MMO277 - Post-medieval ironstone workings east of Sherrycombe (Monument)


The remains of probable ironstone workings comprising earthworks thought to be adits and spoil heaps are visible on aerial photographs and at ground level. All features are thought to be post-medieval in date.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

The exact location of Holdstone Down Mine is unknown but probably somewhere on the Down. It was worked for iron between 1872 and 1876. [1] The remains of probable iron mining activity are centred at SS 6114 4783 on the eastern side of Sherrycombe. They lie at 230 metres above Ordnance Datum within a triangular field. The remains consist of a possible adit (at SS 61144782) in the form of a pronounced linear hollow cut into the hillside for some 23 metres, with water issuing from it. Downslope to the west is an attendant spoil dump, while to the east two surface hollows (perhaps shallow shafts) follow the lode upslope. A further surface working lies to the north adjacent to the field boundary. Although the remains are not specifically documented, it is likely that they are part of the Girt Down iron mine on the western side of Sherrycombe. [2,3] A large extractive pit is visible on aerial photographs centred at SS 61138 4783 measuring approximately 15 metres in diameter. To the west of this pit, at SS 6109 4784 an irregular linear trench is visible, which appears to run approximatly east-west for 40 metres. This trench appears to be the result of a number of smaller pits gradually being expanded to form a single trench. It is heavily overgrown on the 1946 aerial photographs and may be no longer visible. Two spoil heaps are visible 150 metres to the south, recorded under MMO1766, and these are likely to be associated with mining activity in this area. No quarries or mining activity is shown in this area on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, suggesting that the activity had ceased by the time of publication; however, other quarries are visible in the area, for example to the north of Holdstone Down. [4-6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Article in serial: Claughton, P.F.. 1973. The Metalliferous Mines of North Devon and Exmoor. Plymouth Mineral and Mining Club Journal. 4, Part 1. 6.
  • <2> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I. and Wilson-North, R.. 1993. Holdstone Down/ink survey . Unknown. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 3 June 1993.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/15014424-25 13-MAY-1946.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1896. County Series, First Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1890.
  • <6>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 NW. MD002171. [Mapped feature: #42727 ]
  • <7> Monograph: Claughton, P.. 1993. A List of Mines in North Devon and West Somerset. 98.
  • <8> Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. (B Pearce) Holdstone Down: Holy Mountain; Volume 42 (2001), 55-60.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 859282, Extant 8 November 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 19509
  • Devon SMR: SS64NW/40
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20882
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8960
  • Local List Status (Require info)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NW14
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 859282



Grid reference Centred SS 6110 4783 (90m by 38m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS64NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Jan 4 2022 12:45PM


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