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HER Number:MDV76309
Name:Tunnel Portal at Morwellham Quay

Summary

Entrance to a tunnel under the cottages to north of Morwellham Quay. The tunnel was built in mid 19th century to take an inclined plane from Devon Great Consols Mine to the quay.

Location

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

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TUNNEL PORTAL (XIX - 1858 AD to 1859 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Waterhouse, R., 2006, Devon Great Consols Mineral Railway. Incline Tunnel Lower Portal at Morwellham Quay. Archaeological Excavation Report, 33 (Report - Evaluation). SDV347872.

Evaluation excavations showed that well-preserved remains of the Devon Great Consols Mineral Railway incline tunnel and approach cutting survive under Morwellham’s village green. Description and history of incline and tunnel given.

Waterhouse, R., 2006, Proposed Archaeological Excavation of the Devon Great Consols Incline Portal at Morwellham Quay (Report - non-specific). SDV344977.

An evaluation excavation in summer 2006 confirmed that well preserved remains of the tunnel, its portal andd approach cutting survived under Morwellham's village green, while timber elements of the railway track had largely decayed or had been deliberately lifted after the railway's abandonment in 1903. The tunnel was required to be untopped and the sides pushed in, with additional rubble and soil thrown in to fill it to the surface. The excavation provided evidence for this in the walls of the approach cutting and the first four metres of the tunnel, but the tunnel walls appear to survive to their full height further in. Waterlogged timber was present on parts of the site, but overall preservation was poor.

Waterhouse, R., 2007, Brief for Archaeological Excavation of Railway Tunnel Portal, Approach Cutting and Saw Pit (Report - non-specific). SDV358330.

The 2007 excavation aims to fully expose and record the southern portal and approach cutting of the tunnel which carried an inclined plane from the Devon Great Consols Mineral Railway. The tunnel portal is known from photographs of circa 1870 and 1903 and appears to have had mortared stone side walls , extending out to form the approach cutting sides. The roof of the tunnel where it crossed the village green seems to have been formed of horizontal timbers, although the part under the cottages was arched in stone.

John Grimes Partnership, 2008, Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project. Incline Tunnel Portal Works (Plan - measured). SDV347964.

Plans and sections in connection with works to the incline tunnel portal showing the general arrangement and the proposed trackwork layout and miscellaneous details.

Passmore, A. J., 2009, Archaeological Recording at Morwellham Quay 2008-9, 4-5 (Report - Survey). SDV344217.

Tunnel portal constructed in 1858-9 of roughly laid slate stone and some granite, at south end of tunnel under cottages (infilled in 1903) linking railway from Devon Great Consols Mine to the quay. In 2007 the portal and cutting were excavated, and in 2009 the infilled material inside the tunnel portal was removed for a distance of 2.5 metres from the entrance. Larger granite stones have been used in the east side of the cutting, and the west side has been realigned. Inside the tunnel portal there are two recesses and the masonry of each side wall incorporates a large granite block with two large bolts on their inner faces. The western block retains a surviving iron bar with attached chain on its upper face. Other details: Figures 8-9.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #103338 ]
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. 4-5.
SDV344977Report - non-specific: Waterhouse, R.. 2006. Proposed Archaeological Excavation of the Devon Great Consols Incline Portal at Morwellham Quay. Robert Waterhouse Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV347872Report - Evaluation: Waterhouse, R.. 2006. Devon Great Consols Mineral Railway. Incline Tunnel Lower Portal at Morwellham Quay. Archaeological Excavation Report. Robert Waterhouse Report. A4 stapled + Digital. 33.
SDV347964Plan - measured: John Grimes Partnership. 2008. Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project. Incline Tunnel Portal Works. Plans + Digital.
SDV358330Report - non-specific: Waterhouse, R.. 2007. Brief for Archaeological Excavation of Railway Tunnel Portal, Approach Cutting and Saw Pit. Robert Waterhouse Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV72844Related to: Devon Great Consols Railway, Inclined Plane (Monument)
MDV3880Related to: Devon Great Consols, Railway (Monument)
MDV7160Related to: Morwellham Quay (Building)
MDV76310Related to: Tunnel Under Cottages at Morwellham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4589 - Archaeological Recording at Morwellham Quay 2008-9
  • EDV4590 - Archaeological Recording at Morwellham Quay 2008-9
  • EDV4840 - Archaeological Excavations at the Devon Great Consols Incline Portal, Morwellham Quay, 2006
  • EDV5331 - Evaluation of the Incline Tunnel Lower Portal at Morwellham Quay

Date Last Edited:Feb 5 2020 4:24PM