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HER Number:MDV79363
Name:Wheelwright's Stone, Brentor


Former wheel-binding stone used by a wheelwright to fit an iron tyre around the outside rim of a wooden wheel. Stone is positioned standing against exterior wall outside 'The Smithy' in Burn Lane, Brentor. This stone was moved from the verge opposite The Smithy in 2010.


Grid Reference:SX 489 818
Map Sheet:SX48SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBrentor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRENTOR

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WHEELWRIGHTS STONE (XVIII to XXI - 1751 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Seymour, J., 1984, The Forgotten Past, 78-85 (Monograph). SDV346795.

Woods, S. H., 1988, Dartmoor Stone, 204-5 (Monograph). SDV346790.

Wetherbee, S. A., 1990, Wheelwright's stone, Burn Lane, Brentor (Correspondence). SDV346793.

Letter to Dartmoor National Park Authority archaeologist from owner of The Smithy requesting information about the wheelwright’s stone on Burn Lane. Concerns stated over its present location; part-overgrown in the verge opposite the Wheelwright's shop ('The Smithy') from damage caused by cars negotiating the narrow lane. Request posed to move the stone across the road to stand it outside the The Smithy, as this structure was thought to be the stone’s original location. Other details: File: 22/3/4E West Devon 1990-1992.

Griffiths, D. M., 1990, Wheelwright's stone, Burn Lane, Brentor (Correspondence). SDV346794.

Letter from Dartmoor National Park Authority archaeologist in response to letter from the owner of The Smithy confirming that the Authority have no objections to the stone being moved in principle. Recommended obtaining permission from the owner of the stone, presumed to be Devon County Council. Other details: File: 22/3/4E West Devon.

Sturt, G., 2006, The Wheelwrights Shop, 124-5 (Monograph). SDV346797.

Other details: Previous edition published by Cambridge Uni Press.

Whitfield, M., 2010, The Wheelwright's Stone on Burn Lane (Report - non-specific). SDV346796.

Wheel-binding stones were first used at the end of the 19th century in a process known as 'tyring', to fit an iron hoop, or tyre onto a wooden wheel.
This stone was thought by the owners of The Smithy to have originally been set in the floor of the wheelwright's workshop and may have been moved to the verge opposite the shop around the time of the Second World War. For this reason (and that of damage to the stone by cars) the stone was relocated to its current position.
Communication with three working wheelwrights regarding the use of wheel-binding stones proved that these stones would always have been located outside a workshop, due to the amount of steam, smoke and water involved in fitting the iron tyre to the wheel.
Two local residents recalled the stone in use in its position on the verge in the 1920s and 1930s but no written evidence exists to confirm the original location of the stone.
The ownership of the stone has not so far been resolved. The owners of The Smithy and Dartmoor National Park Authority have confirmed they do not own the stone. It is thought to belong to Devon County Council (who is responsible for the verge) but this is so far unconfirmed by the Council.
This stone is significant to the parish of Brentor, representing the existence of a wheelwright's workshop on Burn Lane. It is one of only a few similar stones known on Dartmoor. This stone is thought to have been purpose-built, rather than being a converted millstone.
The current location of the stone is highlighted as potentially vulnerable, as it is not fixed. The report also recommends that it be formally recognised that the stone does not belong to The Smithy as a property. Other details: Report to Brentor Parish Council (08/03/2010).

2010, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV346801.

Three images showing the wheelwright's stone in current location outside The Smithy, following relocation from the verge opposite the property. Other details: P:\Archaeology\HER.

Pancheri, C., 2010, Wheelwright's stone, Burn Lane, Brentor (Report - non-specific). SDV346792.

This granite stone is circular and measures approximately 1.6 meters in diameter and is on average 0.3 meters thick. The upper face of the stone is slightly dished (0.35 meters deep) at the edge of the central recess which is 0.31 meters in diameter and 0.1 meters deep. At the centre is the corroded iron eye onto which the threaded holding down screw would have been hooked. The underside of the stone has not been worked but the corroded remains of an iron strap can be seen.
The stone was moved from its previous location; half-buried in the verge opposite The Smithy after attempts to excavate the stone were noted in mid-late 2009, which could have resulted in the unauthorised removal of the stone from Burn Lane. The Smithy is the location of the former wheelwright’s shop on Burn Lane. It was thought that the stone was originally located within this workshop.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV346790Monograph: Woods, S. H.. 1988. Dartmoor Stone. Dartmoor Stone. Hardback Volume. 204-5.
SDV346792Report - non-specific: Pancheri, C.. 2010. Wheelwright's stone, Burn Lane, Brentor. Digital.
SDV346793Correspondence: Wetherbee, S. A.. 1990. Wheelwright's stone, Burn Lane, Brentor. Letter. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV346794Correspondence: Griffiths, D. M.. 1990. Wheelwright's stone, Burn Lane, Brentor. Letter. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV346795Monograph: Seymour, J.. 1984. The Forgotten Past. The Forgotten Past. Unknown. 78-85.
SDV346796Report - non-specific: Whitfield, M.. 2010. The Wheelwright's Stone on Burn Lane. Digital.
SDV346797Monograph: Sturt, G.. 2006. The Wheelwrights Shop. The Wheelwrights Shop. Paperback Volume. 124-5.
SDV346801Photograph: 2010. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV41307Related to: Smithy, Burn Lane, Brentor (Monument)
MDV103144Related to: Wheelwright's stone on Whitchurch Common (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV5112 - WHEELWRIGHTS STONE (XVIII to Unknown - 1751 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV4977 - Relocation of the wheelwrights stone, Brentor

Date Last Edited:Mar 18 2014 9:41AM