How Dartmoor Tin put Britain’s Ocean City on the Map
Tracing the local tin industry back over 3000 years the author argues that without tin from Dartmoor, and parts of Cornwall, the Bronze Age (which was dependent on copper and tin) would have played out quite differently. Back then the only known source of tin was from the South West of England and the international trade enjoyed by this part of the world gave rise to the notion of Plymouth Sound being miscast as the Cassiterides – literally the Tin Islands – with Mount Batten being the major trading port – Ictis.
This back story, supported by many finds over many years, gave rise to Geoffrey of Monmouth in the twelfth century creating an early fake news story about how Britain got it kings and queens and how Plymouth was a venue for a Battle of the Giants.
Dartmoor hut circles, prehistoric finds at Sherford, Roman discoveries on the banks of the Tamar, and recent tin ingot dating in the Middle East all help to provide a compelling argument as to why Plymouth first earned the claim to be Britain’s Ocean City several thousand years ago!
But the story doesn’t end there, it goes on to discuss the early importance of Plympton, that town’s later eclipse by Plymouth and the various attempts over the last 200 years to exploit the mineral deposits that surround this modern day city … including that at Hemerdon. Indeed the book offers a full and frank account of what went wrong over the last few years and how Hemerdon might yet be home to a profitable, world-class, Tungsten mine.