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  • Gary Dennis

Combe Martin's Celebrated Mines

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Combe Martin (Combmartin) Silver Mines produced such vast revenues for several of the British Monarchs and private individuals. You can visit us throughout the year. Come and learn what Charles I; Henry VIII; Elizabeth I; Dr John Dee; Adrian Gilbert; Bevis Bulmer and Thomas Bushell’s involvement was with Combmartin.

The original Victorian powder house and reservoir, and many other associated buildings, still survive. We have carefully excavated items from the earth through many years of hard work, sometimes with just a trowel and buckets. What happened to the little 4-year-old boy on running an errand for his mother in 1845? You can look down William’s engine shaft and see diagrams of how it connects to several other shafts under the area stretching across the valley. We may surprise you on what we have found under our feet!

Our museum displays many artefacts that we have found over the years, most on site. These include hundreds of pottery sherds and even some American Civil War rifleman’s tunic buttons. Don’t ask how they came to be buried in a reservoir in Combmartin, because we don’t know!! What we certainly know is the history of the three tankards all crafted from Combmartin silver. They now form part of the Mansion House silver plates in London and decorate the Lord Mayors table at functions. They must be a sight to behold. Several of our volunteers have, over the years, collected silver shawl pins and some spoons crafted by the esteemed Exeter silversmith H S Ellis and dated October 21st, 1847. They are marked ‘Combmartin silver’ and some can be viewed if we are given prior notice of your arrival. They are too valuable to keep on site.

So, if you want to hear about and see this unique village asset come and pay us a visit on a Thursday 10am till 4pm or on a Sunday morning 8am till 12pm. We can arrange group visits on other days during the summer months.

Picture shows a brooch made from Combe Martin Silver.


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