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History

 

A brief history of the Silver Mines

 

1292;               First documentary evidence of Royal Mine at Combe Martin

 

1370;               King Edward III sends miners to Combe Martin from the South Pennines

 

King Henry V continues to work the mines ‘for the betterment of his wars in France.’ ‘The battles of Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt (1415) were won in the shafts of Combe Martin.’

 

1520’s;            King Henry VIII appoints German mining engineer Joachin Hochstetter to work in Combe Martin and Devon (with a thousand men at his command)

 

1587;               Bevis Bulmer, mining engineer, exploits rich-working known as Fayes Mine. Two Silver Rose Bowls crafted from the last plate of silver.

 

1640’s;            Thomas Bushell, mining entrepreneur, drives ‘deep adit’ under old mine workings?

                       

Royal Mint established in Combe Martin during Civil War?

 

1700’s;            Years of decline and abandonment of mines.

 

1796;               Renewed activity; 9000 tons of iron and silver ore sent to South Wales for smelting.

 

1840’s;            John Williams, pumping engineer, sinks Williams shaft and introduces steam engines to pump out water and extend workings around Mine Tenement.

 

1876;               Ancient workings (possibly Fayes Mine) re-opens as harris’ Shaft, for the extraction of zinc. Last mine captain: John Comer.

 

1880;               Combe Martin Mines close; Mine Tenement abandoned as economically unviable.

 

1988;               Michael Gussin becomes owner of Mine Tenement

 

1988-91;          Williams Shaft and Engine House Located and excavated.

 

1991-01;          Harris’ Shaft located and excavated to a depth of 23 fathoms.

 

2001;               Michael Warburton appointed as Mine Captain for Combe Martin Silver Mine Research and Preservation Society.

 2012               15 fathom level cleared and made safe max boyce made mine captain

                         underground


 
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