Devon's tinworking heritage
Devon tin, two words that are not readily thought of as being synonymous. Yet Dartmoor in the heart of 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
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, then why not join the Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group (DTRG) and,
- Explore the mines and tin works of Dartmoor and its surrounding area.
- Help Conserve and promote some of the nineteenth-century mining sites and buildings.
- Help undertake field surveys of both medieval and nineteenth-century tinworking features and remains.
- Undertake documentary, oral and other research on aspects of the Dartmoor tin industry and associated activities.
- Enjoy walks and social outings to other mining, industrial and archaeological areas of the South West.
Since it was established in 1991 the DTRG has:
- Produced a twice yearly Newsletter (summer and winter), which contains various articles and reports as well as notices of current work, meetings and outings.
- Completed the research excavation of a tin blowing mill at Upper Merrivale; post excavation work is now in progress.
- Completed a systematic field survey of tinworking features within the River Walkham watershed, providing training for members.
- Created the Brimpts Mine Trail and published an associated book on the history and features of the Brimpts Mine.
Preliminary Notice of Conference
‘A Celebration of the Tinworking Landscape of Dartmoor in its European Context - Prehistory to the 20th Century’
Tavistock, Devon, 6-11 May 2016