MSO7125 - 19th Century ironstone workings southwest of Gammon's Corner (Monument)


The remains of ironstone workings or trials, comprising 4 adits and 2 possible shafts with associated spoil heaps, which form part of a set worked in the 1850s on behalf of Frederic Knight by Blackwell and Rogers, and Schneider and Hannay.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 7433 4303. The remains of ironstone workings or trials consisting of four adits, and two possible shafts. Claughton [1] lists iron workings of an un-named mine consisting of trial shafts and one, possibly two, adits at SS 743 431 and Burton [2] refers to a sizable spoil heap; three large pits east of this and another trial in the same area. These workings (A-D) are set into the bottom of steep slopes about 370 metres above ordnance datum on the east side of a stream which runs down a small unnamed combe that extends from Hoar Oak Hill northeastwards to Gammon's Corner. A and B are shown, unannotated, on the 1889 Ordnance Survey map [3], surveyed in 1888. A (SS 7437 4310) The largest of this group of workings as a funnel shaped adit cut back deeply from the stream side into the steep slope for about 25 metres. At its eastern end is a conical hollow about 12 metres in diameter and some 4 metres deep from its upper, eastern rim. This hollow is probably sinkage or the remains of a shaft which has collapsed into the adit. To the north of the adit entrance a large heap of spoil from the workings has been dumped along the east side of the stream for some 25 metres. B (SS 7433 4303) Some 70 metres upstream from A this smaller adit about 4 metres wide is similarly cut back into the slope for about 20 metres where it expands into a 12 metre wide hollow, which might also be a collapsed shaft. The spoil may have been dumped on the north side of the stream opposite the adit where the stream bank has been revetted with a short length of crude stone walling which has now mainly collapsed. This adit is so weathered and eroded it now appears almost like a natural water worn hollow. C (SS 7427 4303) A small adit some 120 metres southwest of A. It is about 4 metres wide, 1 metre deep and is cut back into the slope at a slight angle to the stream for about 15 metres. There is a small spoil heap on its west side. D (SS 7427 4302) A similar small adit 10 metres upstream from C. Also about 4 metres wide, 1 metre deep but cut back further into the steep slope for about 20 metres. It also has a spoil heap on its west side.These workings are part of a set worked in the period 1857-58 by Schneider and Hannay, from Ulverstone, Lancashire [2]. The size of the spoil heaps suggests that they were largely exploratory trials and could not have been worked on any large scale. Surveyed at 1:2500. [4] The spoil heaps described above are clearly visible on aerial photographs [5]; however the adits are not visible. [5,6] At least seven lode back pits lie to the northeast of the northern adit. [7] In 1853 Frederick Knight had several costean trenches dug across Exmoor to search for iron ore. A lode was uncovered near Blue Gate at SS 761 377 and as a result, in 1854 Blackwell and Rogers sank a shaft here to confirm previous findings. Schneider and Hannay of Lancashire leased an area of Exmoor in 1856 and deepened Rogers' shaft here, possibly also driving a trial adit near Hoar Oak at SS 744 431. After a year's work, only 800 tons of ore were raised and the partners moved to surrender their lease at the end of 1856. A suit was brought against them by Knight, which was settled out of court for £10,000. 6.2.1, SS 74394312. Hoar Oak level. An adit driven under old openworks by Frederick Knight, containing what Llewellyn described as "clay and iron of fine quality" thought to be "a good puddling clay". The adit was blocked in 1995. [8] The site is labelled "Iron Workings" with individual features labelled as heaps and adits on 2018 MasterMap data. These are as below: SS 7437 4310: "Heap (dis)", 21 metres northeast to southwest by 10 metres northwest to southeast; SS 7437 4308 (A, [4]): "Adit", 23.5 metres northwest to southeast by 11 metres northeast to southwest; SS 7433 4302 (B, [4]): "Adit", 20 metres northwest to southeast by 9 metres northeast to southwest; SS 7427 4302 (C, [4]): "Adit (dis)" with "Heap (dis)" on its western side, 12 metres north to south by 9 metres east to west; SS74274301 (D, [4]): "Adit (dis)" with "Heap (dis)" on its western side, 19 metres north to south by 10 metres east to west [9] Site 22 (6.2.1), Hoaroak Level, SS 74378 43116. The site was visited in 2010 and the location of the adit recorded using GPS. [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Report: Claughton, P. F.. 1993. A List of Mines in North Devon and West Somerset. No: 146.
  • <2> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 143.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Somerset 32(15,16).
  • <4> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 16 September 1994.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1501 3221-22 (13 May 1946).
  • <6> Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <7> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. 36.
  • <8> Report: Exmoor Mines Research Group. 1995. Report on the safety condition of disused mine workings on lands owned by Exmoor National Park Department and other lands nearby. 3, 6.2.1 p15.
  • <9>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap. [Mapped feature: #38851 Extent of site, ]
  • <10> Unpublished document: Harley, M.. 2010. Disused Mine Workings within the Authority's Estate. Site 22.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1044254, Extant 18 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 7432 4307 (125m by 133m)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO496
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12383
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW140
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1044254
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35578

Record last edited

Jan 18 2022 1:18PM


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