HeritageGateway - Home
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:MDV7825
Name:Pixton's Shaft, Wheal Emma Mine


Wheal Emma was worked with the Brookwood sett as South Devon United Mines (1856-1877).


Grid Reference:SX 715 674
Map Sheet:SX76NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWest Buckfastleigh
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKFASTLEIGH

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks, structures and below ground remains of the South Devon United Mines, a mid-19th century copper mining enterprise in Brook Wood, as well as part of the Wheal Emma Leat

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX76NW54
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1431008
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NW/20/2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MINE SHAFT (Constructed, XIX - 1856 AD (Between) to 1877 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV158341.

Des=adas record sheet/in smr. Vis=22/2/1995 (adas) some iron/wood supports still visible in this very deep vertical shaft.8m wide + fenced; horizontal shaft, to connect with vertical, to w below path (adas).

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

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map, 114NW (Cartographic). SDV325644.

'Pixton's Shaft (disused)' indicated on OS 6" (1906) historic map, but not shown on later (1963) edition.

Ramsden, J. V., 1952, Notes on the Mines of Devonshire, 98 fig.1 (Article in Serial). SDV60737.

P6 Pixton, part of the Brookwood.

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 188 (Monograph). SDV149229.

Newman, P., 2005, Brookwood and Wheal Emma Copper Mines, Buckfastleigh, Devon: An Archaeological Survey (Report - Survey). SDV359199.

(30/04/2005) Pixton's Shaft. A deep open mine shaft at Wheal Emma mine. A copper mine which operated between 1845 and 1885, latterly known as South Devon United between 1878 - 1885. The shaft sits on the eastern side of the narrow valley within the Wheal Emma sett. The opening is surrounded on three sides by a low wall and on the back east side a rock outcrop which forms a natural revetment. Built into the wall on the north side are the two sides of a structure which supported the angle bob to convert the horizontal motion of the flat rods from the wheel to vertical to extend down the shaft. These consist of two short lengths of wall, each 1m wide, set approximately 1m apart projecting over the edge of the shaft. An approximately 30mm diameter threaded stud protrudes from the top of each wall which secured the fulcrum of the balance beam. There is no obvious structure to accommodate a counterweight (i.e. a bob pit) but this may not have been necessary as the bob was well above ground. Although the bob and flat rods have been removed, the wooden pump rod in the shaft remains in place protruding out of the shaft. Spoil was dumped to the west and on a smaller heap to the north. The latter may be the result of later work as it appears to block the course of the flat rod from the large riverside waterwheel (SX 76 NW 53). The shaft was also equipped with hoisting gear in the form of a horse whim . This survives as a 10m diameter circular earthwork platform cut into the slope forming a 2m high scarp and a bank of dumped material on the north side. In the centre of the platform is a 1m deep pit containing a displaced mellior stone. A drainage adit through which water pumped up Pixton's Shaft was diverted out of the mine. The adit remains open from the portal up to the shaft, a distance of 22m, 11m below the shafthead and the rising main of the pump may be seen at the point where the adit breaks through into the shaft. A conical spoil heap made up of material emanating from this shaft lies 20m to the west. The heap which has an oval footprint sits on the steep eastern slope of the narrow valley and is 12m high.
Mine surveyed at 1:1000 scale and described in detail.

Ordnance Survey, 2022, Mastermap 2022 (Cartographic). SDV364674.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 188.
SDV158341Migrated Record:
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). 114NW.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV359199Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2005. Brookwood and Wheal Emma Copper Mines, Buckfastleigh, Devon: An Archaeological Survey. English Heritage. A1/01/2005. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV364674Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2022. Mastermap 2022. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV60737Article in Serial: Ramsden, J. V.. 1952. Notes on the Mines of Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 98 fig.1.

Associated Monuments

MDV49062Part of: South Devon United Copper Mine, Buckfastleigh (Monument)
MDV132570Related to: Flatrod channel, Brookwood Mine (Monument)
MDV132573Related to: Pit adjacent to Wheal Emma Leat, Brookwood Mine (Monument)
MDV132574Related to: Wheel pit, Brookwood Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6840 - Survey of Brookwood and Wheal Emma Copper Mines (Ref: AI/01/2005)

Date Last Edited:Mar 29 2022 9:43AM