MMO434 - Carnarvon Old Pit (Monument)


Carnarvon Old Pit is one of the mines of the Brendon Hills Iron Ore company. A small drift was sunk 1857-58 with a portable engine. The ore petered out and was abandoned in the early 1860's. Some shafts are still visible as earthworks.

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Full Description

ST 0230 3430. Carnarvon Old Pit, Brendon Hill. [1] One of the mines of the Brendon Hills Iron Ore company. A small drift was sunk 1857-58 with a portable engine. The ore petered out and was abandoned in the early 1860's. Work then concentrated at Carnarvon New Pit. [2] All that is visible on aerial photographs is a line of earthwork shafts aligned E-W and centred at ST 0226 3424. To the east at ST 0237 3425 are a line of small mounds, each about 1m in diameter, which together form a feature which is 60m long. Further mounds are visible to the north and east of this feature. Although the function of these features is not immediately apparent, their proximity to the mining, suggests that they are associated with it. [3,4] The remains of three large shafts are centred at ST 0224 3424. The largest, centred at ST 0221 3424 is tree-filled, 20m in diameter and 6m deep. A second, centred at ST 0224 3423, is 11m in diameter and 1.5m deep. A third, centred at ST 0225 3423, is 8m in diameter and 1.5m deep. To the east, a further shaft is marked on the 1st edition map (Somerset sheet 58.3) but is not visible on the ground. The remains of earlier working at ST 0220 3425 is part of a large complex associated with New Carnarvon Pit. The remains were surveyed at 1:2500 scale for the RCHME Exmoor project. [5,6] Surface mining features, consisting of a linear openwork and ‘lode-back pits’, i.e. extraction pits that follow the surface outcrop, or ‘back’, of a lode were identified at Carnarvon by the Earlier Iron-Working on Exmoor preliminary survey. It is unclear whether these are those at Carnarvon Old Pit or New Pit. [7]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • --- Aerial photograph: 1993. DAP VU 8-9.
  • <1> Collection: Somerset County Council. 2009. Somerset County Council Historic Environment Record. Somerset County Council SMR 29 Sep 1986.
  • <2> Monograph: Sellick, R.. 1970. The West Somerset Mineral Railway and the Story of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines. David and Charles Limited. Second. 27.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/2082 4019-4020 19-MAY-1947.
  • <4> Collection: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, ST 03 SW.
  • <5> Archive: Carnarvon Pit/pencil survey. 1351371.
  • <6> Archive: Carnarvon Pit/ink survey. 1351370.
  • <7> Report: Juleff, G.. 1997. Earlier Iron-Working on Exmoor: Preliminary Survey. 13-14, 30, Table 1.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society. 1990. Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society Visit to the Brendon Hills. 6.
  • <9> Report: Coate, S.. The Brendon Hills Iron Industry. 5.
  • <10> Monograph: Bryant T.C. 1980. The Hollow Hills of Brendon. 6-7.



Grid reference Centred ST 0232 3423 (248m by 43m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet ST03SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11117
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8866
  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 SW26
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 975387
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33415

Record last edited

Mar 20 2014 3:26PM


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