Monday, 21 June 2010

Hooten Wheals & surrounds

Even in the 19th century - a century which saw extrordinary feats of engineering skill and tenacity - the Hexworthy Tin Mine stands out. Remote and desolate, Wheal Unity (Around Hooten Wheals), Ringleshutes and Hensroost Mines first recorded to produce tin in the mid 1200's. A water wheel was still standing as late as 1934. It was the American military, training on Dartmoor during WW2 who destroyed many of the structures which still stood.
Today, Hooten Wheels has visible stakes, pillars and crane bases. Only nature has taken back what was once hers, and rounded corners throughout the whole mine.
We took advantage of the recent good weather to head up the O'Brook and revisit these sites. It is impossible to imagine them as a living, breathing place of work. 45 men were employed there in 1908.

It was another successful walk for us. 38 boxes found. As a sign of the times, we found, at the head of Holne Moor Leat, the DNPA notice reminding the public of the £100 fine for obstructing the water supply or damming the brook. Hardly a money maker, and I'd love to find out if anyone has ever actually been fined £100 for this crime!

Thanks to Dr Tom Greeves for the neccessary information.

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