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HER Number:MDV58784
Name:Wheal Maristow, Bere Ferrers


Wheal Maristow, one of three small lead mines on the west bank of the Tavy, was worked in the 19th century. There is also evidence, however, for silver to have been mined in the vicinity in the late 13th century


Grid Reference:SX 471 649
Map Sheet:SX46SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBere Ferrers
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBERE FERRERS

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46SE/104

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MINE (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV221171.

Des=nance, r. W. M. & nance, r. D. /a survey of engine houses on the mines of south devon, in p. Newman (ed) the archaeology of mining and metallurgy in south-west britain/(1996)109-122/copy in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV221172.

Dyer, m. J. + manning, p. T. /objective 5b: lower tamar valley recreation & land management initiative: cultural heritage appraisal/(1998)60-61/ea report 98.60.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV221173.

Des=buck, c. /preliminary assessment of industrial sites of archaeological importance in the tamar valley/(1998)59/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV221174.

Richardson, p. H. G. /british mining/44(1992)139/mills of dartmoor and the tamar valley after 1913/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV221175.

Nance, r. D. /project design for a survey of engine houses on the mines of south devon/(1996)/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV221176.

Brick, d. /industrial archaeology review/(1999)135/evolution of the pre-cornish beam engine house.

Nance, R. W. + Nance, R. D., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV271163.

Vis=-/8/1996 (nance + nance) the existing house is that of a pumping engine which faced e on a site cut into the bare rock of the river bank. The stack (now demolished) was erected approx.400 yards away, at the top of whitacliffe wood, where it was out of site of maristow house. The house is of curious design, particularly the floor plan, which suggests that the cylinder was set into the ground floor (nance + nance).

BUCK, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV219466.

Part of lopwell, or wheal maristow, mine. In 1294, 370lb of silver ore was sent to the king from maristow, where there was probably a quay. Three years later further silver was sent. Surface mining for the silver/lead must have followed the n-s lode in the tavy valley. Engine house erected by 1822. Dressing floors further upstream (crf:sx46ne/529), surviving features include an adit cut into the rock face near the engine house. The engine house itself, a quay wall with ore shoot retaining wall and processing site, and an open shaft with timber staying (buck).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV221169.

Buck, c. /preliminary assessment of sties of archaeological importance in the tamar valley/(1998)/copy in smr.

Dyer, M. + Manning, P., 1998, Remains of Mine in Whittacliffe Wood (Worksheet). SDV221170.

Remains of mine building east of track in Whittacliffe Wood. Well preserved remains of engine house, 9 metres by 5 metres by 10 metres high, with slight remains of another structure along east side. Shown on Ordnance Survey 6 inch (1890) map as 'Old Shaft'.

Bellamy, L., et al, 2002, A Study of the Maritime Archaeology of the Eastern Tamar Estuary (Report - Survey). SDV348208.

The lead lode runs for one mile along the west bank of the Tavy, but is most concentrated further south beneath the river into Maristow Park. The construction of the mine included an engine shaft being sunk to 40 fathoms at which depth levels were driven 30 fathoms north and 100 fathoms south. The ruins of the engine house are still visible and a possible location for the mineshaft was discovered. Ruins of what is thought to be the pumping house was also visible.

The register records 370 lb. of silver being sent to the King in 1294 from Maristow, although this is more likely to have been from Wood Mine further north.

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

Newman, P., 2011, Mining in the Tavy Valley, West Devon. An Assessment of Archaeological Potential, 39 (Report - Assessment). SDV347105.

Newman comments on the confusion among previous authors regarding the locations and relationships of Lopwell, Maristow and Wood Mines, three small lead mines on the west bank of the Tavy. The problem is not helped by the fact that although the mines are shown on the 1884 Ordnance Survey map they are not named. However, an undated abandonment mine plan of Huel Maristow Mine shows it to be the southernmost of the three at SX47126491. Lopwell is to the north centred on SX4747 6525 and Wood is the northernmost centred on SX4770 6612. The three mines collectively represent attempts to work the Maristow Lead Lode. Maristow was possibly worked alongside Lopwell at one time. Activity at Maristow Mine is first recorded in the 1820s but no closure date is recorded. An undated abandoned mine plan shows the main features including a shaft, engine house and chimney stacks. Other details: No. 18.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219466Migrated Record: BUCK.
SDV221169Migrated Record:
SDV221170Worksheet: Dyer, M. + Manning, P.. 1998. Remains of Mine in Whittacliffe Wood. Tamar Valley Discovery Trail Survey. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV221171Migrated Record:
SDV221172Migrated Record:
SDV221173Migrated Record:
SDV221174Migrated Record:
SDV221175Migrated Record:
SDV221176Migrated Record:
SDV271163Migrated Record: Nance, R. W. + Nance, R. D..
SDV347105Report - Assessment: Newman, P.. 2011. Mining in the Tavy Valley, West Devon. An Assessment of Archaeological Potential. SW Landscape Investigations Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 39.
SDV348208Report - Survey: Bellamy, L., et al. 2002. A Study of the Maritime Archaeology of the Eastern Tamar Estuary. University of Plymouth: Nautical Archaeology. OSC378. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV81879Post-Graduate Thesis: Claughton, P. F.. 2003. Silver Mining in England and Wales, 1066-1500. University of Exeter Thesis. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV12629Related to: Lopwell Mine in Blindwell Wood, Bere Ferrers (Monument)
MDV79911Related to: Wood Mine, Bere Ferrers (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Sep 16 2015 12:02PM