Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Haytor granite tramway

A Scheduled Monument in Ilsington, Devon

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5856 / 50°35'8"N

Longitude: -3.7529 / 3°45'10"W

OS Eastings: 276000.149726

OS Northings: 77676.772061

OS Grid: SX760776

Mapcode National: GBR QH.XFL6

Mapcode Global: FRA 370J.CQ2

Entry Name: Haytor granite tramway

Scheduled Date: 12 November 1963

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002528

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 449

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ilsington

Built-Up Area: Haytor Vale

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ilsington St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Summary

A stone built tramway connected to Haytor and Holwell Tor quarries known as Haytor Granite Tramway.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 4 November 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a stone built tramway connected with the granite quarries of Haytor and Holwell Tor, situated on Haytor Down. The tramway utilised stone sets instead of iron rails and was opened in 1820 by George Templer. It survives as a series of parallel lines of rectangular granite sets with flanges and rebates cut along the upper outside edges placed end to end on a level track bed. Individual sets vary in length to allow for curves in the track. The gauge of the tramway measures 1.25m. Originally, it extended over eight and a half miles in length connecting the granite quarries to Ventiford Basin where the stone was transferred to barges. The steep gradient of some stretches of the route as well as other natural and artificial obstructions had major implications in engineering for several sections of the track bed requiring the use of cuttings and embankments. At several places points were used to divert wagons onto different branches. The tramway remained in use until about 1858.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

The Haytor Granite Tramway crosses various features like a tin streaming works as well as passing other types of archaeological site forming part of the complex palimpsest of Dartmoor. The tramway is unusual because it is actually built out of granite, more often the tracks were made of iron set on a track bed of stone. The effort involved in carving each stone piece by piece to suit the individual needs of the track, rather than just mass production of metal rails represents a phenomenal undertaking in human effort and time. The tramway also survives in extremely good condition throughout most of its length which bears testament to the effort of its original builders and their attention to detail. In some places it is possible to see where excessive wear has taken place and repairs have been carried out which show the maintenance of this system was on-going during its use.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:-1198086

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.