MDE8288 - Late 18th Century mining remains southwest of Little Hangman (Monument)


A group of adits and shafts are said to be the remains of an iron mine opened up in 1796 on the West Challacombe Estate.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 5834 4785. One of 5 adits or shafts reopened or worked in the 19th Century.The grid reference given by [1] is not precise. It comes from an Ordnance Survey 1:10560 map marked up by Peter Claughton (an Engineer and Industrial Historian in British Metal Mining) and the reference is only approximate. The reference covers an area of about 2 hectares on steep outcropping slopes heavily covered by scrub and gorse, some 300 metres southwest of Little Hangman. According to Claughton [2] Swete in October 1796 had a good view of the iron mine then being opened up below Little Hangman. It was worked under land forming part of the West Challacombe Estate and some 9,293 tons of iron ore were shipped from the mine in the seven years to 1802, destined for Alexander Raby's iron works at Llanelli. (This could well be a reference to these workings). The slope is crossed diagonally by gulleys of outcropping rock which may have been exploited in the search for minerals. Adits were allegedly seen here in the 1970's by some locals [3]. There are holes in the outcrops, and also what may well be spoil heaps, but the whole is now so eroded, collapsed and overgrown by vegetation that it is now difficult to assess what is natural and what might have been part of workings and after some considerable searching with Claughton [1] and Warburton no definite adits or shafts were identified. The accounts house at SS 5825 4778 referred to by Toms [4] was most probably associated with these workings. [5] The adit is possibily a pit identified during an National Trust Survey survey in 2002 at SS 5839 4791 on the west side of Little Hangman. It is an irregular pit 10 metres by 7 metres with possible spoil pits to the south and southwest. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Claughton, P.. 22/04/1993. Letter and Maps to Royal Comission on the Historical Monuments of England.
  • <2> Article in monograph: Claughton, P. F.. 1989. The Combe Martin Mines. Out of the World and into Combe Martin.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. M Warburton, Barnstaple.
  • <4> Monograph: Toms, K. M. 1902. Notes on Combe Martin. Herald Press. P. 37.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 16 May 1993.
  • <6> Report: Berry, N.. 2002. West Challacombe Farm, Combe Martin: archaeological & historic landscape survey. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. NTSMR 100925 p11. P. 13.



Grid reference Centred SS 5834 4785 (52m by 48m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS54NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 41477
  • Devon SMR: SS54NE/10/5
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20320
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 54 NE44
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park Authority
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA148441
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 616418
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)

Record last edited

Jun 20 2016 1:13PM


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