Dartmoor Explorations

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

WHEAL DOROTHY – AN EXPLORATORY TIN MINE

This little known tin mine lies a few hundred metre from the Red Lake China Clay Works on the crest of a broad ridge overlooking the River Avon. On the Dartmoor HER (MDV61746) it is described as “Earthwork and walling remains of two ruined post-medieval mine buildings and associated mine shafts and tips to the west of Huntingdon Warren, which may be the remains of Wheal Dorothy, mentioned in the late 18th century”. The mine is mentioned by Robert Burnard (1891) and William Crossing (1909).

Wheal Dorothy Map
The map shows the location of the mine and on the modern OS map, the two buildings associated with the workings are shown as small black rectangles. The working is limited to a cluster of pits and a deep pit working located at approx. SX 6507 6662.
WD1
General view of the workings, which is described by Dr Phil Newman on the Dartmoor HER thus: “This comprises two conjoined pits of approximately 5 metres deep, with substantial spoil heaps around the exterior. An apparent drainage adit, now blocked, cuts into the slope on the south side of the pits and a channel leads away to the east”. Views to Eastern and Western White Barrows can be found on a clear day.
WD 2
Footings of two buildings associated with the pits can be found at the mine. The larger building sits on the eastern lip of the pit (River Avon side). The building has an L shape footprint as can be seen from the picture with a narrow section on the east end. According to records the internal dimensions are 2 m x 5.7 m overall by up to 0.6 m high and the narrow section at the eastern end is 1 m wide. It is reported that there is a possible entrance opening on the south west side.
WD 3
The 2nd building foundations are sited to the south of the 1st building. The 2nd building comprises of a stone-lined hollow of 3.7 m x 2.5 m by 0.3 m deep.
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