Long ago, Claire Donovan bid in an Auction of Promises for a guided walk, investigating the tin mines of Dartmoor, led by local resident and industrial archaeology expert, Mike Wright. Then the voucher was lost. Happily it reappeared and, on June 14th, a group departed from the church car park to learn more about this local industry that has been in operation from pre-Roman times to the present. Before leaving, Mike demonstrated the workings of a blowing house, a water powered mill where the tin was crushed and smelted, using a model he’d made. That helped interpret what could be seen once we were out on a sunny warm Dartmoor (no kidding). It was a grand day, full of fascinating facts, ice cream and opportunities to dip hot feet in cool ponds and streams. The day ended with a delicious cream tea in the garden at lovely Brimpts Farm near Dartsmeet.
Just behind the garden is a little museum created by the Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group, housing another of Mike’s models and where the Brimpts Tin Mine Trail starts. (Well worth a visit.) After a quick look at the site of an old water wheel below the farm, we returned home happy and enthusiastic to do another walk! Donations made after the walk have gone to supporting the church.