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BIRCH TOR AND VITIFER MINE LEAT

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A leat which served the served the waterwheels at the Birch Tor, Vitifer and Golden Dagger Tin Mines. A branch of the leat also supplied water to Wheal Caroline Mine. It was constructed circa 1830 and extended over a distance of about 7 miles, bringing water from the East Dart. Either at the same time, or rather later, the flow was supplemented by water fed in from the North Teign by the Whitehorse Leat. Archaeological field surveys during the 1990s identified the point of intake from the East Dart is near Sandy Hale, it then winds along the south side of Sittaford Tor and presently swings south passing under the B3212 road, thence flowing into the Vitifer area, after which it leads to the West Webburn River, and back to the Dart at a lower point. Here the leat channel runs through an area of intensive tin-working and earth and stone embankments have been constructed to convey the leat across four separate openworks. The leat is well preserved with cleanly cut vertical sides. It survives to a maximum depth of 2 metres and has an average width of 2 metres. A bank of upcast material on the downslope side measures 3.5 metres wide by 1 metre high.

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