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HER Number:MDV61846
Name:Tin Workings, Bovey Heathfield.

Summary

Bovey heathfield. Some of earliest surviving documentary references to specific tin working locations in devon relate to bovey heathfield, especially in 15c. Area seems to have witnessed extensive medieval exploitation of alluvial tin deposits. A triangle of land lying on s side of drumbridges roundabout, and w of the road to newton abbot, is 1 area where extensive tinners' heaps survive, planted with conifers. Probably site of 'gaverocke' tinwork recorded in early 17c (greeves).

Location

Grid Reference:SX 828 748
Map Sheet:SX87SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNewton Abbot
Civil ParishTeigngrace
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishHIGHWEEK

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX87NW/208

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • EXTRACTIVE PIT (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))
  • SPOIL HEAP (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))
  • STREAMWORKS (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))
  • TIN WORKS (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV307008.

Des=greeves, t. /an assessment of dartmoor tinworking/(1990) 20/in smr.


Greeves, T. A. P., Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV69961.

Bovey heathfield. Some of earliest surviving documentary references to specific tin working locations in devon relate to bovey heathfield, especially in 15c. Area seems to have witnessed extensive medieval exploitation of alluvial tin deposits. A triangle of land lying on s side of drumbridges roundabout, and w of the road to newton abbot, is 1 area where extensive tinners' heaps survive, planted with conifers. Probably site of 'gaverocke' tinwork recorded in early 17c (greeves).


Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Several irregular shaped features are shown in this location.


Fairy Surveys Ltd, 1964, FSL/6412 V, FSL/6412 V 063-064 07-FEB-1964 (Aerial Photograph). SDV357115.

Extensive earthworks of linear and irregularly shaped pits, incised channels and mounds are visible.


Environment Agency, 1998-2017, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor, LIDAR SX8274; SX8374; SX8275; SX8375 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017 (Cartographic). SDV361470.

Extensive earthworks of linear and irregularly shaped pits, incised channels and mounds are visible.


Newman , P., 2015, A382 from Drum Bridge to Whitehill Cross and Jetty Marsh Link (Report - Survey). SDV359593.

An earthwork survey was commissioned in September 2015 by SLR Consulting Ltd, to provide a detailed plan of the earthworks as a basis for interpretation, and to assist further decision making within the planning process. The following report sets out the results of the survey and offers suggestions for further research and mitigation. The earthworks comprise a combination of linear cut features, water channels, pits, hollows and spoil dumps. The ground surface has been notably lowered over much of the area affected by the diggings, up to 2.5 metres in places. The remains are of a type not yet widely recorded in Devon, but bearing some similarities with placer deposit workings elsewhere.
The combined earthworks of the study area straddle a low tongue of land, which projects from west to east, formed by the confluence of Liverton Brook on the south and its unnamed northern tributary (Fig. 2). The latter has been partly absorbed into the artificial Stover Lake, constructed in the dip at the eastern foot of the slope in the late 18th century. Although barely perceivable amid the dense conifers and surrounding developments, the terrain slopes gently, both north and south, with a difference in height of up to 7 metres. The area adjacent to the Trago Mills road represents the higher ground, sloping away to the north, northeast and east. This gradient continues to a lesser extent to the east of the A382, within Blacksticks. The subtle gradient is reflected, to the south of the Trago Mills road into Gavrick Copse, but then falls away more notably in the southern sector, representing the southern side of the tongue. The character of the earthworks may be divided into three types.
1. Areas where tinworking has resulted in linear cuttings. Fragments of the unaltered land surface
survive as narrow amorphous pieces of ground, apparently unaffected by tinworking but isolated by
lower-lying areas removed as part of the extraction process. These unaltered strips are few, totaling less than 0.37ha. The deepest of the cuttings is a little over 2 metres.
2. Worked out areas. The entire land surface has been altered, and ground level perceivably lowered and pitted in places. Waste heaps, arranged in a mostly random fashion and of various dimensions and forms, now cover these areas and channels score the surviving ground. It has not been possible to estimate the depth of ground removed over these areas, but it is likely to have been similar to that of the cuttings, probably less than 4 metres, which is believed to have been the maximum depth of the tin-bearing alluvial deposit (Scrivenor 2015).
3. Large amorphous hollows of up to 2 metres deep. These are all located in a cluster on the south-west
corner of Gavrick Copse (Zone G), with only modest spoil heaps associated.
Associated with these types are the remains of:
• waste heaps – varying in size from less than 0.3 metres high to over 2 metres high. Most are covered by humus, mossand forest debris, but where exposed they are made up of stone and clay. Although some are linear, others appear to be of random form.
• channels – linear or slightly sinuous in form, either cutting through the virgin ground, as described above, or through the surface of the worked ground. In the latter case they may represent the lower, surviving remnants of the former type.
• pits – amorphous in form and not surviving to great depth, however, they may represent the lower parts of working pits, where surrounding terrain has been worked away.
• leats – narrow channels for the diversion of water supplies. Within Pitt’s Plantation these only survive in the isolated, unaltered areas described above and have been identified at only three locations (PP2, PP7-9). In all cases they have been truncated into short lengths by the progress of later working. Within Gavrick Copse, these features are more numerous.
• field boundaries – disused hedge banks. The boundaries take the form of Devon Banks, i.e. linear earth banks with battered sides, which once supported dense hedges.

(See report for details on all the earthworks associated with the tin extraction).


Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2018-2019, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 1, Haldon Ridge to Dart Valley (AI&M) (Interpretation). SDV361305.

Extensive earthworks of a medieval or post-medieval tin works which occupy an area of circa 32.4 hectares of woodland of Gavrick Copse, Pitt’s Plantation and Blacksticks Plantation are visible as linear and irregularly shaped pits, incised channels and mounds on aerial photographs taken in 1964 and digital images derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017. Transcription of these earthworks was carried out primarily using Simple Local Relief and Positive Openess lidar visualisations and were aided by P. Newman’s ground earthwork survey which was carried out in 2015. Given their complexity, only those earthworks which were more clearly defined were recorded, with an ‘extent of area’ polygon used to define the approximate limit of the tin workings. The few isolated pockets of undisturbed ground shown on P.Newman’ s survey were also transcribed to help indicate the extent of ground disturbance here, as were the more recent woodland trackways which dissect the earthworks, both transcribed as extent of areas. Several of the earthworks are shown as irregularly shaped features on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of the late 19th century, but had evidently been completely subsumed by woodland by this time. Evidence of smaller-scale tin workings have also been recorded to the south (MDV9162 & MDV21250). Further investigations, such as targeted trenching is recommended to help establish more fully the nature of these earthworks.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV307008Migrated Record:
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV357115Aerial Photograph: Fairy Surveys Ltd. 1964. FSL/6412 V. Fairy Surveys Ltd aerial photograph. Photograph (Paper). FSL/6412 V 063-064 07-FEB-1964.
SDV359593Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2015. A382 from Drum Bridge to Whitehill Cross and Jetty Marsh Link. SLR Consulting Ltd. Digital.
SDV361305Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2018-2019. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 1, Haldon Ridge to Dart Valley (AI&M). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV361470Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2017. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SX8274; SX8374; SX8275; SX8375 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017. [Mapped feature: #96883 ]
SDV69961Worksheet: Greeves, T. A. P..

Associated Monuments

MDV124268Related to: Earthwork Mound within Great Plantation, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV21250Related to: Possible tin Streamworks within Staplehill Copse, Iisington and Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV69787Related to: Streamworks at Heathfield, Bovey Tracey (Monument)
MDV124283Related to: Tin Workings within Gavrick Copse, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV9162Related to: Tin works, Ash Hill Copse, Newton Abbot (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6963 - Earthwork Survey, A382 from Drum Bridge to Whitehill Cross and Jetty Marsh Link
  • EDV7515 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey (Ref: ACD1748)

Date Last Edited:May 3 2019 12:41PM