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HER Number:MDV7762
Name:Tinner's hut on the south bank of Varracombe Brook, Dartmoor Forest


Medieval or later tinner's hut of 3.2 metres square with walls 1.5 metres wide by 1.2 metres high situated on the south bank of Varracombe Brook, within Teignhead Newtake. An entrance in the south-west wall and a possible fireplace with chimney in the north-west side.


Grid Reference:SX 627 842
Map Sheet:SX68SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 444000
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SW/63
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX68SW53

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • TINNERS HUT (Built, Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD (Between) to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Le Messurier, B., 1975, Ruined buildings (Worksheet). SDV268787.

Visited on 21st May 1975. Ruined building easily seen. Looks like big pile of stones with hole in the top. Banked up outside. Probable fireplace at west end, now fallen in. Floor of stone tumbled in. Tin streaming remains up and down stream. Crossing describes a building in Great Varracombe as Mandles Farm, yet this is probably misplaced. This building is most probably a tinners hut 3.4 metres long, 2.7 metres wide; walls 1.2 metres high, 1.5 metres thick.

Starkey, F. H., 1978-1981, A Misplaced Dartmoor Farm, 146-149 (Article in Serial). SDV269512.

A misplaced Dartmoor farm. No outbuildings.

Le Messurier, B., 1979, Post-Prehistoric Structures of Central North Dartmoor. A Field Survey, 66 (Article in Serial). SDV269283.

SX 62808420 On the right bank of Great Varracombe Brook is a hut with rounded end and a probable fireplace in the west wall, now fallen in. Internally the building measures 2.7m by 3.4m. Tin streaming nearby.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979, SX68SW53, SX68SW53 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV267417.

(22/02/1979) At SX 62768422 is a massively built tinners' hut which measures internally 3.0m by 2.1m. The walling, partly coursed slabs and partly rubble, is 0.7m thick and up to 1.1m high, supported by stones piled against the outside 2.5m wide and to the present height of the walls. The remains of the fireplace in the north west wall are still visible and there is a doorway now blocked in the centre of the south west side.
Tinners' waste heaps occur for 150m downstream of the hut and other workings are visible upstream at SX 623842. If, as is considered, tin streaming ceased before 1700, the building is in remarkably good condition.
Surveyed at 1:10000 on MSD.

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

Not visible on 1947 RAF aerial photograph.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit, S. Probert (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(09/03/1990) SX 62768422. A single-roomed tinners hut situated on the south bank of Varracombe Brook, within Teignhead Newtake. Internally 3.2m square it is set into a large spoil mound of boulders and stones in an area of intensive streamworking (SX 68 SW 101). The internal faces of the walls consist of drystone revetments up to five courses (1.0m) high with an entrance, 0.8m wide, in the SW wall. A possible fireplace and chimney are situated in the NW side.

Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 154, Map 34, TH16 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Tinners' hut of 3.2 metres by 2.5 metres on the south bank of Varracombe Brook in an area of streamwork.

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

Rectangular building shown within streamwork on survey.

Ordnance Survey, 2023, Mastermap 2023 (Cartographic). SDV365227.

'Tinners Hut' shown on modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 154, Map 34, TH16.
SDV267417Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SX68SW53. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. SX68SW53.
SDV268787Worksheet: Le Messurier, B.. 1975. Ruined buildings. Worksheet. Digital.
SDV269283Article in Serial: Le Messurier, B.. 1979. Post-Prehistoric Structures of Central North Dartmoor. A Field Survey. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 111. Paperback Volume. 66.
SDV269512Article in Serial: Starkey, F. H.. 1978-1981. A Misplaced Dartmoor Farm. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 34. 146-149.
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.
SDV345855Report - Survey: English Heritage. 2005. Survey Information (miscellaneous date). English Heritage. Digital. [Mapped feature: #137394 ]
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. S. Probert.
SDV365227Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2023. Mastermap 2023. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV27301Part of: Streamworks along the North Teign River, Manga Brook and Varracombe Brook (Monument)
MDV7757Related to: Tinners hut on the east bank of Marsh Hill Brook south of North Teign River, Dartmoor Forest (Building)
MDV7754Related to: Tinner's hut on the north bank of the North Teign River 750 metres south-east of Teign Head, Dartmoor Forest (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8651 - Teignhead Newtake, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Feb 23 2023 10:38AM