & 1906) maps as an extensive range of buildings to the east of the track surrounded by spoil heaps. Other details: Also on OS 25" (1906) map.

Pye, A. R. + Dixon, T., 1989, The Arsenic Works at Devon Great Consols Mine, Tavistock, 107 (Article in Serial). SDV219136.

Iron and brass foundry associated with Wheal Maria mine. Has been levelled except for the present house, a retaining wall and a wheelpit. A tunnel just to the south at SX416507375 may have held the tailrace.

Richardson, P. H. G., 1992, The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913, 95 (Article in Serial). SDV323598.

Buck, C., 2002, Devon Great Consols: Archaeological Assessment, 67-70+Figs 4,7,13,38 (Report - Assessment). SDV241758.

Features at the 'Iron and Brass Foundry' at Wheal Maria mine shown on 19C maps included a house at SX41657385, a wheelpit at SX41647381, a copper grinder at SX41627379, a water tunnel from SX41657377 to SX41647376, two reservoir ponds at SX41657383 & a large waste or slag heap at SX41637374. The house was probably built by 1860 for the Foundry 'Captain' & was found during the survey to have been extended with the outhouse converted to a garage & workshop. The wheelpit c6m x 1.5m was full of rubbish & rubble but at the western end the tailrace opening 0.5m x 1m was visible. Various remnants of buildings were identified within the foundry complex including the c3.5m high eastern retaining wall. A rounded feature was interpreted as the site of the furnace. The roof of the stone & brick tunnel 0.75m wide x 1.6m high had partially collapsed. The site of the northern reservoir pond was cut into the slope & the southern pond was obscured by vegetation. A c6.5m high stone retaining wall to the west of the ponds had two masonry butresses & two sluice outlets 0.3m x 0.3m. The vegetated waste tip to the south of the foundry shown on the OS (1884) map included stone & brick which had eroded in places leaving bare slag on the hillside. Other details: Sites 58, 58/1, 59, 60, 61, 61/1,62.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 210 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Wheal Maria's foundry machinery was worked by a 10.67m x 1.22m water wheel.

Buck, C., 2009, Devon Great Consols Mine, Devon. Impact Assessment, 12, 20-21 (Report - Assessment). SDV347874.

Conservation works are planned as part of the Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project. These include the repair of a lintel supporting an adit roof and repair to facing stones of the main Foundry drainage portal at Wheal Maria mine. To reduce impact, original stones will be used if possible, and only loose mortar removed and replaced with a new equivalent. Other details: Figure 4, sites 24, 61/1.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219136Article in Serial: Pye, A. R. + Dixon, T.. 1989. The Arsenic Works at Devon Great Consols Mine, Tavistock. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 47. Paperback Volume. 107.
SDV241758Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2002. Devon Great Consols: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. 2002R069. Digital + A4. 67-70+Figs 4,7,13,38.
Linked documents:1
SDV323598Article in Serial: Richardson, P. H. G.. 1992. The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913. British Mining. 44. A5 Paperback. 95.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 210.
SDV347874Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2009. Devon Great Consols Mine, Devon. Impact Assessment. Historic Environment Projects, Cornwall Council Report. R2009R075. A4 Stapled + Digital. 12, 20-21.
SDV848Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey. 25".

Associated Monuments

MDV3862Part of: Devon Great Consolidated Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV42207Part of: Devon Great Consols, Wheal Maria (Monument)
MDV56108Related to: Devon Great Consols, Rubbytown Leat (Monument)
MDV71295Related to: Wheal Maria, Adits & Leats (Monument)
MDV71318Related to: Wheal Maria, House, Outbuilding, Pond & Leat (Monument)
MDV71317Related to: Wheal Maria, Settling Ponds (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1282 - Devon Great Consols: Archaeological Assessment
  • EDV5333 - Impact Assessment Report on Devon Great Consols Mine

Date Last Edited:Nov 10 2011 9:51AM