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HER Number:MDV78691
Name:Wheel Pit, George and Charlotte Mine


Wheel pit which held a water wheel used to provide power to pump water from Engine Shaft, and also wind ore up from Whim Shaft, in the mid to late 19th century.


Grid Reference:SX 452 698
Map Sheet:SX46NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WHEEL PIT (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Buck, C., 2010, George & Charlotte Mine, Morwell, Devon: Archaeological Assessment, 32-33 (Report - Assessment). SDV345606.

The water wheel appears to have mainly functioned to provide a power source to pump up water from Engine Shaft to the south-east, and also to wind up ore from Whim Shaft to the north-west. The wheel would have been of 40 or 45 feet diameter, fed by the main leat and later an additional head of water provided by another leat. The construction date of the wheel pit is not known, however it may have been in the mid 1840s, when George and Charlotte was formed, primarily to wind from Whim Shaft. As the mine's working levels deepened and Engine Shaft was cut, it is likely the water wheel would have needed to be increased in diameter, in order to also pump from the latter shaft. The wheel pit is extant, although it is partially infilled at either end. The walls are approximately 12 metres long, visibly 4 metres deep (to rubble level), and 2 metres wide. A sycamore tree is growing out of its centre, and it is choked with vegetation and rubble, whilst the masonry is obscured by dense ivy, and smaller sycamore trees are also growing from the top of the masonry walls. The north-west end of the wheel pit masonry wall and the south-west wall have collapsed at the east and west ends. The central section of the wheel pit is constructed of granite stone and large killas, however the end sections are constructed of smaller killas which may suggest primary and secondary stages of development. On the west side of the wheel pit there is likely to have been a crank housing to transfer the circular motion of the crank on the wheel to a flat rod to pump Engine Shaft, the flat rod going over the balance bob pit to the shaft pump rod. Other details: Figures 7-10, 18: sites 10, 10.1.

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

Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 225-227, Figs 7.2, 7.5, 7.9 (Monograph). SDV361789.

No. 2 water engine on the George and Charlotte Leat; a 40 foot by 2 foot 6 inch overshot water wheel pumping Engine Shaft to the south via flat-rods with a substantial balance bob pit adjoining the shaft. Also drove a winding drum which served this and Whim Shaft nearby.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #105528 ]
SDV345606Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2010. George & Charlotte Mine, Morwell, Devon: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall County Council Report. 2010R122. A4 Stapled + Digital. 32-33.
SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 225-227, Figs 7.2, 7.5, 7.9.

Associated Monuments

MDV5467Part of: George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV78698Related to: Balance Bob Housing and Mountings, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV78696Related to: Engine Shaft, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV78695Related to: Header Pond, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV19388Related to: Leat from Tavistock Canal, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV78681Related to: Leat in Sheepridge Wood, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV124299Related to: Site of third water engine in Sheepridge Wood, George and Charlotte Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV78682Related to: Tail Race, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV78705Related to: Whim Shaft, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV78693Related to: Winding Drum Pit, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4945 - Archaeological Assessment of George & Charlotte Mine, Morwell, Devon
  • EDV4946 - Field Survey of George & Charlotte Mine, Morwell, Devon

Date Last Edited:Dec 13 2018 10:04AM