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This small disused copper mine, located north of Ashburton (by Druid Cottage and Druid Farm) was known variously over its working life as Druid Mine, Arundell, New Victoria Mine and Devon New Copper Mine. There is recorded activity at the mine between 1852 and 1872. There is no public access but some of the key features can be seen from the lane between Rewdown Cross and Welstor Cross.
Map of Druid Mine – the key features (albeit overgrown) that can still be discerned today are the chimney and Engine House. There was a very detailed survey conducted by English Heritage (Dr Phil Newman) in 2002.
Druid Mine chimney and a very overgrown Engine House. The mine had two principal lodes that were worked unsuccessfully by adit and shafts. According to mindat.org in 1853 it was known as Arundell Mine. By that year the engine house had been erected and work appeared to be progressing well. However work was suspended in 1855 due to the failure of the company’s bankers. The engine-house is a tall building and is believed to have had 2 storeys and an underground chamber.
The mine chimney has a red-brick top, which can still be seen today through the trees. The mine resumed work in 1856. The mine was being run by the Arundell Copper Mining Company and was known as the Arundell Mine and Druid Mine. In 1860, it is recorded that it was to be renamed Devon New Copper Mine. Funds became short again in late 1860 and work was suspended. As recorded in mindat.org ‘ work resumed again in 1861, with pitwork then being down to the 58 fathom level and reaching a depth of 96 fathoms the following year’.
Close up of part of the Chimney and Engine House. In 1863, the mine went into liquidation due to lack of sales. In 1866, the mine was purchased by the Druid Mining Company, who developed the shallower part of the mine (above the 68 fathom level).
By 1869, it is assumed that the Druid Mining Company had failed because a new company, the New Victoria (South Devon) Mine was formed. By 1870, the mines shares were no longer listed in the Mining Journal. Source of information : Mindat.org