Granite Tramway

Parish Tour Events Clubs Churches P.Council History Services Days Out

 

When George Templer received a contract to supply Haytor granite for the rebuilding of London Bridge, the existing method of using horse and cart to transport the stones down steep and winding lanes became inadequate.  In 1820 he constructed a tramway linking the quarries to Stover canal, about 7½miles away, which had been built earlier by his father to extract ball clay from the Teign valley.  There is therefore a vast network of tramways on the moor, connecting to the different quarries.  Except for about a quarter of a mile coming up from Holwell quarry, the whole journey for the laden trucks would have been gently downhill. The track is clearly visible and in remarkable condition. The length of the rails varies between 4 and 8 feet and the width is 4 feet 3 inches, not a lot smaller than today's railways.  The wagon wheels had no flanges; they simply ran along the outer edge of the granite rail. Several "points" can be seen - no moving parts but with holes which may have been used to insert a temporary track or to lever the trucks in the right direction.  The tramway was last used in the late 1850's when trade declined.

 

Parish Tour Events Clubs Churches P.Council History Services Days Out