About - Combe Martin Silver Mines

Video: Combe Martin Lead and Silver Mine

Find out more about this historic Combe Martin Vistor Attraction in Devon.

Excavations above ground -Combe Martin Silver 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.
Deep underground - Combe Martin Mines
“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 unknownevidence 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.
Ladders down - Combe Martin Mines
CMSMRPS - Combe Martin Silver Mine Research And Preservation Society.
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.

Further Reading – Books & DVD’s

The Combe Martin Mines Book
The Combe Martin Mines
£3.50 each + £1 pp (Please email cmsmsoc@hotmail.com ) Paperback 34 pages
Combmartin's Dark Depths Book
Combemartin's Dark Depths
£3.50 each + £1 pp (Please email cmsmsoc@hotmail.com ) Paperback 34 pages
Unearting Combe Martin Mines - Book
Unearthing Combe Martin Mines
£3.50 each + £1 pp (Please email cmsmsoc@hotmail.com ) Paperback 64 pages
Silver Mining in Combe Martin - Book
DVD - Silver Mining in Combe Martin
£4 each + £1 pp (Please email cmsmsoc@hotmail.com ) DVD PAL

Other References & Websites

Devon in focus
This page contains useful information about Devon Mines.
Mining in Cornwall and Devon entry on WIKIPEDIA
Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape on UNESCO page...
A List of Mines in North Devon and West Somerset
By Peter Claughton
Devon Heritage
Visit Combe Martin
Combe Martin accommodation on the North Devon coast is waiting to welcome you to this beautiful part of Exmoor and North Devon...
Devon Guide
Combe Martin is a resort situated in a sheltered valley on the western fringe of the Exmoor National Park. The large village is located close to some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the area...