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HER Number:MDV5695
Name:Blowing and stamping mill at Glazebrook near Glazemeet, Ugborough


Well preserved blowing and stamping mill for tin at Glazebrook near Glaze Meet


Grid Reference:SX 668 603
Map Sheet:SX66SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishUgborough
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishUGBOROUGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX66SE63
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SE/28
  • Old SAM County Ref: 396
  • Pastscape: 441960

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TIN MILL (Constructed, Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Spence Bate, C., 1872, Researches into some Antient Tumuli on Dartmoor, 531, 535 (Article in Serial). SDV336926.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 390 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Worth, R. H., 1932, Blowing houses in the valley of the Sheepstor Brook and the Glazebrook, 275-8, Plate 10, Figures 8-10 (Article in Serial). SDV266553.

Blowing mill/stamping mill at Glazebrook near Glazemeet. Set amongst trees, the best preserved wall facing upstream against which the wheelpit can be seen. This wall has a break in its length of fairly recent destruction. 0.9 metres from the end of the wall, at the lower end, there is a stone 0.6 metres in height by 0.35metres across which projects some 0.6 metres into the house and has two slots cut in its top surface opposite each other. At the higher end of the wall, in the corner, there is a channel leading into the bank against which the house is built. This channel appears to be the flue for the furnace and it is carried up to a small ruin which stands above the blowing house. Higher side of the house is built against a bank. In the angle of the long wall and the lower side wall, near the slotted stone, there is a thin flat stone projecting 0.46 metres into the house at an angle. This may not be part of the original building. Within the blowing house there is a mortar-stone approximately 0.6 metres by 0.4 metres with two mortars approximately 0.18 metres by 0.15 metres by 0.76 metres deep, on the uppermost side as the stone now rests. Just outside of the house at the lower end there is a damaged or incomplete floatstone. This may be the stone mentioned "on the left bank in the woods not far away". The left bank of the stream is now very much disturbed and broken-down. There is a well preserved wheel pit; the wheel may have been 2.44 metres diameter by 0.4 metres breast. There is a raised bank for the leat, and a chamber which may have been intended to collect flue dust. One mortarstone with four mortars, two on each of two adjacent faces. The furnace would appear to have been in the corner adjoining the wheelpit, where there is the flue, but no distinguishable remains. Probably a late type of furnace. A stone in the woods on the left bank of the stream, proved to be a float or furnace base, in part formed. On the surface is a channel. The workmanship shows that the stone had as yet been no more than roughed to shape.

Fielden, M.E., 1932-1933, A Celt and a Mortarstone, 43-44, Figure (Article in Serial). SDV142335.

Worth, R. H., 1940, Notes on some Dartmoor Blowing Houses, 205, Figure 6 (Article in Serial). SDV218987.

Worth, R. H., 1940, The Dartmoor Blowing House, 217-8 (Article in Serial). SDV154693.

Worth, R. H., 1967, Worth's Dartmoor, 296-8, 326 (Monograph). SDV337618.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750, Number 28 (Report - non-specific). SDV319826.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1990, An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking, 41 (Report - Assessment). SDV343684.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 99, Map 56, Figure 56.13 (Monograph). SDV337765.

'Glaze Meet Tin Mill' just below the junction of East and West Glaze is a reasonably well preserved tin mill (circa 9 metres long by 4.5 metres wide) built into the bank within the shelter of the trees. Three walls still stand to a fair height but much of the lower side including the entrance has disappeared. An unusual feature is the chamber (circa 5 metres by 1.5 metres) built into the bank behind the main building which Worth suggested was to collect flue dust at the back of the furnace, though in this position it would seem to interfere with the workings of the water wheel. The wheel pit on the north side is now filled in but one of the bearing blocks for the axle remains in place. The pit dimensions show the wheel to have been about 2.5 metres in diameter fed via a launder bank from a leat taken off 150 metres upstream. Mortar and mould stones identify the building as both stamping mill and blowing house. A fractured stone containing a sample mould is embedded into the north corner wall and two blocks at the centre have paired cavities from use as mortar stones. One of these was turned after years of use and bears a second pair of depressions worn into a side face. A broken slab outside the entrance was probably a float, its half-prepared replacement lying among the trees on the opposite bank.

Smerdon, B., 1998, A Find, 13 (Article in Serial). SDV142340.

January Newsletter. Small piece of tin slag found in the tailrace of the mill at Glazemeet. Last use of the mill appears to be as a stamping mill.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 1, 32 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Ordnance Survey, 2020, MasterMap 2020 (Cartographic). SDV363413.

'Blowing House (remains of)' shown on modern mapping.

Historic England, 2020, National Heritage List for England, 1002507 (National Heritage List for England). SDV363414.

'Glaze Meet Blowing House (Tinner's Foundry)'. Tin ore extracted from mines was taken to stamping mills to be crushed, using heavy iron-shod stamps attached to the lower end of vertical wooden posts called lifters, which were raised using a water-driven rotating axle. Thus raised, the stamps fell under gravity onto the ore, crushing it between the stamp's head and a hard slab of rock called the mortar stone. The tin mill south of Glaze Meet unusually contains evidence for both activities within one building, more often the two processes are carried out in separate buildings even if they are closely located. Since tin is limited to Cornwall and Devon in England any surviving buildings associated with its processing are both rare and geographically limited. As such this tin mill is a very unusual and important structure which will provide important archaeological evidence for tin processing activities.

National Monuments Record, 2020, Pastscape, 441960, SX66SE63 (Website). SDV363416.

The remains of a blowing house on the right bank of the Glaze Brook about 100 yards below Glaze Meet. An unusual feature is the chamber 12 feet long by approximately 4 feet wide which has been excavated in the natural bank and whose precise purpose is not known. A quadruple tinner's mortar stone, probably unique in form, and of Elizabethan date was found nearby in September 1931.
The remains of this blowing-house are as shown and described by Worth. The walls vary in height from a maximum of 1.5 metres to 0.1 metres where they have been knocked down on the south side; they are 0.6 metres thick. Two mortar-stones are visible, one visible in the blowing house and one to the south, each having two mortars.
Surveyed at 1:10 000 in 1977.
A small stamping mill with walls surviving up to seven courses. Also present are two mortar stones, a well preserved wheel pit and leat.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV142335Article in Serial: Fielden, M.E.. 1932-1933. A Celt and a Mortarstone. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 17. 43-44, Figure.
SDV142340Article in Serial: Smerdon, B.. 1998. A Find. Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group Newsletter. 14. 13.
SDV154693Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1940. The Dartmoor Blowing House. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. 217-8.
SDV218987Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1940. Notes on some Dartmoor Blowing Houses. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. Paperback Volume. 205, Figure 6.
SDV266553Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1932. Blowing houses in the valley of the Sheepstor Brook and the Glazebrook. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 64. Unknown. 275-8, Plate 10, Figures 8-10.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 1, 32.
SDV319826Report - non-specific: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1981. List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750. List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750. 35. Unknown. Number 28.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 390.
SDV336926Article in Serial: Spence Bate, C.. 1872. Researches into some Antient Tumuli on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 5. Digital. 531, 535.
SDV337618Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1967. Worth's Dartmoor. Worth's Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 296-8, 326.
SDV337765Monograph: Butler, J.. 1993. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Four. Paperback Volume. 99, Map 56, Figure 56.13.
SDV343684Report - Assessment: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1990. An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking. Digital. 41.
SDV363413Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap 2020. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #127197 ]
SDV363414National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2020. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1002507.
SDV363416Website: National Monuments Record. 2020. Pastscape. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/. Website. 441960, SX66SE63.

Associated Monuments

MDV13397Related to: Granite trough on east bank of Glaze Brook, South Brent (Monument)
MDV5696Related to: Tinners' hut at Glazebrook, Ugborough (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 28 2020 12:43PM