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HER Number:MDV6022
Name:Blackaton Ball Tin Mill

Summary

A documented and well-preserved Medieval tin mill site surviving as a complex of earthworks with traces of masonry foundations. Detailed ground survey in 1984 revealed that the mill stone and wheelpit are approached from the north by a substantial leat channel.
To the south of the mill are traces of further channels and pits.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 688 781
Map Sheet:SX67NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 442487
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NE/42
  • Old SAM County Ref: 1028

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Air Force, 02/07/1964, F62/58/6399, 22-23 (Aerial Photograph). SDV272301.


Royal Air Force, 1951, RAF 540/483, 3039-3040, (24/4/1951) (Aerial Photograph). SDV262763.


French, H. + Linehan, C. D., 1963, Abandoned Medieval Sites in Widecombe in the Moor, 176-7 (Article in Serial). SDV345196.

Tin mill; Blackaton Ball. The site is near the left bank of the West Webburn below Grendon Bridge on Blackaton Manor. A very well-preserved leat runs contour wise round the west side of the Ball and ends near the south end of the hill. Here the rectangular excavation marking the site of the blowing house can be seen, as well as separate channels communicating with the river, the most northerly of which was a spillway for the leat water, and the southerly one the tail race from the water-wheel. No documentary references have been found for this blowing house.


English Heritage, 1969-1989, English Heritage Records Office SAM Record, SAM Devon: 1028 (Un-published). SDV349864.

Medieval tin mill site surviving as a complex of earthworks with traces of masonry foundations. Detailed ground survey in 1984 revealed that the mill stone of wheelpit are approached from the north by a substantial leat channel.
To the south of the mill are traces of further channels and pits.
Documentary evidence indicates the mill was in existence prior to 1566.
A documented and well-preserved medieval tin mill of considerable importance to future understanding of medieval industry in the South West. It is vulnerable to moorland reclaimation.
Last updated: 1989


Timms, S., 1977-1982, Blackaton Ball Tin Mill site visit and update (Site Visit). SDV288358.

Remains of wheelpit and mill building survive in good state with a number of channels and banks leading off towards river which has been straightened out in 19th century. No earlier documentary history known. Owner proposes to improve field (at present rough pasture) and wishes to flatten leat bank. Dartmoor National Park Authority entered into management agreement with owner in 1978 to preserve this site. Department of Environment stated that it would be recommended for scheduling but it is still unscheduled in 1982, when Dartmoor National Park Authority agreement still holds. Sketch survey by Greeves identifies site as tinners mill and also records bound stone at SX68817809.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1980-1981, Blackaton Ball Tin Mill and Leat; sketch onto OS Map (Plan - sketch). SDV288359.

Annotated map showing the position of the mill and the course of the leat.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, List of Doubtful Devon Tin Mills c1450-c1750, Number 4 (Un-published). SDV336693.

Definitely a mill site and likely to have been a tin mill. Field evidence.


Greeves, T. + Robinson, R., 1984, Blackaton Ball Tin Mill Survey Drawing, 24/04/1984 (Plan - measured). SDV288363.

Measured survey was carried out. The mill, leat embankment, wheelpit, pits (?buddles) and overflow channels were identified.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Leat but not the tin mill is visible on Royal Air Force 1951 aerial photograph.


Department of Environment, 1988, Scheduled Monument Consent Letter for Blackaton Ball Tin Mill, (1/3/1988) (Correspondence). SDV288365.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for erection of stock proof fence.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1990, An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking, 42 (Report - Assessment). SDV343684.

Site of Blackaton Ball knocking mill for crushing tin ore.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1991, Tinworking at Heathercombe, Manaton (Un-published). SDV280255.


Cranstone, D. + Hedley, I., 1995, The Tin Industry, Step 3 Site Assessments: Devon, 53, 59 (Report - Assessment). SDV346887.

The remains of a stamping mill at Blackerton Ball, surviving as earthworks and masonry fragments, with a well-defined and well-preserved leat channel. It is documented as extant before 1566.


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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV262763Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1951. RAF 540/483. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 3039-3040, (24/4/1951).
SDV272301Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 02/07/1964. F62/58/6399. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 22-23.
SDV280255Un-published: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1991. Tinworking at Heathercombe, Manaton. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV288358Site Visit: Timms, S.. 1977-1982. Blackaton Ball Tin Mill site visit and update. Unknown.
SDV288359Plan - sketch: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1980-1981. Blackaton Ball Tin Mill and Leat; sketch onto OS Map. Digital.
SDV288363Plan - measured: Greeves, T. + Robinson, R.. 1984. Blackaton Ball Tin Mill Survey Drawing. Digital. 24/04/1984. [Mapped feature: #96539 ]
SDV288365Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1988. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter for Blackaton Ball Tin Mill. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. (1/3/1988).
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV336693Un-published: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1981. List of Doubtful Devon Tin Mills c1450-c1750. Unknown. Number 4.
SDV343684Report - Assessment: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1990. An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking. Digital. 42.
SDV345196Article in Serial: French, H. + Linehan, C. D.. 1963. Abandoned Medieval Sites in Widecombe in the Moor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 95. A5 Hardback. 176-7.
SDV346887Report - Assessment: Cranstone, D. + Hedley, I.. 1995. The Tin Industry, Step 3 Site Assessments: Devon. English Heritage Report. Unknown. 53, 59.
SDV349864Un-published: English Heritage. 1969-1989. English Heritage Records Office SAM Record. English Heritage. A4 Spiral Bound. SAM Devon: 1028.

Associated Monuments

MDV104824Related to: Blackaton Ball Tin Mill leat (Monument)
MDV104813Related to: Field system at Grendon Farm, Widecombe (Monument)
MDV104814Related to: Straightened section of the West Webburn River (Monument)
MDV26221Related to: Streamworks 450 metres south-west of Blackaton Manor, Widecombe in the Moor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:May 17 2016 9:59AM