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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


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