Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group

Brimpts north mine shaft
Brimpts North Mine

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.

Established in 1991, the DTRG:

  • Produces a twice yearly newsletter which contains various articles and reports as well as notices of current work, meetings and outings.
  • In 1996 completed the excavation of a tin blowing mill at Upper Merrivale.
  • Undertake surveys of tin mines.
  • Created the Brimpts Mine Trail
  • Published "Gentlemen and Rogues" - the history and story of Brimpts Mine.
  • Held a conference "Celebrating the Tinworking Landscape of Dartmoor in its European Context: Prehistory to 20th Century"

NEW publications Gentlemen and Rogues and DTRG Conference Proceedings available here

Like to find out more about Devon's tinworking past?

Please join the Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group (DTRG)

  • 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 tinworking features and remains.
  • Undertake documentary research on aspects of the Dartmoor tin industry and associated activities.
  • Enjoy walks and social outings.

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