On 21st September 1820, following an earlier dispute with the Duchy of Cornwall over lands at Walkhampton Common, Sir Massey Lopes granted a lease relating ‘to the granite thereon’ to the Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway Company, which the company then assigned to Messrs Johnson and Brice. In Carrington’s Dartmoor, it is recorded that Messrs Johnson and Brice were already working King’s Tor Quarry and they were charged to bring ‘this handsome and durable material into rapid and extensive circulation’. It is believed that Ingra Tor Quarry was initially worked not long after the signing of the lease, albeit a description by Bray (1836) suggests it may have been a lot later.
Just over three years later after the initial lease had been signed, on 26th September 1823, the Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway (P&DR) was completed from Sutton Pool (Plymouth) to King’s Tor. The concept was to transport lime, coals, timber and other articles one way with granite being transported in the opposite direction. The line was opened by Sir Thomas Tyrwitt. The Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway line circled around Ingra Tor before much of the track bed was re-used with the opening of the GWR Princetown branch from Yelverton on 11th August 1883. The P&DR would have been integral to the Ingra Tor operation.
The quarries in the area (Foggintor, Swell Tor, King’s Tor and Ingra Tor) were ran by the Johnson Brothers from 1820 to 1865. The Bovills then the Pethicks took over the operations in the latter years of the 19th century. The author is unaware of an exact date but it it is probable that Ingra Tor quarry ceased operations around the turn of the 20th century.
Ingra Tor quarry appears to have had a new lease of life in the 20th century, when quarrymen used the two crane bases within the quarry from 1936 to 1941, along with a building near the railway line. This was following the issuing of a new lease from the Maristow Estate to cut kerbstone, granite setts and road metal from the surface stone lying around. The customer was Devon County Council. Intriguingly, it was at this time Ingra Tor Halt was constructed for the quarrymen and was opened on 2nd March 1936. The halt enabled transportation of men and materials to the quarry.
- The Railways, Quarries and Cottages of Foggintor by Kath Brewer
- The Yelverton to Princetown Railway by Anthony R. Kingdom