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Latitude: 50.5406 / 50°32'25"N
Longitude: -4.2229 / 4°13'22"W
OS Eastings: 242581
OS Northings: 73557
OS Grid: SX425735
Mapcode National: GBR NS.H73W
Mapcode Global: FRA 271M.NNQ
Entry Name: Arsenic Works, Flues and Chimney
Listing Date: 23 January 1987
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1326268
English Heritage Legacy ID: 94052
Location: Gulworthy, West Devon, Devon, PL19
District: West Devon
Civil Parish: Gulworthy
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
TAVISTOCK HAMLETS DEVON GREAT CONSOLS
SX 47 SW
5/117 Arsenic works, flues and chimney
Arsenic works comprising 3 calciners, grinding mill and engine house, flues and
baffle chamber, further flue leading to inspection chamber and chimney to north.
Devon Great Consols opened in 1844; all existing buildings were built in 1922.
Slatestone and granite rubble with brick quoins to calciners and brick dressings.
Calciners, grinding mill and engine house at lower level, zig-zag flues lead up to
baffle chamber, further flue to north to inspection chamber and chimney. Engine
house to east has large granite block platform, probably formerly had tramway
leading to it from south; adjacent grinding mill has one grindstone (base) remaining
on timber platform, hole at front of grindstone for crushed ore; remains of further
building to east end, possibly originally calciner. Row of 3 calciners, each with
pair of stoke holes to each side with brick segmental heads, lower stoke hole larger;
splayed-back brick opening to former front opening at chamber height, to rear flues
branched in zig-zag patterns about 10 metres uphill to baffle chamber. Flues
diverted through as many channels as possible for maximum crystallisation of arsenic
fumes. Baffle chamber has 8 round-arched openings to front and rear, 3 flue entries
to west, each bay divided in 2 forming 16 vaulted internal chambers served by 2
flues; flues emerge to east, carried through long narrow passage about 100 metres,
and merging into one flue, leading to inspection chamber below chimney, in rubble,
cylindrical and tapered. Chambers and flue connected with the calcinus conform to
specification dated 24th September 1866 in the lease for arsenic working. The flue
to the stack should be at least 600 feet long. "The section of the main chamber and
first length of the flue being of the length of 90 feet shall be of 12 feet in height
and 6 feet wide. A reduction shall be allowed after the first length of flue but no
part shall be less than 4½ feet by 3 feet wide. The walls of the chamber and flue
shall be solidly built and the thickness of at least 2½ feet of masonry where the
flue is of the greatest dimension and nowhere less than 2 feet. The precipitation of
the arsenic sulphur gases and volatile substances which pass beyond the main flues
and chambers shall be effected by means of water falls and showers.
By 1870, half the world's supply of arsenic was produced here. Then the early
1920's boll weevil epidemic in America led to the Duke of Bedford re-establishing the
arsenic works as a philanthropic exercise in providing work locally.
(Sources: Booker, F. Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. 1971 p 143-177,
257-8 and 249 note 11).
Listing NGR: SX4258173557
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