MSO8595 - Ison Mine, Winsford (Monument)
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Type and Period (3)
Sellick records that a 'new mine was opened at Eisen Hill in 1854'. By 1867 further extensions to workings were made in Hoe Combe and further westwards, but by 1877 all work seems to have ended. By the late 1850s a small level (Office Level) had been driven behind the mining company's office, but this was soon abandoned. The main working was at Poorsland Adit and at two adits in Hoe Combe. The results were disappointing and by 1860 abandonment was considered. Extension of the Poorsland Adit after 1861 lead to a temporary increase in production. By 1867 further extensions to workings were made in Hoe Combe and further westwards, but by 1877 all work seems to have ended.  The name `Eisen' is said to derive from the fact that German workers were employed in the mine. However, it appears on all Ordnance Survey map editions as `Ison', and that usage is followed here.  The majority of the workings date from the second half of the 19th Century. However, at SS 9057 3713 is an area of surface workings which, although possibly exploratory workings associated with the 19th Century phase, may represent earlier attempts at surface extraction. The main workings are located at the following locations from west to east: SS 8995 3713 (approx). Adit. See MSO8553 SS 9002 3717 (approx). Adit? SS 9005 3712 (approx). Adit? SS 9031 3789 (approx). `Mold's Pit'. A hollow 10 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres deep at the site of the National Grid Reference in improved pasture field. SS 90423 37104. `Passmore's Pit'. The shaft is 6.2 metres in diameter and 7 metres deep, and below the surface becomes a square, rock-cut opening before becoming obscured by rubbish. The surrounding area is covered in spoil. The shaft is surrounded by a hedged enclosure bank topped by a beech hedge. SS 9044 3706 (grid reference from MSO12612). Drift. No surface evidence, although ground surface is uneven in this area. SS 90632 37096 grid reference from OS 1st edition 25" mapping). Drift. In improved pasture field. No surface evidence. SS 90854 37105. `Hoe Combe Drift'. OS current edition 1:2500 mapping shows `shaft (disused)' and hedged enclosure around shaft. SS 90915 37113. OS current edition 1:2500 scale mapping shows `shaft (disused)'. SS 91042 37102. OS current edition 1:2500 mapping shows `shaft (disused)'. SS 9110 3712. (grid reference from MEM15392). Adit. SS 91493 37037. `Poorsland Adit'. An exceptionally well preserved adit. It comprises a stone arched opening 1.5 metres high and 1.6 metres wide. Water still isssues from the opening which runs back westwards into the hillside for 5 metres. To the immediate south of the adit is a platform measuring 6 metres by 3.5 metres, and cut by 1.5 metres into the hillside. It may have supported a building at the adit mouth. To the east of the adit (circa 20 metres) is the River Quarme. This was presumably bridged at SS 91522 37031, where traces of stone revetments, 7 metres long and 1.2 metres high, survive. On the eastern bank of the river a raised embankment or causeway 2.4 metres high presumably allowed ore to be moved to the nearby road (now the A396). SS 91608 37008. `Office Level'. In the garden of Ison Cottage is a rock-cut opening, now blocked, 1.3 metres high and 2 metres wide. Additional features are a very well made track which local tradition (unsubstantiated) suggests supported a tramway. It seems more likely that this track (which runs from SS 9093 3712 to SS 9152 3693) was a carefully graded road which allowed ore to be removed by vehicle. The Ordnance Survey 1st edition 25" mapping of 1889 (2) shows an area of spoil? And small structures? At SS 9105 3717. Field investigations were carried out as part of RCHME Exmoor Project in January 1998.  The shafts, bell pits and tramway or road associated with the Eisen Mine are clearly visible on vertical aerial photographs. Three of the shafts are surrounded by curvilinear enclosures. These features were plotted at 1:10,000 scale during the Brendon Hills Mapping Project. [4-6] The increase in ore production in the early 1860s, made the transportation of ore by road inconvenient and expensive. In 1864 a western extension to the West Somerset Mineral railway was therefore considered viable, but the plan was not pursued. A plan, probably drawn up to accompany the proposal which would have been required to obtain an Act of Parliament for the extension, indicates an 8 mile circuitous route from the Gupworthy terminus to the Quarme Valley was the considered course of the extension.  The 'extensive linear openwork with lode-back (i.e. surface prospecting) pits' identified as being at Hoe Combe during the Earlier Iron-Working on Exmoor preliminary survey may relate to Eison Mine, rather than particularly to the Hoe Combe drift.  Other remains include drifts and the Hoe Combe drift.  Double banks forming a trackway running to the south and west seen on aerial photographs. This was the road to Dunster. 
- <1> SMO5787 Monograph: Sellick, R.. 1970. The West Somerset Mineral Railway and the Story of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines. David and Charles Limited. Second. P. 12, 17, 19, 28, 38, 61.
- <2> SEM6703 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Somerset 46(11).
- <3> SMO7329 Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 8 January 1998.
- <4> SEM6707 Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF CPE/UK/1980 4345-7 (11 April 1947).
- <5> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. Ordnance Survey OS/73087 574-5 (14 April 1973).
- <6> SMO6667 Collection: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS93NW.
- <7> SEM7037 Article in serial: Bye, R.A. + Lovell, T.H.. 1977. A Proposed Extension of the West Somerset Mineral Railway to Eisen Hill. Journal of the Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society. 2.
- <8> SEM6912 Report: Juleff, G.. 1997. Earlier Iron-Working on Exmoor: Preliminary Survey. P.30, Table 1.
- <9> SEM7143 Report: Juleff, G., Rippon, S. + Wilson-North, R.. 2001. Exmoor Iron: An Exploration of the Impact of Past Iron Production on the Environmental and Cultural Landscapes of Greater Exmoor: Project Design. P.14.
- <10> SSO815 Monograph: Bryant T.C. 1980. The Hollow Hills of Brendon.
- <11> SSO708 Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 9037, 9137, 9136 and 9236.
- <12> SSO289 Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3304, 3305 and 4345.
- <13> SSO254 Aerial photograph: 1971. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 91, September. 8691.
- <14> SEM7221 Article in serial: Hayman, T.. 1973. Eisen Hill Mine. Shepton Mallet Caving Club Journal. 5. 6. P. 13-15.
- <15> SSO1 Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 90 37 (1595m by 394m) (Centred on)|
|Civil Parish||WINSFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (15)
- Parent of: 19th Century mine workings at Ison Mine (Monument) (MEM15383)
- Parent of: Adit, Ison Mine (Monument) (MSO8553)
- Parent of: Adit, SW of Torre, Winsford (Monument) (MSO12594)
- Parent of: Hoe Combe Drift, Ison Mine (Monument) (MSO12614)
- Parent of: Mine working at Ison Mine (Monument) (MEM15384)
- Parent of: Mold's Pit at Ison Mine (Monument) (MEM15380)
- Parent of: Office Level, Ison Mine, now site of Ison Cottage (Monument) (MEM15372)
- Parent of: Passmore's Pit at Ison Mine (Monument) (MEM15379)
- Parent of: Poorsland Adit at Ison Mine (Monument) (MEM15373)
- Parent of: Possible adit at Ison Mine (Monument) (MEM15386)
- Parent of: Possible adit at Ison Mine (Monument) (MEM15387)
- Parent of: Post-medieval mine roadway at Ison Mine (Monument) (MSO12617)
- Parent of: Shaft at Ison Mine (Monument) (MEM15378)
- Related to: Hole Combe Mine, Winsford (Monument) (MMO945)
- Related to: Surface workings at Ison Mine (Monument) (MEM15390)
Related Events/Activities (4)
Related Articles (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1089174 (Original Monarch entry: 1089174)
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO559
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11653
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NW32
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
- Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1089174
- Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34211
Record last edited
Jan 20 2020 12:31PM
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