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