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HER Number:MDV78250
Name:Railway Turntable at Morwellham Quay


One of two railway turntables revealed during excavations on Lime Kiln Quay at Morwellham, probably early 19th century.


Grid Reference:SX 446 697
Map Sheet:SX46NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RAILWAY TURNTABLE (XIX - 1816 AD to 1817 AD (Between))

Full description

Waterhouse, R., 2006, Archaeological Excavations at Morwellham, 2002-2006 (Report - Excavation). SDV344984.

One of two substantial granite-built turntable pits found between a demolished stone incline base on the quay between the old limekilns and the river. This turntable, located by the river, survived completely intact with cast iron plate rails bolted to its wooden deck (constructed of pitch pine planks). Plate rails continued along the quay to the west for about 28 metres, while cast iron edge rails of a previously unknown form abutted the opposite side of the turntable, continuing for upto 25 metres to its east. The turntable appears to date from 1816-17, at the time of the Tavistock Canal incline. Both use the same design of cast iron rails and the plateways on the Lime Kiln Quay are directly linked to the Canal Incline, showing them to be of the same date.

Waterhouse, R., 2006, Proposed Archaeological Excavation of the Devon Great Consols Incline Portal at Morwellham Quay, 3 (Report - non-specific). SDV344977.

Waterhouse, R., 2009, In-situ Archaeological Finds at Morwellham Quay, 1 (Report - non-specific). SDV344990.

One of two timber and iron turntables of 1816, currently buried under river mud, on the Limekiln Quay. Other details: Annotated map, site 2.

Waterhouse, R., 2012, Tavistock Canal: Surveying a Forgotten Marvel of the Industrial Age, 39-40 (Article in Serial). SDV351508.

Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 470-472, figs 12.57, 12.65-12.71 (Monograph). SDV361789.

Discussion of the nationally rare plateway turntables excavated at Limekiln Quay. See report for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

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. 3.
SDV344984Report - Excavation: Waterhouse, R.. 2006. Archaeological Excavations at Morwellham, 2002-2006. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV344990Report - non-specific: Waterhouse, R.. 2009. In-situ Archaeological Finds at Morwellham Quay. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1.
SDV351508Article in Serial: Waterhouse, R.. 2012. Tavistock Canal: Surveying a Forgotten Marvel of the Industrial Age. Current Archaeology. 273. Digital. 39-40.
SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 470-472, figs 12.57, 12.65-12.71.

Associated Monuments

MDV7160Part of: Morwellham Quay (Building)
MDV78252Related to: Inclined Plane at Morwellham Quay (Monument)
MDV78253Related to: Plate Railway Lines at Lime Kiln Quay (Monument)
MDV78251Related to: Railway Turntable at Morwellham Quay (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4847 - Archaeological Excavation at Morwellham, 2005

Date Last Edited:Jan 24 2019 11:46AM