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HER Number:MDV6401
Name:Week Ford Upper Mill


An irregular 4-sided structure levelled into the hillslope with its south rear wall acting as a revetment. A flint (possibly part of arrowhead) was found by Greeves lying on loose gravel in wheelpit of Upper Mill, Week Ford.


Grid Reference:SX 661 723
Map Sheet:SX67SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SE/24/2
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SE/24/6
  • Old SAM County Ref: 796

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BLOWING HOUSE (Built, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

WORTH,1940 PP.214-5, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218908.

Week ford upper tin mill (beara house). Week ford, or beara house. Ruins of two blowing houses. There is a leat with a raised foundation for launder to the wheel and wheelpit. Several mortar stones were found, one with three mortars linearly arranged. Also a stone with two bearings much polished by iron axles. This building is sometimes known as the mill. It is the same date as week ford 2. They had joint use of the water supply, and detail of their door jambs, which are grooved to take the wooden post. Overshot water wheel. Part of a broken mouldstone with a sample mould was found in the east wall of the furnace, and anvil stones were also found. The entrance is on the east side and there are extensions at the south west and south east corners. Building(leng(max 6.25m, min 5.6m), widt 4m), wheel est(diam 3m, widt 610mm), furnace widt 1.22m, bearings diam 41mm (worth,1940 pp.214-5).

RCHM APP 1985, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV218912.

Vis=not visible on nmr 1977 ap (rchm app 1985).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218915.

Worth, r. H. /tda/72(1940)214-215/the dartmoor blowing house.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218916.

Worth, r. H. /tda/72(1940)201-3/pls.12,13 figs.1-3/notes on some dartmoor blowing houses.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218917.

Burnard, r. /tpi/10(1888-1889)104-106,226-7,241/fig. /on the track of the 'old men', dartmoor.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218918.

Parsons, h. /tda/88(1956)193-195/the dartmoor blowing house(some recent investigations).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218919.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218920.

Des=robinson, r. /list of doe fmw visits/(1/1/1983)in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218921.

Des=greeves, t. /list of known devon tin mills c.1450-c.1750/(1981)no.84 (in smr).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218922.

Des=duco london/dartmoor proceedings 1203-1735/fol.29.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218923.

Des=dro/accessions list/widecombe/documents in possession of e. J. Eales.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218925.

Burnard, r. /tpi/11(1891)151/opening address.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218926.

Anon/mining journal/(22/8/1891)947.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218927.

Crossing, w. /western antiquary/11(1891-2)12.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218928.

Crossing, w. /guide to dartmoor/(1912)466.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218929.

Greeves, t. In crossley, d. W.(ed)/medieval industry:cba research report 40/ (1981)92(in smr).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218930.

Des=green lanes in devon project/(1986)in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218932.

Des=photo in parish file.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218933.

Des=os 6"(1906)107se.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV218934.

Greeves, t. /an assessment of dartmoor tin working/(1990)42/in smr.

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

Stamping mill. Tin mills documented in 1608, 1730 and 1737. Field evidence (greeves).

Bray, A. E., 1879, The Borders of the Tamar and the Tavy (Vol 2) New 3rd? Edition, 376 (Article in Serial). SDV218924.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1987, List of donations to the Plymouth Museum, (15/06/1987) (Un-published). SDV243606.

(20/04/1974) Flint possibly part of arrowhead found lying on loose gravel in wheelpit of Upper Mill, Week Ford.

Newman, P., 1993, Week Ford Tin Mills, Dartmoor, 192-5 (Article in Serial). SDV350371.

Surveyed in 1991. An irregular, 4-sided structure, levelled into hillslope with south rear wall acting as a revetment. Internal dimensions 4m north-south by 6.3m and 5.3m east-west. Walls, of large undressed moorstones stand a maximum 2m high. Interior is strewn with masonry. A granite-lined recess, 1.3m by 1m deep into south wall, could be a fireplace or an ore-shute. Within it lies a large fallen slab, 0.6m wide, into which a lateral groove has been cut. Its purpose is unknown. A second slab, 1.2m by 0.8m lies on the ground, level with the top of the wall.
Entrance, in the northern wall, is 0.8m wide. Western door jamb has a vertical groove which would have accommodated a wooden door lining. A flat-topped stone forms the threshold. An exceptionally well-preserved wheelpit occupies the entire width of the exterior of the east wall. It is 0.6m wide internally and survives to 1.6m deep. Its south-east corner has been deliberately breached to allow water to flow through it from a leat which meets it at an acute angle from the east. The area immediately south and to the rear of the wheelpit is strewn with large fallen boulders which formed the final support for a wooden launder.
The main leat embankment stands 5m south of the wheelpit. It is an earthen bank 13m long, with traces of walling on the exterior to the west. The fact that the tailrace of this mill makes an obvious detour around lower mill might suggest that this is a later build, with lower mill still in use. However, since the leat of lower mill breaches upper mill's wheelpit, it might equally be argued that upper mill is earlier. Despite the lack of clarity for the earliest phase, the existence of independent water supplies suggests both could have functioned together during later phases.
The interior contains no visible mortarstones, but several lie scattered around the exterior. One at least still lies where Burnard observed it, inside the wheelpit. There is no evidence of a furnace or a mouldstone, and given the fine condition of the structure and that the floor debris appears comparatively shallow, one would expect such features to be visible had they existed at the time of abandonment.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV218908Migrated Record: WORTH,1940 PP.214-5.
SDV218912Report - Survey: RCHM APP 1985.
SDV218915Migrated Record:
SDV218916Migrated Record:
SDV218917Migrated Record:
SDV218918Migrated Record:
SDV218919Migrated Record:
SDV218920Migrated Record:
SDV218921Migrated Record:
SDV218922Migrated Record:
SDV218923Migrated Record:
SDV218924Article in Serial: Bray, A. E.. 1879. The Borders of the Tamar and the Tavy (Vol 2) New 3rd? Edition. The Borders of the Tamar and the Tavy. 2. Digital. 376.
SDV218925Migrated Record:
SDV218926Migrated Record:
SDV218927Migrated Record:
SDV218928Migrated Record:
SDV218929Migrated Record:
SDV218930Migrated Record:
SDV218932Migrated Record:
SDV218933Migrated Record:
SDV218934Migrated Record:
SDV243606Un-published: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1987. List of donations to the Plymouth Museum. Unknown. (15/06/1987).
SDV350371Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1993. Week Ford Tin Mills, Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 51. Paperback Volume. 192-5.
SDV69961Worksheet: Greeves, T. A. P..

Associated Monuments

MDV55152Part of: Week Ford Tin Mills (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV3999 - ARROWHEAD? (Mesolithic to Late Bronze Age - 8000 BC to 701 BC)

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 2 2021 10:01AM