Tinners' building 90m north east of the confluence of the Brim Brook and West Okement River


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018929

Date first listed: 07-Jun-2000


Ordnance survey map of Tinners' building 90m north east of the confluence of the Brim Brook and West Okement River
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018929 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 20-Jan-2019 at 10:39:16.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 58725 86902


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Shelters are small rectangular or oval buildings which provided temporary accommodation for a variety of moorland workers. Some were occupied seasonally and formed habitation for months at a time, whilst others were only used during work hours as shelters from inclement weather. Some probably had more than a single function, with parts of the structure being utilised for storage. The shelters vary considerably in size, but on average have internal dimensions of 4.8m long by 2.7m wide, and whilst most were built of drystone walling, some were also constructed from turf. Most shelters have a visible doorway, whilst some have fireplaces, cupboards and benches. A single building tradition appears to have been used by the different groups of workers who constructed shelters. Many shelters were constructed on virgin sites, but a significant number were built within earlier ruined structures such as prehistoric stone hut circles and medieval long houses. The function of each shelter can generally be ascertained by its proximity to other archaeological features. Shelters found within or close to tin works are generally considered to have been built and occupied by tinners, whilst those close to peat cutting earthworks were probably used by peat cutters. Shelters are also found close to stone cutting pits, quarries, and leats. In some circumstances a single building may have been used at different times by more than one group of workers. Shelters found on the open moorland, with no other obvious clues as to their function, are probably huts built for herdsmen tending animals grazing summer pasture on the uplands. These particular huts reflect a system called transhumance, whereby stock was moved in spring from lowland pastures to communal upland grazing during the warmer winter months. Settlement patterns reflecting transhumance are known from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC) onwards. At least 400 shelters of various dates survive on the Moor, although it is expected that this number will increase with future recognition. Shelters are relatively common on the Moor and together as a group they are considered to form a major source of archaeological information concerning historic activity on the open moorland and, as such, a substantial proportion are considered worthy of protection.

The tinners' building 90m north east of the confluence of the Brim Brook and West Okement River survives well. Given its strategic location within an area which has been extensively worked for tin, valuable information concerning the character and nature of the workforce may survive.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a tinners' building situated on a slight terrace overlooking the Brim Brook and West Okement River. The building survives as a 0.7m wide drystone wall standing up to three courses and 0.9m high surrounding a rectangular area measuring 5m long by 2.3m wide. The structure is divided into two rooms and a gap midway along the eastern wall represents an entrance. A bank standing adjacent to the southern side of the building may represent an earlier waste dump or more likely was thrown up to offer additional protection against inclement weather. This building was probably constructed and used as a shelter by tinners working at the nearby streamwork, which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 28732

Legacy System: RSM


MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1999)

End of official listing