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:MDV6286
Name:Whiteworks Tin Mine


Whiteworks Tin Mine was being worked during the 19th century at various dates; it is known to have been in action in 1820, though closed in 1826, and working in the 1860's. In 1870 it was producing a little tin and between then and 1876 produced 96 tons. Work seems to have ceased soon after the last records, though the stamps, waterwheel and launder were still remaining in 1890. Subsidence in 1942 caused further obliteration of some of the old workings.


Grid Reference:SX 612 710
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains of a section of the late 18th century Devonport Leat running from Nun's Cross to Princetown including extensive tinning remains at Whiteworks Tin Mine

Other References/Statuses

  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 443444
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: SX67SW69
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/45

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TIN MINE (XVIII to XIX - 1780 AD to 1899 AD)

Full description

SEE GREEVES 1980, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237465.

Whiteworks, tin-mine. Plan r 43 c and duchy of cornwall office, liskeard. There was medieval tin working in the area, but the earliest known date for the modern workings appears to be in the 1780s (duchy of cornwall dartmore proceedings 26/11/1790). Details of the sale of the mine equipment in 1818 give a good picture of the inventory of a small mine (see greeves 1980).

1980, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237466.

From this point a large volume of documentation is available, detailed up to 1848 by greeves (1980).

LETTER CITED IN FOX, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV237468.

Vis=-/2/1969 (beer) the vein system of the mine was obviously thoroughly examined from the surface. No tin is visible among heaps of granite waste. The adit mouth can be made out, and shafts and caved-in workings. Several deep opencasts (letter cited in fox).

1906, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237470.

'whiteworks tin mine (disused)' and 'shafts' marked on os 6" (1906) map (os).

RCHME, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV237471.

Vis=18/5/1989 (rchme) whiteworks mine, centred sx612710, is situated on the nw fringe of fox tor mires some 3.5km sse of princetown. The history of the mine has been dealt with in detail up to 1848 by greeves, the period between 1848 and 1914 is apparently to be the subject of a further article.

SEE DUCHY OF CORNWALL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237472.

The most obvious features of the site are the large numbers of shafts generally orientated ne-sw or nw-se on the slight shelf above the mires and the large nw-se openworks intermingled with more shafts on the steep se slope of peat cot hill. Most of the larger shafts are enclosed by stockproof drystone walls. Four blocked and partially collapsed adits, at sx61197121, sx61277119, sx61297119 and sx61117099, are visible in the n part of the site. Others may be obscured by later workings. The medieval workings suggested by greeves cannot be positively identified. Some streamworks exist along the strane river to the e but the prominent pits and shafts visible at the mine have usually been assigned to the 16c or later. The large openworks on peat cot hill were in existence by 1818 (see duchy of cornwall) and are again likely to date from the same period. Some small denuded shafts are visible in and probably predate the small enclosures first depicted on 1839 tm. They are also likely to relate to the post-medieval exploitation of the area.

SEE DUCHY OF CORNWALL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237473.

Three whims at sx61167090, sx61177902 and sx61347079 have diams of around 11m. The latter 2 are represented by raised revetted platforms 1.2m and 0.6m high while the former is 0.6m below the surrounding ground level. A holed stone, presumably the whim bearing, is in situ at sx61177092 while 4 similar stones have been incorporated into the s boundary wall of the mine. At least 8 leats were dug to bring water to whiteworks. The most complete is the whiteworks engine stream which, coupled with another leat rising to the n, powered the waterwheels for most of the 19c. The courses of the other, probably earlier, leats have been disturbed and become indistinct soon after entering the mind area. One is cut by a trackway between 2 of the early enclosures and is visible between sx61317099 and sx61477084. It probably fed a wheel in or near the site of the lower wheelpit. After their convergence at sx1187087 the whiteworks engine stream and n leat flow se towards the higher and lower wheelpits at sx61317083 and sx61527078 respectively. Later 19c activity in the se corner of the site has led to new leat channels being created and others being abandoned as shafts cut their paths. The higher wheelpit consists of a rectangular stone-lined pit 4.5m n-s by approximately 1.2m e-w and 0.6m below the present ground level; it is now largely rubble filled. The lower is represented by a rectangular ramp-like structure 5m e-w by 3.5m n-s standing 1.9m high at its e end. A wheelpit in this position was photographed by burnard in 1889. The pit has since been infilled, its surrounding walls now provide three sides of the "ramp". Immediately n of this feature is a small rectangular platform 12.5m n-s by 6.5m e-w on which stood the stamps, shown partially dismantled by burnard. A further platform surrounded on 3 sides by an earth and stone bank 0.7m high lies to the ne, this may be the dressing floor. There is no visible stamping area adjacent to the higher wheelpit though a small rectangular structure is depicted adjacent to the pit on the os first edition 6". Two short lengths of tramroad are depicted on the same map. The section between sx61217094 and sx61357084 measures 1.6m to 2.2m wide and runs at ground level. The trackbed of the se part running from sx61367082 to sx61477079 is also extant and with 2 other sections between sx61207088 and sx61257086 and sx61167088 and sx6137082 formed later lines conveying excavated material to the stamps. These later lines measure around 2.5m wide and are, at their nw ends, built up to a maximum height of 0.7m above the present ground level. The indentations of sleepers are still visible at 1.2m intervals. A further section visible as a stony bank 1.8m wide and 0.25m high and ran from sx61377082 to sx61367077. The line depicted by the os between sx61477079 on the s boundary of the mine and the lower stamps is not visible on the ground though a raised wooden ?ramp in the correct position is shown by burnard. Between sx61507097 and sx61577092 two low turf banks flank a narrow strip of land 4.5m to 2m wide that leads from a sunken trackway to the w bank of the strane river. This feature defies interpretation. The remains of several buildings lie either side of the trackway running ne-sw through the site. A plan of the mine dated 1840 reportedly depicts and names not only all the shafts and adits but also a count house and smiths shop (see duchy of cornwall). So far only he mine captain's house at sx61287115 has been identified. Only cottages at sx1127094 are now inhabited.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237478.

Crossing, w. /guide to dartmoor/(1909).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237480.

Crossing, w. /present-day life on dartmoor/(1903).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237481.

Des=memoirs geological survey/338 dartmoor.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237482.

Collins, j. H. /mineralogy cornwall and devon/(1895).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV237487.

Aph=nmr sx6170/1(19/5/1977).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237490.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237491.

Des=plan(1:2500)by rchm circa 1989/in parish file.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237492.

Des=rchm survey/(nd)/in pf.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237494.

Des=probert, s. A. J. /(18/5/1989)/as above.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237496.

Greeves, t. A. P. /plymouth mineral and mining club journal/11.2(1980)11-16.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237498.

Burnard, r. /tin mines and miners of dartmoor/(1986)/photo.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV237499.

Aph=dap/jv 7-10/(31/1/1988).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV237500.

Aph=dap/qg 1-3/(14/3/1990).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV237502.

Des=greeves, t. /dtrg newsletter/13(july 1997)7-8/dartmoor mines in 1799.

Duchy of Cornwall, 1818, Map of Freehold and Early Enclosures of Dartmoor (Cartographic). SDV237263.

Wood, 1850, Map of Dartmoor (Cartographic). SDV340908.

Crossing, W., 1901, A Hundred Years on Dartmoor (Monograph). SDV350954.

Collins, J. H., 1912, Observations on the West of England Mining Region (Monograph). SDV323594.

H. M. Stationary Office, 1929, Abandoned Mines (Monograph). SDV215700.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 4358 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Ramsden, J. V., 1952, Notes on the Mines of Devonshire, 101, fig.1 (Article in Serial). SDV60737.

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 40 (Monograph). SDV149229.

Whiteworks Tin Mine was being worked during the 19th century at various dates; it is known to have been in action in 1820, though closed in 1826, and working in the 1860's. In 1870 it was producing a little tin and between then and 1876 produced 96 tons. Work seems to have ceased soon after the last records, though the stamps, waterwheel and launder were still remaining in 1890. Subsidence in 1942 caused further obliteration of some of the old workings.

Fox, A., 1969, Swincombe Survey, 12 (Report - Survey). SDV250998.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1980, A History of Whiteworks Tin Mine 1790-1848, 11-16 (Article in Serial). SDV237485.

'White Work' mine was one of 11 mines working on Dartmoor in 1799. It has been operating successfully since the mid 1780's. It was owned by simpson & co who were also the proprietors of Videford and Rundlestone Mines.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 344 (Monograph). SDV249702.

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

Visible on aerial photographs and recorded on map overlay.

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

National Monuments Record, 2010, Untitled Source (National Monuments Record Database). SDV214864.

The area nw of the davenport leat remains to be fully investigated. Fowtor mires have been extensively worked since the medieval period. About 20ha around the streams that empty into the mires exhibit signs of tin streaming and large girts extend s to caters beam and nakers hill. The streamworks s of the mires may have been reworked during the 18c and 19c by the various operators of whiteworks mine. A small stamping mill at sx61457000 drew water from the whiteworks engine stream and presumably processed ore from this enterprise. A series of large openworks and shafts e of the mine were also probably worked during this period. Within this area is a small rectangular building constructed from drill-split blocks (probert).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 40.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4358.
SDV214864National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV215700Monograph: H. M. Stationary Office. 1929. Abandoned Mines. Abandoned Mines. Unknown.
SDV237263Cartographic: Duchy of Cornwall. 1818. Map of Freehold and Early Enclosures of Dartmoor. Unknown.
SDV237465Migrated Record: SEE GREEVES 1980.
SDV237466Migrated Record: 1980.
SDV237468Report - Survey: LETTER CITED IN FOX.
SDV237470Migrated Record: 1906.
SDV237471Report - Survey: RCHME.
SDV237472Migrated Record: SEE DUCHY OF CORNWALL.
SDV237473Migrated Record: SEE DUCHY OF CORNWALL.
SDV237478Migrated Record:
SDV237480Migrated Record:
SDV237481Migrated Record:
SDV237482Migrated Record:
SDV237485Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1980. A History of Whiteworks Tin Mine 1790-1848. Plymouth Mineral and Mining Club Journal. 11. Digital. 11-16.
SDV237487Aerial Photograph:
SDV237490Migrated Record:
SDV237491Migrated Record:
SDV237492Migrated Record:
SDV237494Migrated Record:
SDV237496Migrated Record:
SDV237498Migrated Record:
SDV237499Aerial Photograph:
SDV237500Aerial Photograph:
SDV237502Migrated Record:
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 344.
SDV250998Report - Survey: Fox, A.. 1969. Swincombe Survey. Unknown. 12.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound.
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.
SDV323594Monograph: Collins, J. H.. 1912. Observations on the West of England Mining Region. Observations on the West of England Mining Region. Unknown.
SDV340908Cartographic: Wood. 1850. Map of Dartmoor. Unknown.
SDV350954Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1901. A Hundred Years on Dartmoor. A Hundred Years on Dartmoor. Unknown.
SDV60737Article in Serial: Ramsden, J. V.. 1952. Notes on the Mines of Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 101, fig.1.

Associated Monuments

MDV26006Parent of: Leats supplying Whiteworks (Monument)
MDV12201Related to: New London Cottages, Princetown (Building)
MDV123176Related to: Ruined building at Whiteworks (Building)
MDV26002Related to: Ruined building at Whiteworks (Building)
MDV26003Related to: Ruined building at Whiteworks (Building)
MDV123177Related to: Ruined buildings at Whiteworks (Building)
MDV19902Related to: The Devonport Leat, Dartmoor (Monument)
MDV26001Related to: Tin miners Cottages, Whiteworks (Building)
MDV26011Related to: Whiteworks Engine Stream (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8629 - Peat Cot Farm Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Mar 11 2022 2:50PM