Belstone Cleave

Our Walk

JS suggested that we should try some local trips based around our headquarters. SB acted as midwife in delivering an investigation into some of the goings on up Skaigh Valley and an obsession was born. Read on with care.

O.G.s Tour of  Skaigh Valley and W Cosdon. - Prepared by our Pedant in residence - SB

Belstone Consols (aka Mid Devon Mine) and includes the Taw River and Copper Hill Mine.

Beds enclosing the metal bearing layers are green-yellow to pale brown garnet rock with sharp silicaceous schists. The country rock is metamorphosed Culm Measures as described by Warrington-Smyth (Smith) in 1878. The layers strike E-W and dip 65 degrees N away from the adjacent granite.

Main Lode; approx 100 ft thick of garnet rock with planes of stratification. Secondary copper ores Melaconite and Chalcocite are present as are quartz veinlets.

North of Main Lode; Approx. 17 and 55 fathoms North of main lode there are the imaginatively named North 1 and North 2 lodes. Both approx 12 ft wide.

The Main (Copper Hill) Shaft is 285 yards WSW of the third milestone from Oke on the Sticklepath road.

This book predates GPS and SI units but for locals it is just south of the entrance to Bude Farm but according to JS the blow ins who own the land have got everything fenced off and own horses, these are two separate offences.

The main shaft is vertical to 98 fathoms (what is that in cubits and spans?) From an outcrop of No 2 N lode it passes through No1 N lode at 40 fathoms. A crosscut N at 15 fathoms cuts No 2 N lode at 8 fathoms from the shaft and another at the 50 fathom level cuts No1 N at 4 fathoms and No2 N at 20 fathoms.

There is an inclined shaft, 145 yards S by E of Main Shaft which has been sunk on the underlie of the main lode at the 61 fathom level. It is connected with the main shaft by crosscuts at the 30 and 50 fathom levels. The former intersects No1 N at 7 fathoms south of main shaft and is continued 2 fathoms S of the inclined shaft to reach what is called the South Lode. At the 80 fathom level a crosscut 35 fathoms S from main shaft meets Main Lode. A crosscut 25 fathoms S from Main Shaft at the 98 fathom level reaches Main Lode and the level has been driven on for 90 fathoms East. Most of the stoping on Main Lode is between the 30 and 50 fathom levels where about half of the ground has been worked out for 20 fathoms W and 70 fathoms E of the inclined shaft. There have been short drives on the N lodes at these levels but no stoping appears on the plans. There is a pictorial representation of this layout for those who require further sleep.

The recorded output is 2,934 tons of copper ore between 1867 and 1891. The mine was “unwatered” by a 70 ft diameter water wheel, the pit of which will be seen on the excursion.

Click on the image to enlarge.


Ivy Tor Mine.

SW of The Belstone Mine, on the S bank of the Taw. In 1870, it was 40 fathoms deep and said to contain mispickel (Arseno-Pyrite) and Bismuth ore.

The picture below shows what appears to be machinery from the mine.

ivy tor

Ford Mine.

There is an old shaft in the woods approx 150 yards SW of Ford Farm, and 120yards NNE a small dump which may mark the entrance of the shallow adit which is said to be 60 feet below the shaft collar.
If you have any information about dumps or shafts in the woods please let me know so that I can add any details to this account.    


The River Taw