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HER Number:MDV8058
Name:Haytor Quarry, Ilsington


Haytor Quarry, one of five quarries in the Haytor area worked from 1820 onwards by George Templer. The quarries closed briefly in the 1840s, and ceased production in the 1860s due to Cornish competition. Quarried stone was used in several major construction projects, including London Bridge. Little remains of ancillary components.


Grid Reference:SX 759 774
Map Sheet:SX77NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishIlsington
Ecclesiastical ParishILSINGTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX77NE44
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1220525
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77NE/14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GRANITE QUARRY (Constructed, XIX - 1820 AD (Between) to 1869 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

'Haytor Quarry' shown on mid 19th century Tithe Map to the north of the later works.

Worth, R. N., 1875, The Economic Geology of Devon, 214 (Article in Serial). SDV24522.

Granite quarried here for use as building stone.

Appleton, E., 1875, The Economic Geology of Devon, 235 (Article in Serial). SDV217610.

Granite transported for the first leg of its journey to London by way of the Haytor Granite Tramway.

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

'Haytor Quarries' shown on 19th century map as a large earthwork.

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

Shown on early 20th century map.

Adams, E. A., 1946, The Old Heytor Granite Railway, 154, Plate (Article in Serial). SDV341504.

Main Haytor Quarry. Last worked in 1919 to cut block for the Exeter War Memorial.

Evans, M. C., 1964, The Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal (Monograph). SDV297017.

Cocks, J. V. S., 1971-1973, The Haytor Granite Quarries, 13-15 (Article in Serial). SDV283046.

History of quarry given.

Minchinton, W. E., 1976, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 26 (Monograph). SDV7016.

The Haytor Granite Quarries were worked by George Templer, son of the builder of Stover Canal, early in the 19th century. For a period several thousand tons of granite were exported each year and used in the construction of the British Museum, National Gallery, London Bridge etc. In 1850 100 men were employed; but by 1858 the trade had declined due to competition from coastal Cornish quarries and the quarries were closed in 1865.

National Monuments Record, 1980, NMR 1746, 113 (Aerial Photograph). SDV345449.

Photograph taken on 21st April 1980.

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

Visible and recorded.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EN, 12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346962.

Photograph taken on 17th March 1985.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EO, 5-5a (Aerial Photograph). SDV307278.

Photograph taken on 17th March 1985.

Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council, 1985, Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal (Report - non-specific). SDV349496.

Stanier, P., 1986, Granite quarrying in Devon and Cornwall (Article in Serial). SDV283053.

Griffith, F. M., 1988, DAP/JY, 12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV314510.

Photograph taken on 21st January 1988.

Griffith, F., 1988, Devon's Past. An Aerial View (Monograph). SDV64198.

Haytor Quarry is a dramatic illustration of the link between quarrying and transportation: the success of the quarry, high on the side of Haytor Down, was dependent upon the construction of a tramway to remove the products of the quarry from the moor to a canal that served to carry the granite down to the sea for shipping. The quarry, tramway and canal started work around 1820. They were developed by George Templer of Stover. The last use of Haytor granite was in 1919 when the quarries provided the stone for the Exeter war memorial. The quarries are still visible on the ground today.

Everett, C., 1988, Haytor Down - Summary of Archaeological Features, 3 (Report - Survey). SDV359684.

There are six areas of quarrying on Haytor Down with the largest being Haytor Quarry and Holwell Quarry. Granite was first obtained from the area in the second half of the 18th century. The granite tramway was constructed around 1820 to transport the stone and had several branch lines and sidings.

Devon County Council, 1988, Templer Way Guide for the Walker (Leaflet). SDV283051.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/OX, 4-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV307286.

Photograph taken on 21st July 1989.

Harris, H., 1994, The Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal, 39 (Monograph). SDV341541.

The Haytor Quarries were developed by George Templer from 1813. The main quarry is at SX 760775. Fallen boom of a derrick and an abandoned winch are visible.

English Heritage, 1996, Monument Protection Programme, Stone Quarrying, Step 2 Shortlist (Un-published). SDV351124.

Haytor Granite Quarry, 1820-1865. Small flooded quarries with tramway using rails made from granite blocks, now promoted as a footpath.

Hedley, I. + Hodgkinson, D. + Richardson, S. + Trueman, M., 1999, Quarrying Industry, Step 3 (Revised), Step 3 (Report - non-specific). SDV338675.

Newman, P., 1999, 2002, Haytor Down, Ilsington, Devon (Revised), 23-24 (Report - Survey). SDV346395.

(30/05/1999) Centred SX 7598 7743. Haytor Quarry is the largest and probably the most productive of the five major quarries in the Haytor group worked between 1820 and the 1850s. There are two areas of extractive activity at the site, which have a clear chronological relationship, and many associated spoil dumps. Activity extends over an area of approximately 4ha.
Of the two identifiable extractive areas, the larger south-western quarry (centred SX 7595 7740) is also the earlier and the smaller quarry to the north-east (centred SX7602 7746) the later, although it is possible that the two were worked together for a period.
The earlier quarry consists of a deep pit, occupying an area of approximately 0.5ha, and enclosed on all sides by vertical working faces. Additional faces at a lower level penetrate the quarry floor, creating permanently water filled ponds in the quarry interior. Overburden has been dumped on all adjacent sides of the quarry except above on the south-west slope. The quarry has two entrances. The southern of these was probably in use first and now takes the form of a wide corridor through a shallow granite cutting, opening out into the quarry area. This is likely to be one of the positions where extraction began, to be naturally developed into an access route as work progressed deeper into the hillside. The second entrance is on the north-west corner and was clearly an afterthought as its steep-sided corridor cuts through the earlier heaps of overburden. A tramway, now removed, ran along the floor of the gully and emerged onto the large, linear spoil dump sited to the west at SX 7596 7755, which probably contains material removed when digging the entrance as well as the large pieces of waste cut stone.
The majority of waste from this quarry, particularly its earlier phases, is dumped on the three massive, confluent, linear spoil heaps, centred at SX 7605 7751 which were accessed from the earlier entrance via tramways. The level courses for the tramways survive in the upper surfaces of the heaps. The largest of the spoil heaps was at least 90m long and spreads to 35m wide. Their surfaces are covered with large pieces of waste cut stone, though the core of the heaps also contain stone chips and probably some overburden soil as well.
Evidence for buildings and a possible garden plot associated with this earlier quarry is visible at SX 7603 7741 at the floor of the overburden spoil heaps to the north. The buildings have been demolished and remain as low, linear banks with wall footings visible in places. A complex of several buildings are depicted in this vicinity in a print of 1829 (2), though it is almost certain that the majority of these stood in the locality now occupied by the quarry. Footings of a probable building are visible, running into the edge of the quarry precipice at SX 7601 7747, the remainder of it was clearly destroyed by the quarrying.
The later quarry is much smaller at only 0.1ha in area though is no less deep at approximately 8-10m. Access to this quarry was via a deeply cut linear gully extending for approximately 75m to the north-east. Materials removed from this gully were probably dumped, via a tramway, on the isolated 70m long linear dump at the far east of the site, onto which cut stone waste was also dumped. Overburden from the quarry itself was distributed adjacent to the south side of the entrance gully and to the north of the quarry. The latter heaps partly overlie the earlier finger dumps and completely block the tramways which approached from the north.
Visible evidence of quarrying methods is limited to shot holes in the quarry faces and waste pieces and marks left by feather and tare cutting. The remains of a crane consisting of an iron winch and the broken boom of the derrick, which is recumbent in the pond, are of uncertain date. Stanchions which were once the bases for tensioning cables to secure the crane upright are visible on the quarry floor. They consist of fixed iron pegs inserted into earthfast granite. Each peg has a loose iron loop threaded through a hole in its exposed section.
Tramway access to the earlier quarry was probably initially via the curving branch line which enters the area from the north after passing over the streamwork embankment. The granite tracks have been mostly removed but curvilinear earthworks survive which suggest two or possibly three parallel lines here at one point. These fell into disuse when the later quarry came into production as overburden from it is dumped across these lines.
Tramway access for the later quarry was by the well-preserved branch which curves south-east away from the streamwork embankment from a set of clear points and runs along a terraced embankment and probably continued into the opening of the exit corridor. The trackway survives intact for much of its length, although the final section where it meets the exit is now missing or buried.
A small undeveloped quarry is located 100m north-west of Haytor Quarry at SX 7578 7749 comprising a pit with an exposed working face, together with overburden and waste stone dumps. It is of particular interest because although never connected to the main tramway, a short section was nevertheless used to haul waste material onto its germinal spoil heap, where sections of track are still in situ.
For historic details see Evans (1964) and Harris (1994).
A report and large scale plans are deposited in the archive.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 2002, Haytor Down: The Archaeology (Plan - measured). SDV359685.

'Haytor Quarry' shown on survey plan.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

'Haytor Quarries (disused)' shown on modern mapping with two irregular shaped ponds.

Historic England, 2021-2022, NRHE to HER website, Accessed 07/06/2022 (Website). SDV364039.

Cites: English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Industrial Monuments Assessment, Step 3 Reports: The Quarrying Industries, 2000, Devon 6; site mentioned.
Identifier - [ViewFinder: NMR 15860/25].

Griffith, F. M., 21/12/1986, DAP/HH, 11-12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350012.

Photograph taken on 21st December 1986.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV217610Article in Serial: Appleton, E.. 1875. The Economic Geology of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 7. Digital. 235.
SDV24522Article in Serial: Worth, R. N.. 1875. The Economic Geology of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 7. Digital. 214.
SDV283046Article in Serial: Cocks, J. V. S.. 1971-1973. The Haytor Granite Quarries. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 32. 13-15.
SDV283051Leaflet: Devon County Council. 1988. Templer Way Guide for the Walker.
SDV283053Article in Serial: Stanier, P.. 1986. Granite quarrying in Devon and Cornwall. Industrial Archaeology Review. 9.1.
SDV297017Monograph: Evans, M. C.. 1964. The Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal. The Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal.
SDV307278Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EO. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5-5a.
SDV307286Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/OX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4-5.
SDV314510Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. DAP/JY. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 12.
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.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV338675Report - non-specific: Hedley, I. + Hodgkinson, D. + Richardson, S. + Trueman, M.. 1999. Quarrying Industry, Step 3 (Revised). Monument Protection Programme. 1999-00/(007)/AUA8869. A4 Spiral Bound. Step 3.
SDV341504Article in Serial: Adams, E. A.. 1946. The Old Heytor Granite Railway. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. A5 Hardback. 154, Plate.
SDV341541Monograph: Harris, H.. 1994. The Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal. The Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal. A5 Paperback. 39.
SDV345449Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1980. NMR 1746. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 113.
SDV346395Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 1999, 2002. Haytor Down, Ilsington, Devon (Revised). Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A1/2/1999. A4 Spiral Bound. 23-24.
SDV346962Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EN. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 12.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV349496Report - non-specific: Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council. 1985. Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal. Unknown.
SDV350012Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 21/12/1986. DAP/HH. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 11-12.
SDV351124Un-published: English Heritage. 1996. Monument Protection Programme, Stone Quarrying, Step 2 Shortlist. Monument Protection Programme. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV359684Report - Survey: Everett, C.. 1988. Haytor Down - Summary of Archaeological Features. 3.
SDV359685Plan - measured: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 2002. Haytor Down: The Archaeology. A1 Folded.
SDV364039Website: Historic England. 2021-2022. NRHE to HER website. https://nrhe-to-her.esdm.co.uk/NRHE. Website. Accessed 07/06/2022.
SDV64198Monograph: Griffith, F.. 1988. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Paperback Volume.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1976. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 26.

Associated Monuments

MDV56653Parent of: Building and Enclosures south of Haytor Quarries, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV56660Parent of: Emsworthy Rocks East Quarry (Harrow Barrow), Ilsington (Monument)
MDV16730Parent of: Emsworthy Rocks west Quarry, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV16733Parent of: Holwell Quarry part of Haytor Quarries, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV43350Parent of: Machinery at Haytor Quarries, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV26540Parent of: Quarry north-west of Haytor Quarries, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV16732Parent of: Rubble Heap Quarry part of Haytor Quarries, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV34277Related to: Building at Emsworthy Rocks west Quarry, Ilsington (Building)
MDV26573Related to: Enclosures to south-east of Haytor Quarries (Monument)
MDV26574Related to: Military Feature south-east of Haytor Quarries, Ilsington (Monument)
MDV8081Related to: Stone cutting pits and small granite quarries on Haytor Down. (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7021 - Haytor Down: Survey Report (Ref: A1/2/1999)

Date Last Edited:Jun 7 2022 12:18PM