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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
700th anniversary of tin charter
View of Dartmoor
Tin mining on Dartmoor goes back to Roman times
Devon historians are celebrating the 700th anniversary of tin mining being granted a charter by Edward I.

King Edward's charter of 1305 named Ashburton, Chagford, and Tavistock as "places of coinage" - where tin would be checked for quality after mining.

The charter also gave tinners the right to dig anywhere for tin, and bring water for the mining process through anyone's land.

On Sunday, Chagford will be holding a special church service to celebrate.

Charter protests

Under the charter, Edward named Lydford as the place where the stannary prison would stand.

Plympton was also later added to the county's official stannary towns.

But people did petition the King for stannary privileges, such as digging for tin anywhere and the water use rights, to be revoked because of friction they caused between landowners and tinners.

Despite the protests, they were kept in place.

The tin industry in Devon was focused mainly on Dartmoor, with the first written record of tin mining dating back to the 12th Century.

However, the use of tin found on the moor dates back to pre-Roman times, and it was a key industry for Devon from ancient history up until the 20th Century.

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