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HER Number:MDV6268
Name:Wheal Emma Leat

Summary

Wheal Emma; dry channel of the mid-19th century leat which took in water from the Swincombe at a weir just east of Whiteworks Mine, crossing the moor to empty into the River Mardle near Chalk Ford. A weir at Higher Combe deflected water into the second part of the leat channel and ran to the Wheal Emma Mine in Brookwood, powering the large wheels for pumps and ore crushing machinery at the sett.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 669 698
Map Sheet:SX66NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Walling remains of a Bronze Age settlements north-west of Fox Tor Farm, as well as medieval or later streamworking, open cuts and tinners' buildings
  • SHINE: Section of the mid-19th century Wheal Emma Leat north-west of Scorriton Down
  • SHINE: Earthworks, structures and below ground remains of the South Devon United Mines, a mid-19th century copper mining enterprise in Brook Wood, as well as part of the Wheal Emma Leat

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 67 SW 188
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/34
  • Pastscape: 908802
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LEAT (Constructed, XIX - 1859 AD to 1859 AD (Between))

Full description

National Monuments Record, NMR SX6768, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV172757.


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

Course of the second section of the leat (from the Mardle to Brookwood) shown on the late 19th century historic map. Map object based on this source.


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149, 3427-3430 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.


Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 61, 206 (Monograph). SDV149229.

The Wheal Emma leat was cut in 1859, taking water off the River Swincombe at SX623710 and running a sinuous course to join the River Mardle at SX679683, thus augmenting the supply of water serving Wheal Emma copper mine, West Buckfastleigh. The mine worked along with Brookwood as South Devon United Mines throughout the later 19th century.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Wheal Emma; dry channel of the leat which took in water from the Swincombe at a weir just east of Whiteworks, contours the hillside eastwards above the valley. Visible and recorded.


Pattison, P., 1988, Wheal Emma Leat, 21/7/1988 (Report - Survey). SDV236014.

Industrial leat. Part examined on Sherberton Farm between SX 6358 7204 and SX 6487 7243 and between SX 6510 7249 and SX 6586 7201.
The section examined follows the 340 metre contour, negotiating Deep Swincombe in a tight, southern loop also along the northern slope of Down Ridge. The leat channel is square-cut, its sides occasionally lined with coursed walling or large, drill spilt blocks. Over difficult ground the lining is not always apparent. The channel is now up to 2.5 metres wide and 0.8 - 1.6 metres deep, predominantly dry but with groundworks accumulated in places. There is a substantial retaining bank of upcast soil and stone on the downslope side, generally 2.5 - 3.5 metres wide and 0.8 - 1.5 metres high, but on the west side of Deep Swincombe the height attains 3.5 metres to accommodate the steep slope. In places it is bridged by drill split blocks of granite.
The course of the leat is shown on the Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 historic maps.


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset. (Report - Survey). SDV277946.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1991, An Assessment of Copper Mining in Devon (Copper, Brass, Tin), 16+2 /in Tavistock Hamlets parish file. (Report - Assessment). SDV60709.

Well preserved Wheal Emma leat is 16.1 kilometres long.


Hedley, L. and Cranstone, D., 1995, Monuments Protection Programme, Zink, Copper, Minor Metals, Step Three: The Copper Industry, Introduction to Step 3 Assessments, 18 (Report - non-specific). SDV357718.

9. Wheal Emma leat SX 664 716.
Lesser national importance.


Exeter Archaeology, 2005, An Archaeological Survey of Weirs in the River Dart Catchment. Draft Report, Appendix 2: Ex. Arch. No. 39 (Report - Survey). SDV356906.


Levy, S., 2005, Wheal Emma Leat. Archaeological Field Survey Report, 1 (Report - Survey). SDV359768.

Wheal Emma leat is a 14.9 kilometre (9.25 mile) long artificial water channel constructed to extract water from the River Swincombe at its confluence with the Strane River, to the south-east of Whiteworks Tin Mine. The course of the leat passes through the important landscape palimpsest of prehistoric reaves and settlements and later medieval field systems and settlements on Holne Moor. It crosses the Holne-Hexworthy road four times, looping to the south of Venford Reservoir and around the south-east side of Holne Lee before its channel meets the River Mardle below Scorriton Point. At Higher Combe, a weir on the Mardle deflected water into the second part of the leat channel, which carried it to Wheal Emma Mine in Brookwood. The water provided by the leat powered the large wheels for the pumps and the ore crushing machinery at the mine sett.
Survey of the entire length of the leat recorded condition and areas of damage etc.


Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

The course of the leat is depicted on the modern mapping (as a dry leat channel). Map object based on this source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 61, 206.
SDV172757Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. NMR SX6768. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. 1.
SDV236014Report - Survey: Pattison, P.. 1988. Wheal Emma Leat. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. 21/7/1988.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3427-3430.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV356906Report - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2005. An Archaeological Survey of Weirs in the River Dart Catchment. Draft Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. Digital. Appendix 2: Ex. Arch. No. 39.
SDV357718Report - non-specific: Hedley, L. and Cranstone, D.. 1995. Monuments Protection Programme, Zink, Copper, Minor Metals, Step Three: The Copper Industry, Introduction to Step 3 Assessments. English Heritage. A4 Bound. 18.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV359768Report - Survey: Levy, S.. 2005. Wheal Emma Leat. Archaeological Field Survey Report. dartmoor National Park Authority. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 1.
SDV60709Report - Assessment: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1991. An Assessment of Copper Mining in Devon (Copper, Brass, Tin). A4 Stapled + Digital. 16+2 /in Tavistock Hamlets parish file..

Associated Monuments

MDV126409Related to: Cist within reave system on Holne Moor (Monument)
MDV62237Related to: Clapper bridge across Wheal Emma leat (Monument)
MDV62238Related to: Clapper bridge across Wheal Emma leat (Monument)
MDV62239Related to: Clapper bridge across Wheal Emma leat (Monument)
MDV62236Related to: Clapper bridge across Wheal Emma Leat (Monument)
MDV123230Related to: Clearance cairn on Down Ridge (Monument)
MDV64118Related to: ENCLOSURE in the Parish of Holne (Monument)
MDV64119Related to: ENCLOSURE in the Parish of Holne (Monument)
MDV51548Related to: FORD in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV26134Related to: Fragmented prehistoric enclosure 350 metres south-west of Gobbett Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV126300Related to: Hut adjacent to Wheal Emma leat, Holne Moor (Monument)
MDV126301Related to: Hut adjacent to Wheal Emma leat, Holne Moor (Monument)
MDV27268Related to: Hut circle A on Down Ridge (Monument)
MDV26351Related to: Hut circle B on Down Ridge (Monument)
MDV6500Related to: Hut circle in reave system south of Saddle Bridge (Monument)
MDV76717Related to: Hut circle settlement north of Fox Tor (Monument)
MDV126324Related to: Hut in reave system west of Venford Reservoir, Holne Moor (Monument)
MDV38013Related to: Mardle Woodhouse and adjoining Mill (Building)
MDV5253Related to: Michelcombe Arrishes Farmstead on Holne Moor, Holne (Monument)
MDV27688Related to: Part of the Dartmeet parallel reave system north of the Down Ridge stone circle (Monument)
MDV29162Related to: Part of the Holne Town Gutter leat (Monument)
MDV6293Related to: Settlement 500 meters north-east of Swincombe water intake (Monument)
MDV25568Related to: Settlement 750 meters north of Fox Tor Farm (Monument)
MDV49062Related to: South Devon United Copper Mine, Buckfastleigh (Monument)
MDV26375Related to: Streamworks at the south-west end of Venford Reservoir, Holne (Monument)
MDV126394Related to: Trial pits in reave system south-west of Saddle Bridge (Monument)
MDV15078Related to: Venford Reave (Monument)
MDV102761Related to: Weir 650 metres east of Whiteworks (Monument)
MDV102762Related to: Weir 650 metres east of Whiteworks (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6538 - Archaeological Survey of Weirs in the River Dart Catchment
  • EDV7062 - Survey of the Wheal Emma Leat, Dartmoor
  • EDV7100 - Holne Moor Survey
  • EDV8146 - Royal Commission Survey at Down Ridge and Swincombe

Date Last Edited:Sep 6 2019 11:52AM