Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Haytor Granite Railway

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The Haytor Granite Tramway was a tramway built to convey granite from Haytor Down, Dartmoor, Devon to the Stover Canal. The track was formed of granite sections, shaped to guide the wheels of horse-drawn wagons. It was built by George Templer

It was built in 1820; the granite was in demand in the developing cities of England as masonry to construct public buildings and bridges. In 1850 the quarries employed about 100 men but by 1858 they had closed due to the availability of cheaper Cornish granite

The Stover Canal had been built between 1790 and 1792 by James Templer of Stover House, Teigngrace, for the clay traffic, and was extended to Teigngrace in 1820. From here the granite was carried by canal boat to the New Quay at Teignmouth for export by ship, the quay having been built in 1827 for the purpose, making midstream transshipment no longer necessary.

1819 '...G. Templer Esq., of Stover-house, Devon, is giving employment to a great number men, in laying down a granite rail road, from Haytor Rock to the Stover Canal. The work will be executed under the direction of Mr. Steven, of Highwick, and is the only rail-road of this description in the kingdom...'

1928 '...All the granite to build the present London-Bridge, the British Museum, and the G.P.O. came from Haytor, along the old Haytor Railway (the trucks of which were horse-drawn, and the rails, many of which may still be seen near Haytor, were large shaped blocks of Granite), which had its terminus at Jews Bridge, where the stone was put on board barges....the barges took the granite blocks to Teignmouth, where they were shipped to London'.[1]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Western Morning News - Thursday 13 September 1928