MSO8859 - Burrow Farm Engine House (Building)


An engine house for a Cornish pumping engine, built approximately 1860 at Burrow Farm Mine by Henry Skewis, Mines Captain. It has an associated drying shed to the west, used for drying miners' clothing.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

[ST 00843451] Barrow Farm Pit (Iron Ore) Disused (NAT) [1] Burrow Farm Mine, one of a number of mines built in the Brendon Hills iron field, was first sunk about 1860. The engine house was probably built in 1880 and housed a rotary beam engine serving the dual purpose of pumping and winding. [2] The building was constructed of small killas slabs without worked quoins, with railway sleepers as lintels, and incorporates a round chimney with its upper courses of brick, on the Cornish pattern. A short branch railway joined it to the West Somerset Mineral Railway (Lin 103). The mine finally closed in 1883. [1-4] 19/1 Listed Grade 2 Burrow Farm Engine House. In a meadow close to the former West Somerset Mineral Railway and to the north east of Burrow Farmhouse. Dating from about 1860. It originally housed a large Cornish type rotary beam engine and did pumping and winding duty at Burrow Farm Mine. Rectangular Cornish features. Two main storeys. Mostly coursed flat rubble slabs. Tall tapering round stack at the north east corner with upper part of red brick. Large opening in north wall and other openings of various sizes in side walls. Some timber lintels. Ruined and roofless at time of survey (1975). [5] The engine house described by the previous authorities is visible on aerial photographs. The earthwork remains of Burrow Farm mine are described in ST 03 SW 20. [6] Extant ruined building, comprising of original chimney and engine house (boiler house removed) with later shed. [7] The building has been conserved by Exmoor National Park Authority. It is the last remaining example of a 'Cornish' type engine house in Somerset. [8] Remains of mine engine house and shed, dating to 1880. It was erected by Henry Skewis the mines captain. The building was constructed of local stone and is now a roofless ruin. The drying shed lays to the west of the engine house.This is the best surviving engine house on the Brendon Hills. (Greenfield, Exmoor Review, 1981). [9] Engine house remains as a standing structure and is a listed building. [10] Monument scheduled on 3 September 2004 together with a stretch of mineral railway trackbed. [11] The buildings were visited in June 2013 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. The engine house received a BAR score of 5A and the drying shed received a score of 4A. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1889. 1:2500 1st edition, Somerset.
  • <2> Monograph: Sellick, R.. 1970. The West Somerset Mineral Railway and the Story of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines. David and Charles Limited. Second. 39, 40, 46.
  • <3> Monograph: Buchanan, R.A. 1980. Industrial Archaeology of Central Southern England. P. 115 illustration.
  • <4> Article in serial: 1976. Notes and News: Burrow Farm Engine House. Journal of the Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society. 1. P. 46.
  • <5> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . June 1975.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/70387 501-502. 25/09/1970.
  • <7> Report: The Hartley Conservation Partnership + David Sekers Consulting Partnership. 2004. West Somerset Mineral Railway Conservation Plan. P.34.
  • <8> Report: Jones, M.H.. 1995. Notes on some of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines and the West Somerset Mineral Railway.
  • <9> Index: 4/8/1986. 36th List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, District of West Somerset (Somerset)/Exmoor National Park..
  • <10> Unpublished document: ENP. ENP to HBMC.
  • <11> Unpublished document: English Heritage. Letter from English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <12> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.



Grid reference Centred ST 0085 3450 (19m by 13m)
Map sheet ST03SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (4A): 1648/5/11/2
  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5A): 1648/5/11/1
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10799
  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 SW 21
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 188487
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33376
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31331

Record last edited

Mar 17 2021 3:59PM


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