Morwellham Quay is an historic river port in Devon, England that developed to support the local mines. The port had its peak in the Victorian era and is now run as a tourist attraction and it is the terminus of the Tavistock Canal, and has its own copper mine. In July 2006, UNESCO awarded World Heritage Site status to the Cornwall, Morwellham is strategically sited at the centre of the Tamar Valley Mining District which, together with nearby Tavistock, forms the easternmost gateway area to the rest of the World Heritage Site. The industrial Heritage museum is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage, by the 12th century, tin ore was being transported through the quay, followed by lead and silver ores in the 13th century. Later, copper deposits were discovered at the Quay itself. In addition, by 1800, manganese deposits were being extracted from the northern and western edges of Dartmoor and being brought to Morwellham. By the end of the 18th century, the trail of pack horses across the terrain was too much. The canal included a 1. 5-mile tunnel which ended 237 feet above the quay at Morwellham, from here an inclined plane was constructed to bring the iron barges down to the quay, powered by a water wheel. Morwellham Quay was at its peak during the time Devon Great Consols was in production, the mine was only four miles north of the port and shipped copper and later arsenic via the quay for a period of almost 60 years beginning in 1844. Morwellham became known as the richest Copper port in Queen Victorias Empire, another inclined plane was built to transport the ore down the hill and a new quay was added to handle the 30,000 tons of ore that were exported each year. Arsenic was also extracted and it became the worlds largest supplier of the mineral in the part of the century. However, by 1903 the Consols wealth was exhausted and the mines closed, by this stage, the railways had taken over and Morwellhams usefulness was also ended. The canal tunnel was used as a supply for a hydroelectric plant. In 2009 Devon County Council withdrew funding for the mining museum, in April 2010 the site was purchased by the owners of Bicton Park, and it reopened to the public later in the year. The site has been preserved to give an impression of Victorian industrial and rural life. The assayers offices have been preserved and Victorian cottages, farm. The ore-crushing plants driven by a 32-foot overhead waterwheel can be seen, a battery electric-powered tramway, constructed as part of the tourist attraction in the 1970s, takes visitors for tours on a single level of the copper mine. There is also an extensive programme of visits to explore the valley by water
Image: Waterwheel at Morwellham Quay
Elevated railway at Morwellham Quay.
The Great Dock and the restored Tamar sailing ship Garlandstone.