Dartmoor Explorations

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

Upper Newleycombe Lake Stamping Mill or Tin Processing Works and Tinner’s Hut

In the Upper Newleycombe Lake area between the old mines of Plym Consols and East Hughes lie the ruins of two buildings which are marked by two small black rectangles, annotated with the labels ‘Tinner’s Huts’ and Tin Workings (dis) on modern OS maps. The western most of these buildings is believed to be of late 18th to 19th century date and is an undocumented Stamping Mill or Tin Processing Works. The eastern most building is thought to be of an early date, (pre-1600), and is unusually long and narrow. Both buildings aren’t in the best of condition but nevertheless show part of the history of this heavily worked valley by the tinner’s.

Bibliography

  1. Dr P. Newman, (2007), Cramber Tor Training Area Monument Baseline Condition Survey, SDV348210
  2. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, (1979), SDV220920.
0. Map
Sketch map of the area covered in this post. The two buildings lie in an area of old tinner’s workings to the south and east of the ruins of Newleycombe Farm.
1. Ducks
The author followed these three ducks upstream along Newleycombe lake, firstly at the Stamping Mill then again at the Tinner’s Hut
2. Mill a
This possible Tin Stamping Mill or Tin Processing Works is located on the south side of Newleycombe Lake. The building nestles on the valley floor against a steep escarpment. The approximate dimensions of the Tinner’s building is 7.6m by 2.8m (ref: Newman).
2. Mill b
Part of the north wall still stands which can be seen on the right side of the photograph. Newleycombe Farm ruins lie to the north west a short distance away. The ‘Mill’ is located at SX58921 69846
3. Buddle 1
To the east of the ‘Mill’ are two rectangular Buddles which are hard to discern. The author believes the two Buddles are located at SX58926 69848 and SX58931 69848
3. Buddle 2
The two Buddles are shallow rectangular hollows, each around 3.5m by 1.5m.
4. Mill a
The east end of the ‘Mill’ has substantial block work.
4. Mill b
There is no obvious Wheelpit at the ‘Mill’. That said, at the west end (below the Tinner’s Reservoir), there is a gap where a Waterwheel (and possible Stamps) may have been located.
5. Tinners Reservoir a
Above and to the west of the ‘Mill’ lies are very large Tinner’s Reservoir
5. Tinners Reservoir b
The Tinner’s Reservoir is cut into the slope of the hillside and has a linear bank on the north (Newleycombe Lake) side.
5. Tinners Reservoir c
The Tinner’s Reservoir has been recorded as measuring 57m long by 11m wide and 1.2m deep. It is quite an impressive earth work which appears to have been fed by leats from above (see sketch map). The presence of the reservoir strongly hints to the fact that the water stored here would have driven a Waterwheel.
5. Tinners Reservoir d
The western end of the Tinner’s Reservoir is punctuated by a series of boulders
6. Mill a
If one assumes the Tinner’s Reservoir once drained west to east, then the water course would have arrived at the ‘Mill’ at its western end. Here, there is a gap where perhaps the Waterwheel and Stamps were located, albeit there is no evidence of this today,
6. Mill b
The gap where the possible location of a Waterwheel might have been located is at SX58917 69850
7. Waterwheel
Looking ‘into’ the gap from the valley floor where the Waterwheel may have been located. There is no trace of a Wheelpit or a Tailrace.
8. Ducks
Following the ducks upstream (east) towards the Tinner’s Hut
9. Tinners Hut a
In an area of old tin streaming there is a Tinner’s Hut. It is unusually long at 11m (ref: Ordnance Survey)
9. Tinners Hut b
Above the Tinner’s Hut there are traces of a leat from the east.
9. Tinners Hut c
The Tinner’s Hut measures 2.5m in width. Ordnance Survey record there is a possible sub-division 4 m. from the west end (albeit it is hard to discern). The walls are about 0.5 tall except where there are massive spaced slabs which are set on edge at a height of 1.3m.

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