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HER Number:MDV66420
Name:Dressing Floor at Stamping Mill 2 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Dressing Floor at Stamping Mill number 2 forming part of the 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Grid Reference:SX 593 678
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/27/3/6
  • 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 157194 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Site visited on 9th May 2002. Dressing floor 940 metres south-west of Eylesbarrow, forming part of Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. A rectangular terrace cut into the hillslope denoted on the north-east and south-east by a substantial bank standing up to 1.2 metres high. A number of linear hollows within the area represent the site of buddles some of which are stone lined. The buddles are up to 0.5 metres deep.

Newman , P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, 25-31, Figures 2, 8-9 (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 2 shows two small settling pits to the east of the wheelpit and three buddles to the south. The two buddles on the east side consist of a sub-rectangular buddle to the south and a sub-triangular buddles to the north of it. To the west of these is a rectangular buddle with a tailrace from the wheelpit to the north.

Newman, P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, Figure 8 (Article in Serial). SDV231130.

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

Two buddles shown on survey plan.

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

Several buddles visible 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.

National Monument Record, 2014, Pastscape, 1300530 (Website). SDV355682.

Remains of nineteenth century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine, which was mined from 1814 until 1856. A water-powered stamping mill and associated dressing floor at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. The mill is one of six stamping mills which processed tin ore for Eylesbarrow Tin Mine and is one of three mills which were constructed in 1814. An archaeological field survey by English Heritage in 1999 found the mill to comprise a level stance of ground with a revetted retaining wall on the upslope, eastern side with a return wall end. At right angles to the revetment is a rectangular, stone wheelpit, measuring 8.2 metres by 0.9 metres. Upslope of the wheelpit is a raised earth leat embankment, which would have supported a wooden launder channel at the correct height to bring water to the overshot wheel. The embankment is 50 metres long and 5.5 metres wide. A deep open tail race channel diverted water away from the wheelpit . The water source was the Eylesbarrow Engine leat which stored water in the large reservoir 160 metres uphill. Before connecting with this mill the water had already passed over or bypassed, the Engine Wheel and the upper stamping mill wheel. A possible stamping area has also been identified. It consists of a 1.9 metre by 2.4 metre stone revetted level platform, raised above the dressing floor onto which a set of Cornish stamps were operating. The mill used the wet stamping process whereby 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 2.9 metre by 1 metre long and has a lining of flat granite slabs, which are still partially visible. Below the main dressing floor are three secondary buddles and tailings pits. These measure between 5 metres by 7 metre and up to 3 metres wide, and survive to a maximum depth of 0.5 metres, some have traces of a masonry lining visible.

Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording forms, WLK-DT39 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited 17/9/2019. Wheelpit has bracken growing from upper part of wall. Adit covered with grass, whortleberry and reeds. Dressing floor covered mainly by grass with whortleberry and reed outcrops. Overall condition good. Photos x3 taken.

Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording photographs, WLK-DT39 (Photograph). SDV363073.

Photo 1 looking 290° showing bracken growing out of upper wall of wheelpit. Photo 2 looking 210° showing grass, whortleberry and reed cover in adit. Photo 3 looking 020° showing grass and whortleberry cover with reed outcrops of 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 8.
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 157194.
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, 8-9.
SDV355682Website: National Monument Record. 2014. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 1300530.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT39.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WLK-DT39.

Associated Monuments

MDV3330Part of: Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV3579Related to: Stamping Mill Number 2 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:Sep 16 2019 6:17PM