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HER Number:MDV66472
Name:Mine Shaft 21 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Mine shaft number 21 known as 'Whitford', 'Widford' and 'Henry's Engine' forming part of the 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine


Grid Reference:SX 601 683
Map Sheet:SX66NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1300505
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NW/216/9
  • Old SAM Ref: 34467

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MINE SHAFT (XVIII to XIX - 1750 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Large earthwork with shaft in the north- west part shown on 19th century map.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 157254 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Site visited on 9th May 2002. 'Whitford' shaft, 310 metres south-south-east of Eylesbarrow, forming part of Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. The shaft is about 8 metres deep, has relatively steep sides, appears stable and is covered in grass and heather. The associated dump is about 5 metres high and is covered in grass and heather. In the south-west corner of the shaft is a rectangular open sided structure measuring 3.8 metres long by 1.8 metres wide which is made of drystone revetment standing up to 2.2 metres high. The wall is best preserved on the northern and western sides. Heather, grass and bilberry. This is probably a balance bob pit associated with the flat rod system.

Newman , P., 1999, Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine, 6-10, Figures 2-3, Appendices 1-2 (Report - Survey). SDV352201.

Over thirty shaftheads are still visible at the 19th century Eylesbarrow Tin Mine. They consist of conical pits surrounded on the downslope side by a crescentric ring of spoil or linear spoil dumps.
Shaft 21 known variously as 'Whitford', 'Widford' and 'Henry's Engine' shaft is in an area of earlier activity where deposits were initially exploited by either streamwork or openwork methods. It was associated with a bob pit, flat rods from possibly both Engine Wheelpits and a whim. It was mentioned as 'Whitford's' in documents from 1814 unti the 1840s and as 'Widford' in March 1847. From July until October in 1847 it was referred to as 'Henry's Engine' sahft.

Whitbourne, A., 2001, Visit to Eylesbarrow Mine (Article in Serial). SDV231129.

Two whim platforms are located at 'Price Deacon Shaft' where it is suggested that the whimstones may have been manpowered capstans. A flat rod system linked this shaft with 'Whitford Shaft' which was renamed 'Henry's Engine' after conversion from mining to pumping.

English Heritage, 2005, Industrial Survey Information (Report - Survey). SDV346396.

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

Large crater shown on aerial photograph.

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

One of the mine shafts at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine.

English Heritage, 2013, Pastscape, 1300505 (Website). SDV352645.

Remains of nineteenth century mine shafts and adits at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine, which was mined from 1814 until 1856. An English Heritage archaeological field survey identified 25 shaftheads of which 16 have names recorded in documentary sources.
Most of the shaftheads comprise conical pits between 9 metres and 16 metres in diameter, surrounded on the downslope side by either a crescentic or linear spoil dump up to 3 metres high. Some also have remains of masonry collars. It is likely that the majority of the shafts would originally have had collars, particularly those associated with winding or pumping equipment but they were destroyed or obscured when the shafts were capped after abandonment. At least five of the shafts were associated with pumping equipment, powered by the two waterwheels located on the lower flanks of the hill. Three shafts have evidence of balance bob pits built into the upper rim of the shafthead. Six of the shafts were used for winding.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV231129Article in Serial: Whitbourne, A.. 2001. Visit to Eylesbarrow Mine. Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group Newsletter. 22. Unknown.
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 157254.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital. [Mapped feature: #98181 ]
SDV346396Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Industrial Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV352201Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 1999. Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine. English Heritage Survey Report. A4 Spiral Bound. 6-10, Figures 2-3, Appendices 1-2.
SDV352645Website: English Heritage. 2013. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 1300505.

Associated Monuments

MDV3330Part of: Eylesbarrow (Ailsborough) Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV64737Related to: Flatrod Gullies (a) and (b) from Engine Wheel 1 at Eylesbarrow Tine Mine (Monument)
MDV66410Related to: Flatrod System from Engine Wheel 2 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66500Related to: Tramway 3 at Eylesbarrow Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV66473Related to: Whim Platform at Mine Shaft 21 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:Aug 1 2014 2:01PM