MSO7476 - Langham Hill Pit (Monument)


Originally called 'Goosemoor Mine', the pit was operated by the Brendon Hills Iron Ore Company from 1839.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (7)

Protected Status

Full Description

'Langham Hill pit, disused', 'Old Shaft' and 'Old Quarry' are marked on the 6 inch map of 1962. [1] It was one of the Brendon Hills Iron Ore Company works and was started in 1839 when it was originally called 'Goosemoor Mine'. A pumping and winding engine and engine house were installed in 1866 and connected to the earlier zig-zag adit and the new number two adit. A level was cut to take over Smallcombe Bottom pit. A railway siding was built, by the Ebbw Vale Company, from the main West Somerset Railway line near the Luxborough Road station. The branch crossed the main road by an unprotected railway crossing. There was also an aerial ropeway from Kennesome Mine. [2] Located at SS 9772 3560 is an area of disturbed ground associated with the disused ironstone mine of Langham Hill Pit. The features were visible as earthworks and mapped from aerial photographs. [3,4] There are excavated foundations and low-level, above-ground, masonry remnants of the former Engine House. [7] Reduced demand due to cheaper imports of Spanish ore caused the mine close in 1874. It reopened in 1876 but little mine development took place and subsequent ore production may have used existing stocks. Mining at Langham Hill pit finished between August 1882 and September 1883, along with all mining on the Brendons. James Harvey Insole purchased the Chargot estate, upon which the mine stands, in 1875. Following the surrender of the lease by the Ebbw Vale Mining Company he required the Company to return the land to its former condition. This resulted in all mine buildings at Langham Hill, Smoky Bottom and Bearland Wood being demolished and the ruins being covered with spoil heap material and grassed over. As the Langham Hill Pit engine house was not of the typical Cornish type, excavations began in 1995 with the aim of understanding the building and mine mechanisms. [8] The Langham Hill drift, sunk in 1866, replaced the portable engine and the horse-whim powered incline. [9] The remains of the engine house were partly quarried away in 1986. The remaing walling is substantial, revealing large bolts, a possible boiler base and a brick-lined flue. [11] After it was abandoned, the mine spoil heaps were used to entomb the mine buildings, at the request of the landowner. The engine house which stood beside the shaft head has recently been excavated. It stands at SS 9775 3561. It now survives as a combination of wall footings and walls standing to 2 metres high. [14-16] The site was visited by the West Somerset Mineral Line Association in October 2013. A cast iron crank, which had been unearthed during the excavations mentioned above and probably dating from the first installation of the beam engine at the site, was noted to have been removed from its display mountings. [17] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [18] Additional bibliography. [19] The mine is mentioned in a publication on the industrial archaeology of Somerset. [20]

Sources/Archives (20)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560. SS93NE.
  • <2> Monograph: Sellick, R.. 1970. The West Somerset Mineral Railway and the Story of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines. David and Charles Limited. Second. 13, 39 ,40, 46.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3337, 3837 (11 April 1947).
  • <4> Collection: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS93NE.
  • <5> Monograph: Bryant T.C. 1980. The Hollow Hills of Brendon. 6.
  • <6> Unassigned: Historic Buildings Council. 1:2500. HBC 3.003.-001.
  • <7> Report: The Hartley Conservation Partnership + David Sekers Consulting Partnership. 2004. West Somerset Mineral Railway Conservation Plan. 28-29.
  • <8> Report: Jones, M.H.. 1995. Notes on some of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines and the West Somerset Mineral Railway. 8.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society. 1990. Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society Visit to the Brendon Hills. 4.
  • <10> Report: Coate, S.. The Brendon Hills Iron Industry. 5.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Murless, B.. 1986. Letter from Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society to Somerset County Council. 08 November 1986.
  • <12> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 9735.
  • <13> Article in serial: Olszewska, M.. 2009. The West Somerset Mineral Railway. The Old Mineral Line. Exmoor Visitor.
  • <14> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R., Jamieson, E., and Riley, H.. 1999. Langham Hill Pit/pencil survey. Unknown. Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <15> Technical drawing: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1999. Langham Hill Pit/ink survey. Unknown. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <16> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, March 1999.
  • <17> Serial: Exmoor Mines Research Group. Newsletter. Volume 40 (December 2012), 1.
  • <18> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1128079, Extant 25 April 2022.
  • <19> Article in serial: Jones, M.H.. 2006. The Brendon Hills Industrial Survey 1993–2005. Industrial Archaeology Review. 28. Part 2, pp 97-106.
  • <20> Monograph: Daniel, P. (Ed.). 2019. A guide to the industrial archaeology of Somerset. Association for Industrial Archaeology. 2nd Edition. p 72, W26.2.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO804
  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NE59
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1128079
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33744



Grid reference Centred SS 9773 3562 (109m by 129m) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS93NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Oct 11 2022 2:01PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.