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HER Number:MDV5005
Name:Foggintor Quarry, Princetown


Royal Oak Quarry (later known as Foggintor) was worked from the early 19th century until the early 20th century, extracting granite that was taken away on the nearby railway line. Remains on the site include ruins of numerous buildings, large spoil tips and tracks, including that leading to the nearby Swell Tor Quarry, was closely associated. Foggintor was known to have included up to 30 cottages, Manager's house, smithy, powder house, dressing sheds and stables. A Wesleyan chapel was built 1883. In peak year of 1861, 183 people were supported.


Grid Reference:SX 565 735
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork and structural remains on Walkhampton Common including 19th century Swelltor and Foggintor Quarries, a section of the early 19th century Plymouth and Dartmoor Tramway, later converted to railway, also streamworks along the Yes Tor Brook

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57SE255
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1466149
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/112

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GRANITE QUARRY (XIX - 1823 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Evans, R., 1846, Home Scenes, or Tavistock and its Vicinity, 147 (Monograph). SDV350320.

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

'Foggintor Quarries (Granite)' depicted on the late 19th century historic map.

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

'Foggintor Quarries' marked on 1906 historic map.

Royal Air Force, 1949, RAF 540/226, 5130 (Aerial Photograph). SDV262351.

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 81-3, 133 (Monograph). SDV149229.

Foggintor Quarry, also known as Royal Oak (SX567736) lies a mile along a rough track south from the Tavistock-Princetown road and has high, cleanly cut quarry faces, large rubble tips and the remains of numerous buildings. Tracks from the quarry lead to the course of the old Princetown-Plymouth railway line, where there were sidings for moving the quarried stone away. One track leads on to the Swell Tor Quarry, only a quarter of a mile away.
Work started around 1820, when Foggintor was known as Royal Oak. Even before this time, a large amount of stone had been removed from this part of the moor for the construction of Tor Royal and some other houses in Princetown, from 1785 onwards, and later the building of the prison. The opening of the quarries was closely associated with the construction of the Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway, which began operating in 1823, and their working was dependent on this and the later Princetown railway.
Production continued throughout the 19th century at a high rate, aided by the introduction of the drill, up until around 1900, when work ceased at Foggintor, moving to Swell Tor, which appeared to have better prospects. Work continued there until the First World War in 1914 and at that time, 90 men were employed, living at Princetown and Rendlestone, as well as in cottages close to the quarries. Production declined in the early 20th century and the workings closed, although they were briefly reopened in 1937 when waste granite was taken for use by the Devon County Council as road metal.

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

Disused quarry known as Foggintor or Royal Oaks at SX567736.

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

Quarry. Foggintor Quarries, disused. Visible on aerial photographs and recorded on map overlay.

Stanier, P., 1985, Granite Quarrying in Devon and Cornwall, 177, 183 (Article in Serial). SDV342268.

Operational by 1839-49, when it supplied stone for Nelson's Column, London. By 1861 persons lived here.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/HO, 15 (Aerial Photograph). SDV256450.

Stanier, P., 1986, Granite quarrying in Devon and Cornwall, 22 (Article in Serial). SDV283053.

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

Hedley, I. + Hodgkinson, D. + Richardson, S. + Trueman, M., 1999, Quarrying Industry, Step 3 (Revised), 4/2/1997 (Report - non-specific). SDV338675.

Large granite quarry opened in 1823 by Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt following the opening of his Plymouth and Dartmoor horse-drawn railway. The viability of the quarry, which is the furthest from any shipping port, owed much to its transport network, and the foundation of Princetown at that time. Much of Princetown including the later prison, was created using stone from this quarry. There are extensive remains, including a blast shelter, crane bases, tramways, and evidence of `plug and feather' working. The multi-finger spoil heaps are masive. In 1861, there were 183 workers and theier families here. At least 30 workers cottages survive, although the ruins are difficult to interpret except for the isolated group to the North. A Wesleyan Chapel was built here in 1883. In peak year of 1861, 183 people were supported.

Ordnance Survey, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

'Foggintor Quarry (Disused)' depicted on the modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 81-3, 133.
SDV256450Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/HO. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 15.
SDV262351Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1949. RAF 540/226. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 5130.
SDV283053Article in Serial: Stanier, P.. 1986. Granite quarrying in Devon and Cornwall. Industrial Archaeology Review. 9.1. 22.
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. 4/2/1997.
SDV342268Article in Serial: Stanier, P.. 1985. Granite Quarrying in Devon and Cornwall. Industrial Archaeology Review. 7.11. Paperback Volume. 177, 183.
SDV350320Monograph: Evans, R.. 1846. Home Scenes, or Tavistock and its Vicinity. Unknown. 147.
SDV351124Un-published: English Heritage. 1996. Monument Protection Programme, Stone Quarrying, Step 2 Shortlist. Monument Protection Programme. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV359962Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #93690 ]
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1976. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 26.

Associated Monuments

MDV28206Parent of: Building at Foggintor Quarry (Building)
MDV28208Parent of: Buildings at Foggintor Quarry (Building)
MDV117446Parent of: Hill Cottages at Foggintor Quarry (Building)
MDV123179Parent of: Ruined building at Foggintor Quarry (Building)
MDV123180Parent of: Ruined building at Foggintor Quarry (Building)
MDV123181Parent of: Ruined building at Foggintor Quarry (Building)
MDV123182Parent of: Ruined building at Foggintor Quarry (Building)
MDV28207Parent of: Ruined building at Foggintor Quarry (Building)
MDV28210Related to: Leat on Walkhampton Common, west of Princetown (Monument)
MDV50704Related to: Methodist chapel / school at Foggintor Quarry (Building)
MDV19112Related to: Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway (Dartmoor section) (Monument)
MDV28204Related to: Quarry on Walkhampton Common (Monument)
MDV21128Related to: Remains of Red Cottages, Walkhampton Common (Building)
MDV5004Related to: Swell Tor Quarries, Dartmoor (Monument)
MDV54463Related to: Tavistock to Ashburton pack-horse track (Monument)
MDV117447Related to: The Four Winds School, Merrivale (Building)
MDV2353Related to: The Plymouth and Dartmoor Tramway (Dartmoor section) (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 11 2021 11:22AM