The enclosure at King's Oven is probably the site of medieval tin mining activities. Burnard comments that 'the enclosure is circular and an acre in extent'.
Burnard notes that the stone 'looks something like the nether stone of a crazing mill'. A nether stone is the lower stone of a rotary crazing mill that was used for grinding tin ore. Crazing mills could only grind the alluvial gravels and they were replaced by stamping mills when coarser ores started being mined.
In Newman's //Dartmoor Tin Industry Field Guide// he states that only three crazing mills are known on Dartmoor at Sheepstor, Outcombe and Gobbet. Perhaps the stone photographed by Burnard in 1888 is evidence for a fourth crazing mill but the stone is no longer in situ today.
King's Oven was previously known as Furnum Regis and was mentioned by this name in a Perambulation of Henry III in 1240. However by 1609 in the Dartmoor Forestry Survey the location was known as King's Oven.
Updated on May 17, 2018
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