High Torr Granite Quarry (1829)

Thomas Hewitt Willisms
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Devon West Country Studies M SC1351
Illustration Reference
CD22 DVD 4
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Crossing, William. A hundred years on Dartmoor: historical notices of the forest and its purlieus during the nineteenth century.. "The Western Morning News" Co., Ltd.: Plymouth, 1901. Fourth Edition. III. p. 36.Industries of the Moor.[…] the 19th century witnessed the rise of another industry; the quarryman has taken the place of the delver for tin. The new enterprise of transporting granite from the hills of Dartmoor to the distant towns was destined to do much for the district, for it not only proved a source of wealth, but with its advent came that of the railway also. To the Moor belongs the proud position of possessing the first railway constructed in Devon, and to the enterprising and accomplished Mr. George Templer, of Stover, is due the honour of projecting and completing it. A granite quarry having been opened close to the rock-piles of Hey Tor, Mr. Templer designed a railway from the Stover Canal (made by his father) at Teigngrace to the hill named, for the purpose of conveying the stone to the barges. It was opened in September, 1820, the day being celebrated with great rejoicing. Considerable skill was displayed in the planning of the line, the terminus at the quarries being 1,200 feet higher than the starting point at the canal.In place of ordinary rails blocks of granite, having a half-groove cut in them, were laid down, and on these the wagons ran, the wheels being without flanges. Horse-power, of course, was used for drawing them, except where the gradients rendered such unnecessary. From Teigngrace the granite was sent down the canal to Teignmouth, where it was shipped. Many important structures were built of the Hey Tor granite, among others being the arches of London Bridge. But the undertaking was not long-lived. Cornish granite, it was found, could be shipped at less expense, and after a time the Hey Tor quarries were only worked for the supply of stone locally. Later they were deserted, and the railway disused. But a portion of it may still be seen, and remains as a monument to the enterprise of the man who thus boldly assailed the frontier heights of the Moor.[Text may be taken from a different source or edition than that listed as the source by Somers Cocks.]