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HER Number:MDV76288
Name:Manganese mill at Morwellham Quay

Summary

Remains of a manganese mill, probably built in the 1820s, including a wheelpit with a restored waterwheel brought from Dartmoor in 1975.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 445 696
Map Sheet:SX46NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishUNKNOWN

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANGANESE MILL (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Morwellham Display Boards (Illustration). SDV358896.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Map object based on this Source.

Booker, F., 1967, Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley, 29-33 (Monograph). SDV240774.

Manganese ore was ground for the chemical industries in a watermill on Morwellham Quay, and exported from a special dock to keep it apart from the arsenic ores. Remains of manganese mill included wheel pit, fed by aqueduct from canal overflow, and a large ginding stone lying in grass close by. Other details: Photograph.

Gaskell-Brown, C., 1977, Morwellham: An Archaeological Survey, 29-30 (Report - Survey). SDV344219.

The remains of the mill consist of a waterwheel pit which now contains a restored waterwheel, and the unroofed walls of a three-roomed building. A circular granite millstone remains in situ in the room to the west of the wheelpit. The dating of the mill is difficult, but it was in use by 1827, and the first mention of manganese working on Bedford lands occurs in 1820. The mill was working until at least 1867, when there was mention of the possibility of building cottages for employees.

Cranstone, D., 1993, Monuments Protection Programme: Minor Metals and Vein Minerals. Step 1 Report, Figure 18 (Report - non-specific). SDV355894.

Hedley, L. and Cranstone, D., 1995, Monuments Protection Programme, Zinc, Copper, Minor Metals Step Three: Vein Minerals, Introduction to Step 3 Site Assessments, 7, 20 (Report - non-specific). SDV357666.

5. Morwellham Quay Manganese Mill SX 445 696.
Definite national importance.
Manganese mill, Dressing floor- no modification, Opencut- no modification.

Andrew Brown, 1998, Monuments Protection Programme The Non-Ferrous Metals (Tin, Copper, Arsenic and Minor Metals) Industries: Appendix III, Step 4 Report (Report - non-specific). SDV357940.

Nineteenth century manganese mill and associated structures, the mill the best upstanding representative in the region and the whole group uniquely illustrative of this technology.

Ruined mill not anticipated to pose practicability issues but too fragile for re-use. Well suited to public enjoyment and education and investment likely to be sustainable. Existing regime insufficient to safeguard importance.

Passmore, A. J., 2009, Archaeological Recording at Morwellham Quay 2008-9, 3 (Report - Survey). SDV344217.

The manganese mill was constructed circa 1820 and went out of use after 1867. The launder reuses the west wall of an earlier granary, which incorporates chases and a number of sockets for the first and second floor structures, The junction between the masonry of the granary and the manganese mill can be discerned. The west elevation of the stone launder is featureless, but the remains of the return to the west, forming the division between two rooms within the manganese mill, displays evidence for a former door opening and a possible higher-level opening. Other details: Figure 3; plate 1.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Map object based on this Source.

Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 275-279, figs 8.43-8.48 (Monograph). SDV361789.

Built between 1803-1820. Ruinous but otherwise well understood structure, unlikely to have been built before the Canal was completed inn 1817 as its large waterwheel (24 foot diameter by 4 foot breast) would have demanded a great deal of water. Building seems to originally have had only one ground floor room, containing a pair of granite edge-runner mills (fig 8.43). Waterhouse includes a phased survey plan of the structure illustrating its development and describes its history.
Appears to have remained in use until around 1903. Local tradition states that the wheel was removed c.1922-24 and re-erected at Devon Great Consols Mine during its last period of working by the Bedford Estate, although it has also been stated that the wheel was scrapped at Morwellham in the 1930s.
The mill building was abandoned by the 1930s and is in a ruinous state today. Its wheel pit was cleared in 1970 but the present 32 foot waterwheel was brought from the Headon Down China Clay Works and erected at Morwellham in a new, narrower pit constructed within the older one during 1976 (fig 8.48).

Knevitt Consulting Engineers, Unknown, Elevations and plans of Structures at Morwellham Quay (Plan - measured). SDV347962.

Plans and sections of the mill and waterwheel showing areas in need of consolidation and repair.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV240774Monograph: Booker, F.. 1967. Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. A5 Hardback. 29-33.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV344217Report - Survey: Passmore, A. J.. 2009. Archaeological Recording at Morwellham Quay 2008-9. Exeter Archaeology Report. 09.100. Digital. 3.
SDV344219Report - Survey: Gaskell-Brown, C.. 1977. Morwellham: An Archaeological Survey. A4 Stapled + Digital. 29-30.
SDV347962Plan - measured: Knevitt Consulting Engineers. Unknown. Elevations and plans of Structures at Morwellham Quay. A3 Folded + Digital.
SDV355894Report - non-specific: Cranstone, D.. 1993. Monuments Protection Programme: Minor Metals and Vein Minerals. Step 1 Report. English Heritage Report. Digital + A4. Figure 18.
SDV357666Report - non-specific: Hedley, L. and Cranstone, D.. 1995. Monuments Protection Programme, Zinc, Copper, Minor Metals Step Three: Vein Minerals, Introduction to Step 3 Site Assessments. English Heritage. A4 Bound. 7, 20.
SDV357940Report - non-specific: Andrew Brown. 1998. Monuments Protection Programme The Non-Ferrous Metals (Tin, Copper, Arsenic and Minor Metals) Industries: Appendix III, Step 4 Report. Monument Protection Programme. A4 Unbound.
SDV358896Illustration: Morwellham Display Boards. A4 Unbound + Digital.
SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 275-279, figs 8.43-8.48.

Associated Monuments

MDV63005Parent of: Waterwheel at the manganese mill, Morwellham (Monument)
MDV7160Part of: Morwellham Quay (Building)
MDV76291Related to: Launder for Manganese Mill at Morwellham Quay (Monument)
MDV76292Related to: Leat at Morwellham (Monument)
MDV47971Related to: Leat at Morwellham Quay, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV123232Related to: Tavistock Canal, Main record (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4589 - Archaeological Recording at Morwellham Quay 2008-9
  • EDV4590 - Archaeological Recording at Morwellham Quay 2008-9

Date Last Edited:Feb 5 2020 4:07PM