11 March 2016

Whiteworks Tin Mine, Dartmoor

 Wall to wall sun down by the sea but a blanket of broken cloud at Princetown. A study of my OS map led me near Princetown where a single track lane leads south east beside the Fox Tor Cafe and is signed "Tor Royal Farm". The lane passes a tree plantation where gales have done considerable damage lately.

Spongy mosses and rivulets run everywhere

A tinners hut or perhaps a bank vault

Warning deep water

Public Bridleway reads the sign  (unsuitable for motors beyond here)

The lane eventually degrades into a dirt track as it reaches the tin workings which have long since been abandoned.
A torrent of water was running down one side of the road and joined one of the abandoned courses into the workings before descending into one of the rock filled shafts.  At the peak of production the area is said to have yielded up to 20 tons of  tin per year ( c1860).

The way up onto open moorland

Evidence around Whiteworks of early tin streaming since the Bronze Age has been found here. Later activity from the 12th Century is to be seen and streaming was carried on into the 16th C. Documents later uncovered show that work continued in a haphazard way with lesser men losing their investments, while the few made their fortune.

The higgledy piggledy tin workings lie all around

The Beech Tree a few days later and the scene is more inviting. I spotted a Hen Harrier .

The site altogether must be several hundred acres sprawling down towards the near horizon

One sheep that failed to reach the table

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