The Brimpts Tin Mines you can see today were developed from much earlier workings dating from around 1500 AD. Most of these early workings have been overlain by later mining activity, from 1787-1798 and 1849-1855.
The Brimpts tin mining sett, or area of land over which the miners could search for and extract tin ore, under an agreement with the landowner, stretched from the Cherry Brook in the west to the East Dart River in the east, and from Bellever Tor in the north down to the Two Bridges - Dartmeet road.
Tin mining took place in the gully and the Plantation on the South Mine, and at the shafts and dressing floors of the North Mine. A leat diverted water 5 miles from the Cherry Brook to power waterwheels at the two mines.
Please park as signed, and follow signs to the display room where you will find information about tinworking and some models to have a look at, before walking the trail.
The south mine is accessible by easy farm tracks and through a field and there is one downhill and uphill section. To see the main features of the South Mine, please allow approximately 1 hour. This part of the trail is about 1 mile long.
The north mine is reached by continuing from the farthest point of the South Mine Trail, through woods to the open moor, and then across the moor to the North Mine. This part of the trail is about 3.5 miles return, visitors should allow 2.5 hours at least. The walk to the North Mine does require the ability to navigate across the open moorland on paths. The Outdoor Leisure map no. 28 of Dartmoor is recommended, but in good conditions it should be possible to follow the route from this leaflet alone. Part of the route can be very muddy during bad weather. Suitable clothing and footwear for the open moor are essential.
Alternatively, for those who do not wish to walk across the open moor, the North Mine can be accessed by parking at Dunnabridge Pound (grid ref. SX 6455 7460), and walking up the track for 800m. This brings visitors to the ruined buildings and then the mine shafts.
Although a small and little known mine, Brimpts is a good example of tin mining activity on Dartmoor, and yet is compact enough for us to be able to care for it.
DTRG has site maintenance days where we keep the trails in good condition.
There is a small display room with models, information, mining objects and new interpretation panels, as well as interpretation panels along the trail. The room and trail are open all year. Trail guides cost £1.50, and a new book about the history of Brimpts Tin mine costs £5. These can be obtained from Brimpts Farm, DNPA Information Centres or from Anne Whitbourn.
Some of the interpretation panels and the trail guides have been funded through DNPA's Moor Than Meets The Eye Landscape Partnership.