List of Mines in North Devon and West Somerset

Bampfylde Mine.

Site Identification Number - 115

North Molton parish, Devon

NGR SS737.327.

Also known as North Molton Copper Mine or Westwood Mine in the 18th century. Shafts and adits on a number of east-west veins situated on either side of the Mole valley north of Heasley Mill. At work for copper from late 17th century; although it could be the site of medieval workings. Closed by about 1778. Briefly reopened about 1808 and again in 1840s with plans to work gold (as Prince Albert). Projected reopening for copper and gold in 1847 but operations did not commence until 1852 as Poltimore Copper and Gold Mining Co. Gold working had failed by 1855; continued as copper mine under Bampfylde Copper Mining Co. Taken over in 1865 by the New Bampfylde Copper Mining Co. and worked until continued 1871. In that year another company, the Bampfylde Copper Mining Co.Ltd., took over the lease of the sett which had been extended from the original restricted area along the line of the copper veins to include Stowford and Crowbarn iron mines ('Copper' was dropped from the company name in 1875 reflecting increased reliance on iron ore production). The sett was taken over in 1882 by the North Molton Mining Co.Ltd. and again in 1885 by the North Devon Mining Co.Ltd.; although copper production ceased in 1880. Closed in about 1888. Renewed interest in gold working in 1890s came to nothing. Iron/ manganese veins immediately south of copper veins worked at some time in 19th century; although there are indications of early iron mining on the site. Remains of waterwheel pit on west side of river (never used), waterpowered crusher house with winder attached, further waterpowered winder on western hillside (collapsed masonry only), small horizontal steam pumping engine house (foundations and boiler house walls only) and leats on both sides of river ( with lower ones dating back to early 18th century). Collapsed walls of captain's house, offices and Berdan machine house (gold working). Also small crusher house with waterwheel pit apparently connected with manganese workings. (Claughton,1992b, 1992c and Jan. 1997; Atkinson 1997, pp. 42-55) (Plan of site in Wilson-North 1996, p. 139)
For brief details of iron and copper mining in this parish see Atkinson 1997, pp. 37-9 and 42-55 respectively.

Note - the authorís view of copper/gold mining development in this parish is not in agreement with that expressed by Dixon in Atkinson 1997. See Claughton Jan 1997 for areas of disagreement.


Peter Claughton / Dept. of Economic and Social History
Last modified 13 May 1998