Devon's tinworking heritage

Devon tin - two words that are not readily thought of as being synonymous. Yet Dartmoor in Devon has one of the best preserved tinworking landscapes in the world.

Tin has been a valuable commodity from the Bronze Age to modern day and historical records relating its working survive from the mid 12th century to the 1970s. In the Middle Ages the wealth it generated enabled churches and substantial farmhouses to be built. Indeed, the very character of Dartmoor has in part been shaped by the tin miner, for almost every hillside or valley shows some evidence of the tinners' hand, whether a winding water channel, a large excavation, neatly arranged piles of waste or ruined mills and dressing floors.

The scale of the industry has left an interesting legacy of cultural and historic remains, impacting both the Dartmoor landscape and forming an important part of the heritage of European mining practice and trade.

Stamping Mill on the River Meavy, near Black Tor SX 5748 7163

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Are you interested in finding out more about Devon's tinworking past?

If you are interested in Dartmoor and its history, and in particular its minerals, mines and tinworking archaeology, please join the Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group (DTRG) and,

Past achievements

Since it was established in 1991 the DTRG has:

Copies of the conference booklet are available here, an insightful field guide for several walks.


DTRG Autumn Social

Saturday 22 October 2016. Meet at car park behind Plume of Feathers, Princetown, at 2.00 pm
Visit Wheal Fortune at Merrivale.
Evening buffet 5.30pm to 8.30pm - 25 years of DTRG
See Newsletter no. 50 p. 22 for details

Following the DTRG Tinworking Conference:

Conference speakers' information

Conference report, author Dr. Tom Greeves, co-author Barry Gamble click to download (pdf file format)