The Lumburn Leat

Evidence for new pumping technology at Bere Ferrers, Devon, in the 15th century.


Faced with the increased cost / time penalties of driving deep drainage adits, at a time of increased real wages, the keeper of the Crown silver mines in Devon, at Bere Ferrers, sought other means of removing water from potentially rich workings. The method used was the water powered suction lift pump. This paper details the circumstances of its introduction and the surviving field evidence - a watercourse, 16 kilometres in length, from Millhill near Tavistock into the mines north of Lockridge Hill.

This paper appears in 'The Archaeology of Mining in South-West Britain' published by Historical Metallurgy Society and Peak District Mines Historical Society (Mining History: Bulletin PDMHS., Vol. 13, No. 2, 1996). Eventually the full paper will be posted to this page.


Peter Claughton / Dept. of History
Last modified 10 December 2000