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HER Number:MDV66427
Name:Dressing Floor at Stamping Mill 4 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Dressing Floor at Stamping Mill number 4 forming part of the 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Grid Reference:SX 592 676
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/195/3
  • Old SAM Ref: 34467(P)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Part of dressing floor shown on 19th century map.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Two sides of a rectilinear earthwork shown on 19th century map.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 157201 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Site visited on 9th May 2002. Dressing floor 1120 metres south-west of Eylesbarrow, forming part of Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. A rectangular terrace cut into the hillslope denoted on the north and west by drystone revetment and bank standing up to 1.1 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 0.8 metres deep. Grass, rushes and heather.

Newman , P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, 25-31, Figures 2, 10-11 (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 4 shows a row of four small settling pits to the west of the wheelpit and a buddle to the south-west. A larger rectangular buddle is shown at the end of a curving gully with a tailrace to the south-east. To the south-west of the settling pits is a row of three more buddles arranged north-east to south-west. The northernmost buddle is triangular with the other two being rectangular. A possible 'reck' house is also shown.

Newman, P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, Figure 10 (Article in Serial). SDV231130.

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

Some features of the dressing floor shown on survey.

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

Line of buddles to the south-west shown as a long triangular feature on survey.

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

Several features 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.

National Monument Record, 2014, Pastscape, 1300540 (Website). SDV355682.

A water powered stamping mill and associated dressing floor which processed tin ore at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. The mill is one of six which served the mine and was also one of three 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. At right angles to the wall is a rectangular, stone wheelpit measuring 5.7 metres by 1 metre. Upslope 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 water source was the Eylesbarrow Stamps leat which diverted water from the River Plym. A possible stamping area was also identified. It consists of a 2.4 metre by 2.7 metre stone revetted level platform, raised above the dressing floor onto which the set of Cornish stamps would operate. 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 pits into which the crushed tinstone would run from the stamps measure 2.8 metres by 1.2 metres long, one has a lining of flat granite slabs partially visible. Below the main dressing floor are three secondary buddles and tailings pits. They measure between 4.5 metres and 5.7 metres long by 2.8 metres, and survive to a maximum depth of 0.8 metres deep.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV231130Article in Serial: Newman, P.. 1999. Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 57. Paperback Volume. Figure 10.
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 157201.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
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, 10-11. [Mapped feature: #98141 ]
SDV355682Website: National Monument Record. 2014. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 1300540.

Associated Monuments

MDV3330Part of: Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66429Related to: Reck House at Stamping Mill Number 4 at Eylesbarrow (Building)
MDV3581Related to: Stamping Mill Number 4 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 10:29AM