Dartmoor Explorations

A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park

Manga Left Bank (possible) Tinners’ Mill with Double Mortar stone

In the Dr Tom Greeves paper ‘Lodges and Mills: The Field Archaeology of Tin Accommodation, Stamping and Smelting on Dartmoor’, there is mention of two pre-1750 tin mills on the North Teign near Manga Farm and downstream from Teignhead Clapper and the Starkey Clapper. These mills have been named Manga Right Bank and Manga Left Bank.

The Manga Right Bank Mill has been recorded by Dartmoor Explorations previously but the Manga Left Bank had alluded the author until now, largely due to it being very indiscernible, with only a (probable) double mortarstone being recognisable. This post covers an exploration to the area and records both Tinners Mills and other features of interest in the area.

0. Map
Sketch map of the locations of the two Tinners’ Mills (one labelled ‘Double Mortar Stone’) plus other features in this area covered by this post
1. RH Mill a
Manga Right Hand Tinners’ Mill from above looking west towards the North Teign and Manga Farm walls beyond. The mill can be located at SX64090 84795.
1. RH Mill b
There is said to be a wheelpit and a leat embankment here but they are not obvious. There are no mould or mortar stones here to confirm this is a Tinners’ Mill or indeed what kind of Mill. More information can be found here: https://dartmoorexplorations.co.uk/manga-tinners-mill/
2. Starkey Memorial
FH (Harry) Starkey memorial. On 20th April 1989 F.H (Harry) Starkey (Dartmoor enthusiast, author and speaker) passed away on this date. Next to the restored Manga clapper (“Starkey’s Clapper”) is this small boulder with a small cross with ‘F H S 1912 -1989’ incised on it. On 1st April 1990 there was a memorial walk organised to visit the newly restored clapper bridge and the incised boulder.
3. Starkey Bridge
Starkey’s Clapper. He was a committee member of the Dartmoor Preservation Association  and the Devonshire Association. He also belonged to the Devon Archaeological Society, the Ramblers Association and the Bovey Tracey Probus Club. He gave many illustrated talk to the Workers Educational Association (WEA) and an initiative was taken by the Teignmouth WEA in early 1990 to obtain permission from the DNPA to restore the Manga clapper (near Teignhead Farm), as historically it was Harry who had discovered it in a dilapidated state. The clapper (photograph above) was restored in his memory and is known to some as “Starkey’s Clapper”. Starkey wrote 5 books: Exploring Dartmoor (1980), Exploring Dartmoor Again (1981), Dartmoor Crosses and some Ancient Tracks (1983), Odds and Ends from Dartmoor (1984) and Dartmoor, Then and Now (1986).
4. Teignhead Clapper a
Teignhead Clapper. Worth described this bridge as having been erected in 1780 to give access to some new enclosures and Teignhead Farm. Crossing gives its length as about 8.53m with a width of 2.08m.
4. Teignhead Clapper b
In 1826 the bridge was demolished by a flood. However, it was immediate reconstructed which results in the structure we see today.
5. Double Mortar a
Manga Left Bank Mill is (in reality) just a jumble of rocks and it is very difficult to distinguish any feature except a (possible) double mortar stone on its side
5. Double Mortar b
The Double Mortar Stone (if that is what it is) would indicate the loaction of a Stamping Mill hereabouts. The stone is located at SX63989 84677
5. Double Mortar c
The right hand picture shows the ‘Double Mortar’ in relation to the North Teign and looking across to the Right Hand Bank Mill. The only doubt the author has that this is indeed a mortar stone is the fact it is triangular in shape and therefore does not have a flat bottom to sit on if it were being used in a stamping mill and would have had to be supported somehow. It is not beyond the realms of possibility this stone is just a natural one with two ‘scoured’ basins caused by weathering.
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