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About this map of Tinners huts on Dartmoor

My interest in Dartmoor's Tinners' Huts was sparked by a stranger. Out walking one drizzly day I stopped for lunch by the cairn near Statts House and there met a man. In chatting, like fellow ramblers do, he points away to the distant shadows of Tavy Hole and describes mysterious tinners' houses. Later, intrigued, I delved into Jeremy Butler's series of books, "Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities" and one by one proceeded to locate them.
As there were no photographs and few OS grid refs. I decided to rectify this using a GPS device and camera. The similarities and differences in the huts felt problematic, and caused me to visit more and then more!
Also, on the Internet I found some databases and searching these I found more huts. Also I landed on the early DTRG website and sent Tony Jewell, its webmaster, an email....

Having visited over 250 of these ruins I feel they can be grouped into types which I've labelled: "ruins", "typical", "varied", "small", "referenced features". The group placements isn't perfect.

There are very few historic document references. Notable ones are two excavations (Watern Oak and Grey Marsh, Postbridge), Garth's the Tinner and his hut and Cholake, Princetown. None of these are like those in group "typical"!

Puzzling features:


Transactions of the Devonshire Association: 8th & 11th reports of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee 1902 & 1906.
Jeremy. Butler "Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities" Vols. 1-4.
Bill Ratcliffe's DTRG Cholake Tinners' Hut record sheet
Archaeology Data Service

Research, GIS, photos and text by Murray Oates