Listing verified as genuine
Posted on 29th September 2015 / 1416
Industry Type : Mining - (Metalliferous) Iron, Copper, Tin etc
Power Type : Steam, Water
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Ruins and Remnants

Situated just outside Mary Tavy on Dartmoor, Devon, Wheal Betsy is an ancient mine that primarily yielded silver, lead and zinc.

She was part of the Devon United Mines and thankfully retains a pumping engine house, despite the hideous phase of blowing them up for target practice!

Wheal Betsy, which closed in 1877, is a distinctive and a much loved feature in this industrial valley – probably because of the wonky chimney. It is amazing that it has not collapsed yet!

There were other mines in this valley that later made up the Devon United Mines, (Wheal Friendship and Wheal Jewell). Indeed it is difficult to talk about Wheal Betsy without talking about Wheal Friendship. From 1816 until 1837, the 2 mines were worked as a single concern by the infamous John Taylor (of Norwich). To add to the confusion, in 1852 Wheal Betsy was worked under the name of North Wheal Friendship and in 1854 as Prince Arthur Consols, but just for a short while!

1822 seemed to be a productive year, the mine added a pumping engine house to cope with the water at the new depths and ore production reached 100 tons a month. The on-site smelting is interesting; it is reported that ore output was beyond the capabilities of the smelting furnaces and that a new process allowed them to smelt all the products of the mine on site. Betsy was doing well, but the price of lead slumped and losses were incurred.

In 1835, the water levels were still an issue and so Taylor extended the drainage adit from Wheal Friendship to to dewater the top 40 fathoms of Wheal Betsy.

In 1841 Wheal Betsy is reported to have been working at 110 f deep and bringing up 45 tonnes of lead ore a month, but only just breaking even; in 12 months she made £ 7,207 3s 9d, whereas the cost for working the mine amounted to £7,196 9s 2d.

By 1842 she was on her own again, but had 4 over-shot wheels installed for water-pumping and ore-hoisting and crushing. Losses continued and she closed down for a while in 1846 for a breather.

The pumping engine house that remains today at Wheal Betsy was built in 1868 to house a Cornish beam pumping engine, that worked Job’s shaft until 1877 (located on the Western side). Job’s shaft has been capped, but enough of a depression and surrounding structure remains so you can see where it is.

So there was a lot going on at this site, even though at first glance it appears that all that remains is some spoil heaps, an engine house, the cistern walls and some wheel pits.

Park in one of the many road-side pull-ins on the A386, don your walking boots and make a day of it here. Take-in the whole industrial valley and soak-up the delicious vibes of nature playing in the post-industrial landscape.

 

WhealBetsyCanvasTo buy the © GooseyGoo images of Wheal Betsy on Canvas go to the GooseyGoo Gift Shop and select Any ©GooseyGoo Image. You have the choice of two sizes. Add the name of the image to the comments box at the checkout and somebody will email you with a thumbnail to verify the image. Then, just sit back and wait – it’ll be posted out to you!

 

 

 

 

 

Wheal Betsy, Mary Tavy, Tavistock, Devon PL19, UK

Wheal Betsy

Situated just outside Mary Tavy on Dartmoor, Devon, Wheal Betsy is an ancient mine that primarily yielded silver, lead and zinc.

She was part of the Devon United Mines and thankfully retains a pumping engine house, despite the hideous phase of blowing them up for target practice!

Wheal Betsy, which closed in 1877, is a distinctive and a much loved feature in this industrial valley – probably because of the wonky chimney. It is amazing that it has not collapsed yet!

There were other mines in this valley that later made up the Devon United Mines, (Wheal Friendship and Wheal Jewell). Indeed it is difficult to talk about Wheal Betsy without talking about Wheal Friendship. From 1816 until 1837, the 2 mines were worked as a single concern by the infamous John Taylor (of Norwich). To add to the confusion, in 1852 Wheal Betsy was worked under the name of North Wheal Friendship and in 1854 as Prince Arthur Consols, but just for a short while!

1822 seemed to be a productive year, the mine added a pumping engine house to cope with the water at the new depths and ore production reached 100 tons a month. The on-site smelting is interesting; it is reported that ore output was beyond the capabilities of the smelting furnaces and that a new process allowed them to smelt all the products of the mine on site. Betsy was doing well, but the price of lead slumped and losses were incurred.

In 1835, the water levels were still an issue and so Taylor extended the drainage adit from Wheal Friendship to to dewater the top 40 fathoms of Wheal Betsy.

In 1841 Wheal Betsy is reported to have been working at 110 f deep and bringing up 45 tonnes of lead ore a month, but only just breaking even; in 12 months she made £ 7,207 3s 9d, whereas the cost for working the mine amounted to £7,196 9s 2d.

By 1842 she was on her own again, but had 4 over-shot wheels installed for water-pumping and ore-hoisting and crushing. Losses continued and she closed down for a while in 1846 for a breather.

The pumping engine house that remains today at Wheal Betsy was built in 1868 to house a Cornish beam pumping engine, that worked Job’s shaft until 1877 (located on the Western side). Job’s shaft has been capped, but enough of a depression and surrounding structure remains so you can see where it is.

So there was a lot going on at this site, even though at first glance it appears that all that remains is some spoil heaps, an engine house, the cistern walls and some wheel pits.

Park in one of the many road-side pull-ins on the A386, don your walking boots and make a day of it here. Take-in the whole industrial valley and soak-up the delicious vibes of nature playing in the post-industrial landscape.

 

WhealBetsyCanvasTo buy the © GooseyGoo images of Wheal Betsy on Canvas go to the GooseyGoo Gift Shop and select Any ©GooseyGoo Image. You have the choice of two sizes. Add the name of the image to the comments box at the checkout and somebody will email you with a thumbnail to verify the image. Then, just sit back and wait – it’ll be posted out to you!

 

 

 

 

 

Wheal Betsy, Mary Tavy, Tavistock, Devon PL19, UK

Wheal Betsy
Industry Type : Mining - (Metalliferous) Iron, Copper, Tin etc
Power Type : Steam, Water
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Ruins and Remnants
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