HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV6694
Name:Blowing Mill 193 metres north-east of Fernworthy Dam

Summary

Remains of a rectangular building on the south side of the South Teign river below Fernworthy Dam. There is no obvious wheelpit and any traces of a leat are presumed to have been destroyed during construction of the reservoir. The only evidence that this was a tin mill is the mouldstone noted by Crossing in 1912 and now missing, and slag found during the digging of a pipeline in the 1920s. Surveyed in 1985 and 2013.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 672 844
Map Sheet:SX68SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX68SE40
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SE/107
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX68SE40
  • Pastscape: 443836

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BLOWING HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))
  • TIN MILL (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Crossing, W., 1890, Crockern Tor and the Ancient Stannery Parliament (Article in Serial). SDV266906.


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


Worth, R. H., 1929, Stray Notes on Dartmoor Tin-Working. Part 2, 401-403 (Article in Serial). SDV357076.


Worth, R. H., 1935, Dartmoor Exploration Committee, Twelfth Report, 126 (Article in Serial). SDV259660.

Worth refers to a blowing house below Methererll and that slag was found during the construction of a pipe line nearby.


Worth, R. H., 1940, The Dartmoor Blowing House, 213 (Article in Serial). SDV154693.

Opposite Thornworthy (SX 67058493) on the right bank of the South Teign River are the remains of a Medieval blowing house. The internal measurements are 10.2 by 4.1 metres and the walls are roughly 0.9 metres high. There was formerly a mould stone on this site but this had been lost. A trench revealed much slag and also sand and slime from tin-dressing.


Ordnance Survey, 1953-1969, 1953-1969 National Grid OS A edition imperial (Cartographic). SDV352727.

(SX 67228443) Blowing House (NR) (remains of) (Ordnance Survey 1963 6 inch maps).


Broughton, D. G., 1961, A Report on the Geology, Mineralogy and Mining in the North-Eastern Part of Dartmoor, 15 (Monograph). SDV257693.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1981, List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750, No. 80 (Report - non-specific). SDV319826.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Not visible on 1946 Royal Air Force aerial photos due to tree cover.


Dartmoor National Park Authority, 1985, Fernworthy Forest and Reservoir Walks (Leaflet). SDV363054.

Small reproduction of the survey carried out by Greeves and Robinson in 1985 and summary details.
Structure probably dates to the 16th century and would have had a waterwheel powering stamps for crushing tin ore. Tin slag was found proving tin was smelted on site and in the 1890s a mouldstone for making tin ingots was recorded here (since lost).
Internal building measurements are 10.7 metres by 4.7 metres. The south wall still stands to a height of 1.3 metres. The entrance appears to have been in the north-west corner of the building. The east wall is largely destroyed.


Greeves, T. + Robinson, R., 1985, Thornworthy Blowing House (Plan - measured). SDV257686.

Site surveyed at 1:100.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1990, An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking, 39 (Report - Assessment). SDV343684.


Newman , P., 2013, The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Supplement. The Lakeside Area and Lowton Farmsteads, 24-5, 30, Figs 26-28 (Report - Survey). SDV356884.

The site was first noted by Crossing who stated that there were two buildings and a mouldstone. It was confirmed as a tin smelting site by Worth who reported finds of slag during the digging of a pipeline in the 1920s but he made no mention of a second building. Worth also presumed that the pipeline work was responsible for the disappearance of the mouldstone.
The surviving rectangular building is located at the foot of the slope just a few metres from the river. The west, north and south walls survive to a height of 1.25 metres. The internal dimensions are 10.5 by 4.4 metres. The eastern wall has been robbed, although the footings are still visible in places. An opening, possibly the entrance is visible in the north corner. There is no obvious wheelpit and no furnace structure survives. Any traces of a leat to supply water to the site would have been destroyed by the construction of the Fernworthy dam. Thus Crossing's missing mouldstone and finds of slag from the pipe trench are the only evidence that this was a tin-smelting site. There is evidence of tin working in the locale with several stony waste heaps typical of stream works nearby.
About 20 metres to the south-west is an assemblage of stones and boulders which bear some resemblance to the corner of a structure and which could possibly be the remains of the second building noted by Crossing. All the stones are moss-covered.
The building is in a stable condition although there are trees growing within it and there are saplings growing from within its walls. Although the site is probably less-well visited it is suggested that it nevertheless be included in further interpretation schemes.


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

Blowing House (remains of) marked.


Greeves, T. A. P., 2019, Notes on Thornworthy Blowing Mill (Correspondence). SDV363055.

Survey took place on 12 March 1985. Greeves first visited the site on 22 May 1977. At that time he found a considerable quantity of tin slag about 4.0 metres due east of the outer north-east corner of the building and thought it possible that the pipeline of 1928 may have cut right through the building or very close to it. Samples of this slag were analysed by Albertine Malham and results are included in her PhD of 2010.


Torquay Museum, Unknown, Register No. 1427 (Museum Collection). SDV257694.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154693Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1940. The Dartmoor Blowing House. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. 213.
SDV257686Plan - measured: Greeves, T. + Robinson, R.. 1985. Thornworthy Blowing House. Unknown.
SDV257693Monograph: Broughton, D. G.. 1961. A Report on the Geology, Mineralogy and Mining in the North-Eastern Part of Dartmoor. A Report on the Geology, Mineralogy and Mining in the North-Eastern Part of Dartmoor. Unknown. 15.
SDV257694Museum Collection: Torquay Museum. Unknown. Register No. 1427. Torquay Museum. Unknown.
SDV259660Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1935. Dartmoor Exploration Committee, Twelfth Report. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 67. Photocopy. 126.
SDV266906Article in Serial: Crossing, W.. 1890. Crockern Tor and the Ancient Stannery Parliament. Western Antiquary. 10.
SDV319826Report - non-specific: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1981. List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750. List of Known Devon Tin Mills c1450 - c1750. 35. Unknown. No. 80.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume.
SDV343684Report - Assessment: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1990. An Assessment of Dartmoor Tinworking. Digital. 39.
SDV352727Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1953-1969. 1953-1969 National Grid OS A edition imperial. Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #98329 ]
SDV356884Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2013. The Archaeology of Fernworthy Forest, Dartmoor, Devon. Supplement. The Lakeside Area and Lowton Farmsteads. Newman, P.. A4 Comb Bound. 24-5, 30, Figs 26-28.
SDV357076Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1929. Stray Notes on Dartmoor Tin-Working. Part 2. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 61. Unknown. 401-403.

Associated Monuments

MDV30888Related to: Slag from tinworking at Thornworthy Mill (Find Spot)
MDV20861Related to: Tin Mill at Metherall (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV3253 - MOULDSTONE (XIV to XVII - 1400 AD to 1699 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV6533 - Archaeological Survey of South-West Lakeside Trust Land around Fernworthy Reservoir
  • EDV8110 - Measured survey of the Thornworthy Blowing Mill

Date Last Edited:Jun 14 2019 2:37PM