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HER Number:MDV66415
Name:Dressing Floor at Stamping Mill 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Dressing Floor at Stamping Mill number 1 forming part of the 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Grid Reference:SX 594 679
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/27/3/3
  • Old SAM Ref: 34467

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DRESSING FLOOR (XVIII to XIX - 1750 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 157188 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Site visited on 9th May 2002. Dressing floor 820 metres south-west of Eylesbarrow, forming part of Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. A series of hollows representing the site of buddles and other dressing apparatus lie within a rectangular platform denoted by a scarp and revetment wall standing up to 1.3 metres high. A stone lined pit adjacent to the mill measures 0.5 metres deep and many of the others are in the order of 0.7 metres deep. Dumps lying west of the dressing floor stand up to 0.7 metres high and are covered in grass and heather. The dressing floor itself is covered in grass, bilberry and heather.

Newman , P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, 25-31, Figures 2, 5-6 (Report - Survey). SDV352201.

Each Stamping Mill has an associated dressing floor. The stamping area at each mill is immediately adjacent to the wheel. The crushed particles would have passed into a stone lined settling pit sited on the dressing floor. These are 2.8 – 3.3 metres long by approximately 1 metre wide and are lined with flat granite slabs. On some dressing floors additional pits or ‘buddles’ sit alongside the settling pit which may have been lined with timber instead of granite. Below the main dressing floors are a range of secondary buddles and tailings pits for further refining. The plan of the dressing floor at Stamping Mill number 1 shows a gully to the south of the wheelpit with three rectangular buddles and one triangular buddle on the south-west side of the dressing floor.

Newman, P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, Figure 5 (Article in Serial). SDV231130.

English Heritage, 2005, Survey Information (miscellaneous date) (Report - Survey). SDV345855.

Gully and two buddles shown on survey plan.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Feature shown on aerial photograph.

English Heritage, 2013, Eylesbarrow Tin Mine and associated remains (Schedule Document). SDV231131.

The 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine opened in 1814 and continued until 1852. During this time several companies were formed to run the mine and most failed to make a profit. Eylesbarrow's importance stems from its unrivalled array of 19th century mining remains making it the largest and most informative example of a large scale water powered tin mine in Britain. At least 27 shafts and five adits were cut to reach the tin lodes, seven whim platforms and two water powered engine wheels were built to power the lifting and pumping machinery, a series of tramways were made to carry the ore to six separate stamping mills and, to complete the picture, a smelting house was constructed to smelt the processed tin from the stamping mills. The size of the operation is further emphasised by the large number of ancillary buildings constructed to serve the mine. Amongst these are a count house, dormitory accommodation, blacksmith's shop, powder houses, sample house and various storage buildings.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Outline of stamping mill and dressing floor shown on modern mapping.

National Monument Record, 2014, Pastscape, 1300527 (Website). SDV355682.

Remains of nineteenth century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine which was mined from 1814 until 1856. A waterpowered stamping mill with attached dressing floor at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. The stamping mill was built in 1814 and is one of six aligned along the Drizzlecombe Valley and was included in an English Heritage archaeological field survey of the tin mine in 1999. The mill consists of a level stance of ground with a revetted retaining wall on the upslope, eastern side with a return wall on the south end. The rectangular, stone wheelpit is sited at right angles to the revetment, measures 8.2 metre by 0.9 metres. Upslope of the wheelpit was a wooden launder channel which took water at correct height to overshot wheel. A deep open tail race channel diverted water away from the wheelpit. A stamping area situated to the south of the wheel comprises a 2.6 metres by 2.2 metres stone revetted platform, raised above the dressing floor onto which the Cornish set of stamps operated. The mill used the wet stamping process; a flow of water was passed over the base of the stamps, washing the crushed particles through a perforated grate, into a stone lined settling pit sited on the dressing floor. The settling pit measures 2.8 metres by 0.9 metres long and has a lining of flat granite slabs. Three secondary buddles and tailing pits are situated below the main dressing floor. These measure approximately 8 metres by 3 metres and survive a depth of 0.5 metres. A possible reck house has been built into the south wall of the dressing floor.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV231130Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1999. Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 57. Paperback Volume. Figure 5.
SDV231131Schedule Document: English Heritage. 2013. Eylesbarrow Tin Mine and associated remains. The Schedule of Monuments. Website.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 157188.
SDV345855Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Survey Information (miscellaneous date). English Heritage. Digital.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV352201Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 1999. Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine. English Heritage Survey Report. A4 Spiral Bound. 25-31, Figures 2, 5-6.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #98132 ]
SDV355682Website: National Monument Record. 2014. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 1300527.

Associated Monuments

MDV3330Part of: Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV64724Related to: Leat Embankment north-east of Stamping Mill 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66416Related to: Reck House at Stamping Mill Number 1 at Eylesbarrow (Building)
MDV3578Related to: Stamping Mill Number 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66413Related to: Wheelpit at Stamping Mill Number 1 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4966 - Survey of Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor
  • EDV6239 - Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine

Date Last Edited:Jul 7 2014 10:26AM