Dartmoor Explorations

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


Steve Grigg and Frank Collinson

An exploration of 19th century portion of Ringleshutes Mine. The original tin open works are believed to be from 15th to 18th century. The workings went underground (albeit very shallow apparently) when, in 1852 a licence was granted to work the mine in conjunction with Henroost under “Holne Moor & Hensroost United Mines”.

Ringleshutes 1
There is more to Ringleshutes Mine than just the Engine House and Barracks ruins, which are the obvious finds in the area. Dave Brewer (DM article), Eric Hemery (Walking Dartmoor Waterways) and John Robins (Follow the Leat) have all written about this location, which with some careful exploring yields many old tinners artefacts. This map overlay shows some of the features.
Ringleshutes 2
The Engine House ruins (collapsed chimney) with collapsed shaft (where the tree is) alongside.
Ringleshutes 3
Venford reservoir from the Engine House.
Ringleshutes 4
Looking down into the collapsed shaft from on top of the Engine House ruins. Apparently the ore from the mine was a very reddy brown cassiterite (aka tinstone), Tin Dioxide. The reddy brown colour is due to iron impurities.
Ringleshutes 5
Ruins of the barracks, just down the track from the Engine House.
Ringleshutes 6
Another view of the barracks.The building was divided into at least 5 rooms and is 25m x 5m approx.
Ringleshutes 7
In the banked leat appears to be a hollowed out section with a lintel stone. Was this a tinners cache ? SX67684 70077
Ringleshutes 8
Just down the track from the barracks, is what Dave Brewer believes was a light tramway. It certainly looks man made and is quite long, extending almost to the wheelpit area of the operation. PastScape web site seems to confirm.it was a tramway as does Dr Phil Newman on the map on page 23 of The Dartmoor Tin Industry A Field Guide.
Ringleshutes 9
Another view of the tramway with Venford Reservoir in view. This is the mid point of the tramway at SX67765 70195
Ringleshutes 10
This is a breach in the (now dry) Old Holne Town Gutter, which supplemented water into Ringleshutes Stream to operate the water wheel below. This breach is at SX67808 70266
Ringleshutes 11
The wheelpit tail race, looking south. The wheelpit is where the tree is.
Ringleshutes 12
The wheelpit. The old stonework is the giveaway signs. SX67847 70325
Ringleshutes 13
This is the end of the tail race, looking north, crossing a more modern track at SX67847 70331
Ringleshutes 14
Dave Brewer suggests there is a stamping mill alongside the wheelpit, which makes sense. However, all that appears to remain is an overgrown side wall (where the light coloured fern is). SX67851 70320
Ringleshutes 15
This looks like a picture of some reeds (and it is). However, on site you can discern a rectangular settling pit with what Dave Brewer described as a lagoon above. The lagoon is silted up. The settling pit is at SX67864 70309
Ringleshutes 16
Some locals in the mine area.
Ringleshutes 17
The foal had some nice colouring.
Ringleshutes 18
Lots of Stonechats on Holne Moor, fabulous sight.
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