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On the Traces of Tin Streaming in the Vicinity of Chagford

Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 1 (1866), pp. 110-115.


G. Wareing Ormerod

Prepared by Michael Steer

The tin mining industry in Devon is thought to have originated in pre-Roman times  and continued to the 20th century, when the last commercially worked mine (Golden Dagger Mine) closed in November 1930 (though it saw work during the Second World War). From the 12th century onwards tin mining was regulated by a stannary parliament which had its own laws.
Tin is smelted from cassiterite, a mineral found in hydrothermal veins in granite, and the uplands of Dartmoor around Chagford were a particularly productive area. The techniques used for the extraction of tin from Dartmoor followed a progression from streaming through open cast mining to underground mining. Today, there are extensive archaeological remains of these three phases of the industry, as well as of the several stages of processing that were necessary to convert the ore to tin metal.
The paper provides the names of several early local tin miners and labourers, as well as information on an important early Devon industry.
The author, who published and contributed generously to the Association’s meetings and Transactions, resided at Chagford for many years and died, aged 82 at Teignmouth.
A complete transcription of Ormerod’s paper appears on the Devonshire Association website and a scanned image in the Internet Archive.