Lost industrial landscapes

The intense heat and pressures generated as the granite of Dartmoor formed, produced a rich mineral layer which included tin, copper and iron ores. Early settlers used the ore they found in streams but as technologies improved people began to mine the ore from the ground. Tin mining became increasingly important during medieval times with stannary towns established around the moor in Tavistock, Chagford, Ashburton and Plympton to oversee the industry. Mining at this time used a technique called tin streaming which left huge scars in the landscape that we can still see today.

Tin mining went into decline in the later medieval period but with new Victorian technologies many mines were re-established and new mines exploiting copper and iron were set up.

Download Tin Industry Factsheet (PDF)

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Use the Heritage Trails Map to look for industrial records across Dartmoor or plan your own walk or download one of the heritage trails

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