About the Morwellham Tractor & Steam Days
Morwellham Quay, a historic river port in Devon, England was a mining town dating to the 10th century. The area was the largest producer of copper in the mid-19th century. During those boom years, transport by horse and wagon could no longer handle the volume of copper headed to the docks so the company built a railway, the Devon Great Consols Railway, to move the ore. The town is also the site of the Morwellham Tractor & Steam Days, held on a late September weekend.
Today, Morwellham Quay is a partially restored Victorian mining village where visitors can have a fun, informative, and tranquil day including the opportunity to take a mine train to where the copper was first extracted. The annual steam event just adds to the fun.
Owners of Vintage Tractors, Miniature Steam engines, Vintage Cars and Bicycles, and Stationery engines are welcome to enter their vehicles for this informal gathering. All visitors can go panning for copper, learn how to make rope, or take part in an authentic 1860’s school lesson. Guides in full costume will take you back in time to the 1850s. Children can let off some steam of their own in our play park and there are nature trails for a leisurely stroll. Refreshments are available all day from our tearoom the ‘Ship Inn’.
The year was 1844 when a group of six investors divided 1,024 shares of what was thought to be a failed copper mine called the Devon Great Consols. The lease was granted by the 7th Duke of Bedford. Earlier attempts to mine this property had all failed but in that same year, the “mother of all copper lodes” was discovered resulting in 90,000 tons of copper being extracted from the site over the next six years. Copper mining continued for about 50 years. After that, the mine was a source of arsenic, widely used in Victorian days as rat poison and a popular means to commit murder. By 1905 the depleted mines reverted to the 11th Duke of Bedford.
Entry To The Event
The museum hours vary by the season with Autumn hours from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. allowing the staff plenty of time to take advantage of the Ship Inn’s happy hours. The Morwellham Tractor & Steam Days will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Admission prices are £11.95 for adults, £10.95 for concessions, £9.95 for children age 2 to 17, and the toddler under 2 enters for free. If you pre-book online, you will save 10%. A trip on the famous mine train, a 40-minute journey to the Victorian Copper Mine will cost an additional £4.80 for adults, £4.50 for concessions, £3.95 for children.
Somewhere to Stay in Devon
The best option for campers and caravaners is to stay in the historic village of Morwellham that provides tent, caravan, and campervan pitches. The village also offers luxury cottages with fantastic views of the village and River Tamar. The Ship Inn is in the heart of the village for a drink and a home-cooked meal.
Other Things To Do Around The Area
There is certainly enough activity to keep you and your family busy at Morwellham Quay and the Tractor & Steam Days but a good side trip is to travel to the Tavistock Museum with exhibitions relating to the Tavistock Stannary, Tavistock Canal, foundries, and local mines. The Dartmoor Prison Museum, just 7 miles east of Tavistock is another place to see for the curious-minded.
Morwellham Quay has easy wheelchair access to toilets and reception but there are some uneven pathways, steps, and slopes where caution is advised. Don’t take your dog into the History of Chocolate or Bakery and they will need to come up with £1 or its equivalent in copper ore for entry.
When is the next Morwellham Tractor & Steam Days?
The Morwellham Tractor & Steam Days is planned to take place at Morwellham Quay, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8JL, Saturday 28th September, 2019. This is a Weekend Steam Event.
When using a phone number please be respectful if the organiser uses their private number - remember a lot of these events are for charity and run by volunteers.
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