( research & preservation society)

 A bit about what we do and the history of the mine

Mine Tenement
(the believed site of Fayes Mine)
Work has been ongoing, since 1991 to preserve, restore the abandoned workings, by a small band of like minded volunteers who formed an organization called Combe Martin Silver Mine Research And Preservation Society. (CMSMRPS). It is unfortunate that the youngest of we volunteers is 50 years of age, just can’t get the younger people in! (except for the 2 teenagers). Mine Tenement has been worked throughout history, abandoned and reopened several times, the final abandonment being in the 1880's

“The sight of Combmartin silver gladdened
the heart of good Queen Bess”

Much has been written about the celebrated kings mines of Combmartin from
the first recorded documentation of 1292 to the present day. Even now unknown
evidence of workings are being unearthed through Archaeology at Mine Tenement. It
was said that the Romans never came to this part of the country but evidence has been
revealed to show that they did indeed come to the South west, evidence also that
Combmartin was a hive of industry for many years with very prosperous silver mines,
hemp growing, market gardening and lime kilns. It is known that there was a fulling
mill in the village but where? Could it be ‘Rack Park’ which is adjacent to mine
tenements, where there was known to have been a water wheel and to have
been a leat to feed one, (still visible in places). The name itself gives very strong
evidence that it was indeed at ‘Rack Park’ as the wool would have been hung on racks
in a field in the process of fulling. On going digs are in progress at mine tenement by a
dedicated band of budding archaeologists to try and unearth more of the history of this
fascinating village and try and answer some of the questions unanswered for many
years like how did a sherd of Seville pottery end up in Combmartin when only five
pieces have ever been found in the whole of the country and the American civil war riflemans tunic buttons also found in the reservoir.
The mines of Combmartin have been worked and abandoned on numerous
occasions over the centuries, by different companies, all trying out the newest
technology of the time to go deeper and further than the previous company, from opencast
pits to steam power if it was new it came to Combmartin first such was the regard
for such wealthy mines. It is said that the battles of Poitiers in 1356, Crecy in 1415 and
even Agincourt were won in the shafts of Combmartin and in the 1640’s that Charles
1st clothed his army from the ‘Royal mines’ of Combmartin for the civil war, when at
the time they were managed by Thomas Bushell who was in charge of the mint and
Royal coinage of Combmartin.
Today much of the visual signs of mining have gone except where the
dedicated members of CMSMRPS have strove to keep as much as they can of Harris’s
mine open and preserved the base of Williams engine house for future generations to
learn about and study the fascinating stories and lives of the men women and children who
        worked there often in horrendous conditions just to put bread on their tables.

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