HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV58396
Name:Wheal Pixon Copper Mine


Small early 19th century mine trialled briefly by the Tavistock Canal Company in 1816-21, without significant returns. Worked more seriously between 1834-38 for copper by the Tavistock Consolidated Mines Adventurers. After 1846 it was worked until the 1860s under separate ownership with a nearby lode as Wheal Crelake.


Grid Reference:SX 475 740
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTavistock
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SE/186

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COPPER MINE (XIX - 1833 AD to 1834 AD (Between))

Full description

Horner, W., 07/10/1997, Mining at Tavistock College/School (Un-published). SDV350340.

Wheal Pixon copper mine. Opened in 1834 taking in land of Fitzford and Beerclause farms. 27 people employed in 1838. 200 fathom lode worked east and west of Ford Street turnpike gatehouse. Also extended north and south where the Pixon lode was supposed to be intersected by the Crowndale crosscourse.

Sherrell, F., 2007, Proposed Redevelopment at 11 Ford Street, Tavistock, Devon: Phase 1 Desk Study Report, 3; figure 4 (Report - Assessment). SDV350344.

The site is located on land formerly ascribed to a small mid-19th century mine called Wheal Pixon. This mine started in 1833 following the discovery of a rich vein (lode) of copper ore during the excavation of a coal cellar at the Tavistock Gas Works. According to a lease plan, the lode trends east - west and passes beneath the south-eastern end of the site.

Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 192-195, Figs 6.51 and 6.52 (Monograph). SDV361789.

Wheal Pixon was trialled by the Tavistock Canal Company in 1816-21, but with no significant returns. Between 1834-38 it was subject of a more serious attempt for copper by the Tavistock Consolidated Mines Adventurers. Author provides some further details of the extent of the sett which was located on lands belonging to the now lost farms of Fitzford and Beercause and appears to have worked the eastern end of at least one of the lodes worked variously between 1845 and 1864 as Wheal Crease, Wheal Elizabeth, East Wheal Josiah and East Devon Great Consols. It was taken into the sett of Wheal Crelake after 1846, but there is no evidence of any work from this period.
Majority of the working area lies within the western area of Tavistock town, beneath Ford Street and north of Callington Road; no surface remains. No evidence shown on the 1880s Ordnance Survey map, or the 1867 Bedford Estate Map, despite the fact that over 30 men had been working there in the 1830s.
The eastern end of the sett passed beneath the river Tavy, below Pixon Lane. No concrete evidence that the earlier 19th century Pixon Villas were associated with it. Unknown where the water engine was located, although Waterhouse has proposed a possible site (see MDV123433).
Only detailed description of working on the mine dates to 1836 by the Captain Henry Brenton (of the Tavistock Consolidated Mines Adventurers), but later that year the sett was granted to adventurers working a nearby lode, which became known as Wheal Crelake, worked to some success in the 1850s-60s.

Devon County Council, Unknown, Mining Database, MX4746 (Machine readable data file). SDV220083.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV220083Machine readable data file: Devon County Council. Unknown. Mining Database. MX4746.
SDV350340Un-published: Horner, W.. 07/10/1997. Mining at Tavistock College/School. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV350344Report - Assessment: Sherrell, F.. 2007. Proposed Redevelopment at 11 Ford Street, Tavistock, Devon: Phase 1 Desk Study Report. Frederick Sherrell Ltd Report. 3025. Digital. 3; figure 4. [Mapped feature: #96059 ]
SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 192-195, Figs 6.51 and 6.52.

Associated Monuments

MDV123433Parent of: Wheal Pixon Engine Shaft (Monument)
MDV4081Related to: Crelake Mine, Tavistock (Monument)
MDV123232Related to: Tavistock Canal, Main record (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 29 2019 11:07AM