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HER Number:MDV6548
Name:Wheal Caroline Mine, Water Hill,


The remains of a 19th century tin mine. The mine was never very successful and is not well documented although it is mentioned on an indenture of 1825 and shown on a plan of 1826. Surviving features, on the south-west side of Water Hill, include shaft heads, an adit, a possible reservoir and a wheel pit. The remains of a small building nearby are also associated with the mine.


Grid Reference:SX 668 812
Map Sheet:SX68SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SE/7
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MINE (XVIII to XIX - 1751 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Watts, S., 05/11/2013, Wheal Caroline Mine (Personal Comment). SDV354400.

Colenso, 09/03/1836, Colenso's Report On Mines (Unknown). SDV277419.

Newman, P., 10/12/1992, Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field Investigation (Report - Survey). SDV352719.

Site visit 10th December 1992. The field remains to the east of Statts Brook are mainly surface evidence of underground activity and comprise the following:
SX 66868122, SX 66888124 and SX 66928125. Three shaftheads aligned on a southwest to northeast orientation and spaced up to 20 metres apart. Each consists of a conical pit with a crescentic ring of spoil on the downslope side. The average diameter of the pits is 6 metres by 1.7 metres deep and spoil rings are 1.6m high by approximately 6.2 metres wide at base.
SX 66858121. A probable adit entrance, now blocked, and linear spoilheap. An ovoid marshy depression measuring 4.5 metres by 7 metres and 0.8 metres deep is all that is currently visible of the adit entrance which was associated with the three shaftheads to the east. The spoil heap, which lies between SX 66848121, 12 metres to the west of the adit, and SX 66808118, has an approximately level upper.
SX 66728113. Two pairs of opposing curved banks formimg raised elliptical hollows, 25 metres long by 10 metres wide. These features may have been used to divert and store water from the Wheal Caroline leat, into the main Vitifer Mine leat to the south.
SX 66848083. Fragmentary remains of a wheelpit which housed a waterwheel used to power pumping equipment in the nearby underground working. The wheelpit was constructed within an earlier disused openwork and now consists only of a pit 30 metres by 1 5metres north to south, and 6 metres deep, containing some tumbled masonry. An outflow channel measuring up to 3 metres wide by 1.2 metres deep runs south from the south-west end of the wheelpit. Water was supplied via a large linear reservoir located 30 metres to the north-east at SX 66888086 which forms the termination point of the Wheal Caroline leat. It is essentially a widening of the leat but has also been built within and incorporating part of the openwork. It has internal dimentions of 30 metres north to south and between 5.3 metres and 2 metres wide. The front retaining bank is 1 metres high and between 2 - 5.3 metres wide. The scarp to the rear has a drop of 1.5 metres (A short section of wooden launder would have been necessary to divert water onto the wheel).
SX 67188095 A steep-sided shafthead, cut into rock and located within a previously disused openwork. The shaft survives to a depth of 6 metres. The area immediately surrounding the shafthead is covered with raised mounds of spoil.
Map object approximate, based on this source.

Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, CPE/UK/1995, 4361 (Aerial Photograph). SDV217286.

Unknown, 1825, 924/B8/, 30-31 (Record Office Collection). SDV277421.

Wheal Caroline is not well documented but is mentioned on an indenture of 1825 on which the bounds are described.

Unknown, 1826, Wheal Caroline (Record Office Collection). SDV354380.

A plan of 1826, associated with a share prospectus, depicts several elements which survive today, including the leat and the stamping mill.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 475 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 205 (Monograph). SDV149229.

The remains of a small mine, Wheal Caroline, with the ruins of a miner's house, to the west of Warren House Inn.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 514 + n35 (Monograph). SDV249702.

The remains of a small building on the south-west slope of Water Hill with, nearby, deep gerts, pits and shfts (since filled in) constitute the remains of Wheal Caroline. The mine was so relatively unproductive that it was omitted from Mining Records.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1985, Steeperton Tor Tin Mine, Dartmoor, 104 (Article in Serial). SDV310154.

Reference to a shareholder of 1825 who, in 1836, was operating Steeperton Tor Mine.

The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Unit, 1985, The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV340940.

Three openwork mines are visible extending north-east up Water Hill.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 37, Map 26 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Wheal Caroline, a tin mine on the south-west of Water Hill, was one of the less successful ventures and there is little to be seen apart from a few gullies and a deep pit at the site of the shaft.

Newman, P., 1996, Recording the Tinworks of Dartmoor Forest, 143-149 (Article in Serial). SDV337905.

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

English Heritage, 2013, Pastscape (Website). SDV352645.

Remains of a nineteenth century tin mine on Water Hill. The mine is not well documented but is mentioned on an indenture of 1825 and shown on a plan of 1826. It was in a state of dereliction by 1879. An archaeological field survey in 1992 identified several surviving features including three shaft heads comprising conical pits with an average diameter of 6 metres and depth of 1.7 metres, an adit, a possible reservoir and remains of a wheel pit. The wheel pit measures 30 metres by 15 metres and 6 metres deep and housed a waterwheel which powered pumping equipment. Possible associated mine buildings and a stamping mill were also recorded. NMR No. SX68SE219. Record last updated: 2008.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 205.
SDV217286Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4361.
SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 37, Map 26.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 514 + n35.
SDV277419Unknown: Colenso. 09/03/1836. Colenso's Report On Mines. Unknown.
SDV277421Record Office Collection: Unknown. 1825. 924/B8/. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown. 30-31.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV310154Article in Serial: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1985. Steeperton Tor Tin Mine, Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 117. 104.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 475.
SDV337905Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1996. Recording the Tinworks of Dartmoor Forest. Mining History: Bulletin PDMHS. The Archaeology of Mining and Metallurgy in. 13, Number 2. A4 Paperback. 143-149.
SDV340940Interpretation: The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Unit. 1985. The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project. The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project. Map (Paper).
SDV352645Website: English Heritage. 2013. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website.
SDV352719Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 10/12/1992. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field Investigation. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field Investigation. Unknown.
SDV354380Record Office Collection: Unknown. 1826. Wheal Caroline. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown.
SDV354400Personal Comment: Watts, S.. 05/11/2013. Wheal Caroline Mine.

Associated Monuments

MDV105344Parent of: Aqueduct 220 metres north of B3212 to east of Warren House Inn (Monument)
MDV54622Parent of: Shaft in Openwork 340 metres north-west of Warrenhouse Inn (Monument)
MDV54590Parent of: Wheal Caroline Mine Leat (Monument)
MDV105305Parent of: Wheelpit 270 metres north of Statts Bridge (Monument)
MDV6712Related to: Caroline Cott, Water Hill (Monument)
MDV54592Related to: Disused Leat on south-west side of Water Hill near Warren House Inn (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 5 2013 10:15AM