Natural history

Pages cclxv-cclxxvi

Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1822.

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In this section

Natural History.

Minerals. — The minerals of Devon are not sufficiently numerous or important, to have been made the exclusive subject of any public or private collection; nor, with the exception of the neighbourhood of Tavistock, have any considerable mines been of late years worked in this county. The Devonshire minerals, of which I have been able to procure notice from the British Museum, that at Oxford and a few private collections being not sufficiently numerous for a scientific arrangement, are here given in an alphabetical list.

Apatite. — Found in large crystals, with fine tourmaline, at North Bovey.

Arragonite. — In fissures of greywacke slate near Torquay, Ilfracombe, and Buckfastleigh.

Amphibole (Actinolite asbestiforme). — In an old copper mine at Buckland in the Moor.

Anthracite. — On the coast near Bideford: it approaches rather to black chalk, as it contains not above ten per cent. of carbon: it occurs as a bed in the greywacke formation, in a position nearly vertical, and extends inland for many miles, in a straight direction eastward; its thickness varying from two inches to two feet.

Arsenic. — Arsenical pyrites in Wheal Friendship mine, Mary Tavy: in fine crystals at Ding Dong mine, near Newbridge.

Antimony. — In several places in the parishes of Chudleigh, Hennock, and Bovey Tracey. (Polwhele.)

Asbestos (mountain leather). — In Wheal Friendship mine, Mary Tavy.

Axinite. — In the bed of the Ockment river near Oakhampton; mixed with garnets and epidote. (Rev. J. J. Conybeare.)

Baryte. — Flesh-coloured sulphate, in veins of limestone rock at Petit Tor and Babicombe near Torquay: in Wheal Crowndale mine, Tavistock.

Blende. — In Wheal Friendship mine, Mary Tavy; and in the Beer Alston mines.

Calcedony — beautiful blue, in fissures and cavities of chert, in the green sand formation at Sidmouth, and transfused through fossil shells in the Whetstone pits of Blackdown and Haldon; and on the hills near Honiton.

Calamine. — Small specimens in Wheal Friendship mine.

Chiastolite. — In the bed of the West Ockment river, near Tavistock. (Rev. P. Searle.)

—. Road side near Ivybridge; both in black slate. (Rev. J. J. Conybeare.)

Clay. — Pipe and potters' — Hennock, Ilsington, Bovey Tracey, (in Heathfield); Teigngrace, King's Teignton, Merton, Petrockstow, &c. &c.

—. — Coarse — Fremington.

Cobalt. — Black oxyde, in new red sandstone, half a mile east of Daw. lish. (Rev. J. J. Conybeare).

—. — In the north part of Ugbrook park.

—. — Wheal Huckworthy mine, Sampford Spiney.

Copper. — Grey copper and ruby copper, Georgina mine in Morwell-down.

—. — Native copper, Wheal Crowndale, Tavistock.

—. — Very rich yellow ore, Wheal Friendship.
—. — Crystallised ditto,

—. — Yellow pyrites, abundant in all the mines near Tavistock. All the varieties of coated yellow copper ores occur in the Devonshire mines of that neighbourhood, Wheal Friendship, Wheal Crowndale, Wheal Crebor, East Liscombe, Wheal Tamar, &c.

—. — Red copper, North Molton mine (Woodward); in octahedrons, West Liscombe mine, Tavistock; with arseniate of copper in six sided plates.

—. — Green earthy carbonate, occasionally found in Wheal Tamar mine, Tavistock.

—. — Glossy purple copper ore; Comb Martin (Woodward).

—. — Malachite, Beer Alston.

Epidote. — In the bed of the Ockment. (Rev. J. J. Conybeare.)

Felspar. — Crystallised, and rhombic, in veins of killas, at Holne-chase.

—. — Ditto and flesh-coloured, with tourmaline, at Bovey Tracey.

—. — Large white crystals, (chiefly double,) found loose in decomposed granite, near Moreton Hampstead; and in solid granite all over Dartmoor.

Fluor. — Beautiful green, at Beer Alston, with octahedral, and other varieties of crystallization.

—. — Purple, Wheal Crowndale, Tavistock.

Garnets. — In the bed of the Ockment. (Rev. William Gregor, and Rev. J. J. Conybeare.)

Gold. — Said to have been found in small fragments in stream works on Dartmoor; found of late by Mr. Flexman of South Molton, in native grains in the copper mine at North Molton, occurring in a matrix of black and red oxyde of iron.

Gypsum. — See lime sulphate.

Horn-stone. — Pseudomorphic — moulded apparently in cavities resulting from the disintegration and loss of fluor spar, and of iron pyrites, in South Hooe mine, Beer Alston.

Hydrargillite, or Wavellite. — Six miles from Barnstaple, on the road to South Molton, in black greywacke slate (Dr. Wavell); in the blue greywacke slate at Torquay; (J. Meade, Esq., 1817.)

Iron. — Specular or micaceous iron ore, South Molton; also in a vein, in granite, two feet thick, near Hennock; and near Mount Tavy, Tavistock.

— magnetic. — Wheal Crowndale mine, in the parish of Tavistock; in the massive state, Tavistock, South Brent. Risdon, speaking of the latter place, says, not far from hence the wonderful working loadstone hath of late been found. Westcote also mentions a mine or quarry of loadstones at Brent. In 1667 Dr. Edward Cotton sent a loadstone of 60 lb. weight to the Royal Society from this place; though it raised no great weight of iron, it would move a needle at the distance of nine feet.

— spathose iron. — Beer Alston and the neighbouring mines; fine crystals; Wheal Crowndale, Tavistock.

— carbonate of iron, chiefly in acute rhomboids; Wheal Crebor mine, Tavistock. (Mr. Jehu Hitchins.)

— argillaceous iron ore in Killas on Hangdown.

— iron pyrites; flattened octahedron; Ding Dong mine, Tavistock.

— iron-stone at Comb Martin.

— ochre; East Downe.

— umber; Berry Narbor.

Jasper. — Haldon hill; transfused through the substance, and filling the cavities of shells in the green sand.

Lead. — Brown carbonate; Comb Martin.

—. — White carbonate; Hennock and Lidford.

— galena argentiferous, or sulphuret of lead. — Beer Alston, Beer Ferrers, Newton St. Cyres; Wheal Betsy mine, Mary Tavy; abundant.

— common. — Rattery, Dartington, Ilsington, &c. &c.

—. — Steel-grained lead ore, from an ancient work supposed to be Roman, at Newton St. Cyres. (Woodward.)

—. — Grey lead ore, Comb Martin. (Woodward.)

Lime. — Carbonate, crystallized in many varieties in the rock at Oreston near Plymouth; in Wheal Friendship mine, Mary Tavy; and in fissures and cavities of limestone at Torbay, &c. &c. — Sulphate of (Gypsum) dug at Branscombe; occurs also in the cliffs of red marl from Seaton to Sidmouth.

Lime, fluate of, — with great variety of crystallizations, in the Beer Alston mines. (fn. n1)

Lignite. — Occurs in beds alternating with potters' clay at and near Bovey Heathfield; has decided marks of being fossil wood, retaining the structure, and splitting into flat slabs.

Manganese. — Black oxyde and grey; Upton Pyne, Newton St. Cyres, Doddescombleigh, Ashton, Christow, Lifton, Lamerton, Milton Abbot, Coryton, Maristow, and Brent Tor.

—, Silicate of, — (rose-coloured); Week mine near Tavistock.

Marcasite. — In Mr. Courtenay's mine at Molland, 1729. (Woodward.)

Clay Porphyry (called in Cornwall Elvan). — Composed of crystals of quartz disseminated through a base of compact felspar, of a buff colour, occasionally stained by oxyde of iron. — Roborough-down, near Plymouth.

Quartz. — In fissures of granite; Dartmoor.

At Sampford Spiney were found in granite a quantity of crystals of quartz (upwards of a thousand), having perfect pyramids at both ends of the prisms. (Polwhele.)

— amethystine. — In Wheal Hope and Wheal Friendship mines, Mary Tavy.

—. — A variety called capped quartz, having one set of the crystalline laminœ decomposed, and the exterior part in consequence separating from the enclosed crystal by a slight blow — near Tavistock; and in Virtuous Lady mine, Buckland.

—. — A variety called Babel Quartz, — Buckland Monachorum. Quartz is found in great variety of crystals in all the mines.

Retinasphaltum. — At Bovey Heathfield, with lignite. (Mr. Hatchet.)

Schorl, or Tourmaline. — Long crystals, handsome and well defined, occur shooting through quartz at Black-pit near Bridestowe (between Oakhampton and Tavistock).

—. — Superb crystals of a larger variety were recently discovered at North Bovey, mixed with apatite and quartz, in a cavity of red granite.

Silver. — Capillary silver — Sampford Spiney. (Polwhele.)

—. — In a mine at Huckworthy bridge, near Tavistock. (J. Hawkins, Esq.)

Soda. — Efflorescing carbonate of, found by Dr. Wavell in the tower of Stoke church, near Hartland. See a paper by Dr. Clarke in the Cambridge Philosophical Transactions.

Tin. — Old stream-works near the banks of the Plym, the sand near Saltram, the Teign, &c. &c.

Old mines, on the summit and edge of Dartmoor, &c. &c., on Morwell Down, and other places near Tavistock, in Whitechurch, Buckland Monachorum, South Sydenham, &c.

Mines now worked. — In Plympton, and North Bovey, &c. &c. near Dartmoor.

Meteoric Stone. — Risdon relates that in the year 1623 a meteoric stone (fn. n2) of 27lb. weight, fell with a great noise in the lordship of Strechleigh, in the parish of Ermington: he describes it as being like a stone half burnt for lime. A pamphlet, published at the time, says that it fell on the 10th of January, in an orchard, near some men who were planting trees; that it was buried a yard deep in the ground; that it measured three feet and a half by two and a half, and was a foot and a half in thickness; and that pieces broken off from it were in the possession of many gentlemen of the county.

Organic Remains. — The transition limestone at Torquay contains several species of madrepores, turbinoliæ, flustra, orthoceræ, producti, crinoidea, &c.

The strata of lias, which extend from Lyme Regis into Devonshire, contain the remains of the Icthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus; two genera of animals, related to the lizard family, on which the Rev. W. D. Conybeare has furnished an excellent paper in the fifth volume of the Geological Transactions, wherein he gives a detailed account of their osteology, which proves that they form a link between the lizard family and fish; the bones of their head nearly correspond in number and form with those of the crocodile, yet, instead of adhering by common sutures, overlap by squamous sutures, as in fish; an organization which enables them the better to resist the fury of the water. They have four feet, or paddles, formed exclusively for swimming, and their eyes are protected by strong scales under the slerotica. The Icthyosaurus has been described also by Sir Everard Home, in the Philosophical Transactions.

The strata of lias contain occasionally the remains of fish and crustacea, and abound in shells, chiefly of the genera, plagiostoma, gryphea, nautilus, ammonites: they contain also four species of pentacrinites, viz. caput medusæ, briareus, subangularis, and basaltiformis: these animals present a most complicated organization, immediately between the polypi and stelleridæ of Lamarck. A detailed description of them is given in J. S. Miller's (fn. n3) Natural History of the Crinoidea, lately published. The greensand strata of Blackdown and Haldon are very rich in shells of mollusca, which, in the former place, occur changed into a delicate hydrophanous calcedony, and, in the latter, into an opaque red or yellow jasper, frequently imbedded in a matrix of green chert, bearing some coarse resemblance to prase.

Mr. James Parkinson, in the third volume of the organic remains of a former world, and Mr. J. Sowerby, in the mineral conchology, have described the following species from Blackdown: Trigonia eccentrica, dædalea, spinosa, sinuata, alæformis, rudis, affinis; Cuculia glabra, decussata, carinata, fibrosa; Cardium hillanum, proboscideum, umbonatum; Venus plana, angulata, castrensis; Chama plicata; Pecten quadricostata, quinquecostata; Corbula gigantea, lævigata; Auricula incrassata; Hamites spinulosum. Nucula margaritacea; Ammonites Goodhalli; Natica canrena; and two species of Rostellariæ. There occur also various species of Ammonites, Turbo, Murex, Cerithium, Bulla, Dentalium, Nautilus, Echinus, Spatangus, Flustra, and a highly interesting species of Alcyonium.

The chalk at Beer contains the remains of a variety of Pentacrinites, Caput Medusæ, Terebratulæ, Pectens, &c., besides many species which are common to this county and Sussex, of which Mr. G. Mantell gives an account in his Fossils of the South Downs, recently published.

Indigenous Plants.

"Of herbes and plants," says Westcote, "there is such diversitie in colour, fashion, taste, smell, and nature, as Mr. Gerarde's best ayde will hardly be able to describe them: and for varietie of flowers (for those are not unsought for neyther of our ladies and gentry,) Lady Flora herself (though canonized by the Romans for a goddess,) will be to seek to fynd out or coyn names severally to distinguish."

Some of the indigenous plants of this county are, as was observed in the account of the natural history of Cornwall, peculiar to it, and have not been found in any other English county. This was observed of the Illecebrum verticillatum. Withering, however, speaks of it as frequent in Devonshire, and Sir James Smith, in the English Botany, mentions it as peculiar to Cornwall and Devon. The Rev. William Buckland found it growing plentifully on the east side of Shute hill, near Axminster. The cynoglossum omphaloides, introduced into the English Flora on the authority of Mr. Polwhele, who tells us that it was found by Mrs. Taylor of Ogwell among the rocks at Teignmouth, must no longer, on those grounds, be considered as a native plant. I have been assured by Mrs. Taylor, that the whole has originated in a mistake, and that she never found the plant at Teignmouth or elsewhere; no wonder that botanical tourists have since searched for it in vain on the Teignmouth rocks.

The Lobelia urens is peculiar to Devonshire, and I cannot learn, notwithstanding another habitat has been given for it, that it grows anywhere but on Kilmington common, and there, although confined to a small spot of ground, it grows plentifully. This I was shewn by William Tucker, Esq., of Coryton, during one of our Devonshire tours. I saw also during these tours, anchusa sempervirens growing plentifully in several parts of the south of Devon; aquilegia vulgaris near Torquay and near Ugbrook; Bartsia viscosa near Stoke Fleming, and near Morwell; iris fætidissima, plentiful about Torquay; lepidium didymum; campanula hæderacea; cistus polifolius, near Babicomb and Torquay; hypericum androsæmum, occurring sparingly in almost every ride; rubia peregrina, near Torquay; lathyrus sylvestris, near Sandridge; Euphorbia Portlandica, near Exmouth, and on the warren opposite; lithospermum purpurocæruleum, shewn to me by Mr. Neck, on Dungeon Cliff, near St. Mary Church; melittis grandiflora in several parts of the south of Devon, particularly in great abundance near Ashburton; Sibthorpia Europæa, at Rattery and Sherford; trifolium subterraneum & trifolium suffocatum, at Teignmouth; vicia bithynica, Exmouth; viola lactea on Bovey Heathfield and Woodbury common. I saw oxalis corniculata abounding as a garden-weed, but could not find it in any of the habitats described near Dawlish: Dr. Wavell tells me it grows near Appledore. Polycarpon tetraphyllum, found at Lympstone in Hudson's time, and by the late Mr. Newbery, had been sought for in vain at the habitat described for many years. I was equally unsuccessful; but about two years after I was at Lympstone, the plant was discovered by Miss Filmore growing abundantly near the spot described, and specimens of it were sent me by the late Rev. Mr. Jervis, of Lympstone.

It is a singular circumstance, which should be noticed when speaking of the botany of this county, that whilst the primula vulgaris is more than usually abundant, particularly in the southern parts of Devonshire, the primula veris, or cowslip, is to be reckoned amongst the rare plants; and though it is abundant in a few fields bordering on Dorsetshire, it is of rare occurrence in the southern part of Devon, and in the north, and most other parts, is wholly unknown. (fn. n4)

The following brief list of rare plants, or such as are not of general occurrence, is given chiefly on the authority of botanists of the county, quoted by Mr. Polwhele; or of the Rev. J. P. Jones, who has lately published a botanical tour of the county, in which some very interesting discoveries appear to have been made by himself and other botanists of the present day; particularly of the habitats of cryptogamous and other plants, which, though known to grow abundantly in the northern parts of the island, had not before been found in the southern counties.

Names of the Plants. Where found. Authority.
Veronica montana Near Torrington Dr. Wavell.
Pinguicula Lusitani ca Bogs on Haldon and Dartmoor Rev. Mr. Jones.
Schœnus albus On a common near Axminster Mr. E. Forster, jun.
Scirpus fluitans Bovey Heathfield Rev. Mr. Jones.
— multicaulis
— holoschœnus Plentifully on Braunton borough Dr. Wavell.
— sylvaticus King's Teignton Mr. Anderson.
Eriophorum vaginatum On Dartmoor Mr. E. Forster, jun.
Melica nutans Wood near Dolton Dr. Wavell.
Poa bulbosa Den at Teignmouth Rev. Dr. Beeke. (fn. n5)
Centunculus minimus Bovey Heathfield Rev. Mr. Jones.
Exacum filiforme Said to be more frequent in Devon than any other county.
Verbascum Lychnitis Dr. Wavell.
Vinca minor Near Chudleigh, &c. Rev. Mr. Jones.
Near Axminster. Rev. W. Buckland.
Eryngium campestre Near Plymouth (fn. n6) Ray and Mr. Yonge.
Bupleurum Odontites (fn. n7) On the marble rocks at Babicombe Rev. Mr. Neck and Dr. Beeke.
Sium repens (fn. n8) Bovey Heathfield Rev. Mr. Jones.
Œnanthe pimpinelloides Near Cleve Rev. Mr. Weston.
Corrigiola litoralis Slapton sands.
Radiola millegrana Bovey Heathfield Rev. Mr. Jones.
Linum angustifolium Near Dartington bridge Dr. Maton.
Tulipa sylvestris Woods near Hall Dr. Wavell.
Scilla autumnalis Near Torquay Rev. Mr. Weston.
On a hill above Bigbury Mr. Yonge.
Berryhead Rev. Mr. Jones.
Acorus Calamus Bideford Mr. Pike.
Juncus Acutus Braunton borough Rev. Dr. Goodenough. (fn. n9)
Alisma ranunculoides Preston near King's Teignton Rev. Mr. Jones.
Dianthus Armeria King's Teignton and Trusham Rev. Mr. Jones.
Silene acaulis On Dartmoor Hudson.
— Anglica Near King's Teignton and Lustleigh Rev. Mr. Jones.
Spergula nodosa High Tor rocks Rev. Mr. Jones.
Euphorbia peplis Near Exmouth Hudson.
Northam borough Mr. Yonge.
Near Paignton Mr. Sinclair Cullen.
Mentha viridis Near Exmouth Hudson.
— rotundifolia Lord Lisbourne's grounds Rev. Mr. Weston.
Leonurus cardiaca Chudleigh, Lustleigh, &c. Rev. Mr. Jones.
Scutellaria minor Woolleigh Dr. Wavell.
Alyssum maritimum Cliffs at Budleigh Salterton Mr. Forster, 1807.
Cochlearia Danica Near Torquay Rev. Dr. Beeke.
Teesdalia (Iberis nudicaulis) Bovey Heathfield Rev. Mr. Jones.
Erysimum præcox Near Teignmouth and King's Teignton Rev. Dr. Beeke.
Cheiranthus sinuatus Rocks near Braunton Borough Mr. Polwhele.
Crambe maritima (fn. n10) Cliffs near Teignmouth and Sidmouth Dr. Maton and Rev. Dr. Beeke.
Lavatera arborea Rocks at Torbay Rev. Mr. Weston.
Fumaria claviculata North Bovey Rev. Mr. Jones.
Vicia sylvatica Coppices on the marble rocks, King's Teignton Rev. Dr. Beeke.
Medicago polymorpha Frequent on the south coast Rev. Dr. Beeke.
Chrysocoma linosyris Berryhead Rev. Mr. Holbech, 1812. (fn. n11)
Carex extensa Rev. Dr. Goodenough.
Littorella lacustris Bovey Heathfield Rev. Mr. Jones.
Myrica Gale Frequent in the county in boggy grounds.
Asplenium marinum Hudson.
Hymenophyllum Tunbrigiense Dartmoor Hudson.
Polypodium Phegopteris Hudson.
Pillularia globifera Mr. Polwhele.
Fontinalis squamosa Lustleigh Cleve Rev. Mr. Jones.
Splachnum Turnerianum Mr. Turner and Mr. Sowerby.
— ampullaceum Near Sidmouth Miss Dale.
Gymnostonum fasciculare Cawsand hill Rev. Mr. Jones.
— viridissimum Rev. Mr. Jones.
Grimmia maritima.
— (Weissia) crispula Rocks at Exwick Miss Dale.
— (Weissia) recurvirostra Wall of Heavitree quarry Miss Dale.
Dicranum varium Haldon Rev. Mr. Jones.
— flavescens Lidford fall Mr. Greville.
— flexuosum Cawsand hill Rev. Mr. Jones.
Trichostomum microcarpum Lustleigh Cleve Rev. Mr. Jones.
Tortula tortuosa Babicombe Mr. Greville.
Pterogonium Smithii Near Maidencombe Mr. Greville.
— gracile Lustleigh Cleve Rev. Mr. Jones.
Neckera pumila Dartmoor Rev. Mr. Jones.
Polytrichum urnigerum Haldon Rev. Mr. Jones.
Bryum roseum North Bovey Rev. Mr. Jones.
— palustre Dartmoor Rev. Mr. Jones.
— ventricosum Rocks at Exwick (without fruit) Miss Dale.
Hypnum medium Near Exeter Rev. Mr. Jones.
— undulatum Dartmoor
— alopecurum Lustleigh Cleve
Hookeria lucens North Bovey, Lidford fall, and Manaton Rev. Mr. Jones.
Bartramia pomiformis North Bovey Rev. Mr. Jones.
Jungermannia tomentella Lidford fall Mr. Greville.
— cochleariformis Streams on Dartmoor Rev. Mr. Jones.
— humatifolia See English Botany, 2592.
Jungermannia julacea See English Botany, 1024.
— purpurea Dartmoor Mr. Newberry.
Targionia hypophylla Near Dawlish and Exmouth Hudson.
Lichen articulatus Widdecombe Mr. Puddicombe.
— aphthosus Dartmoor Hudson.
— atro-albus Moreton and North Bovey Rev. Mr. Jones.
— coccineus Dartmoor
— conspersus Near Clifford's bridge, Drew's Teignton
—crassus North Bovey
— chrysophthalmus See English Botany, 1088.
— cochleatus Mr. Slater and Mr. Dawson Turner.
— exilis Dartmoor Mr. Newberry.
— fallax Mountainous parts of Devon Mr. Slater.
— furfuraceus Wild Tor rock, five miles from Chagford Rev. Mr. Newberry.
— flaccidus See English Botany, 1653.
— flavicans More common in Devon than in other counties English Botany.
— geographicus Valley of Stones Mr. Dawson Turner.
— globiferus Dartmoor Mr. Newberry.
— glomuliferus Mr. Newberry.
— gracilis Heytor rocks Mr. Anderson.
— horizontalis Mr. E. Forster, jun.
— Islandicus Heytor rocks Mr. Anderson.
— lanatus Dartmoor Mr. Newberry.
— lætevirens Mr. Newberry.
— leucomelos Babicombe Mr. Hooker, 1813.
— lentigerus St. Mary Church Rev. Mr. Jones.
— miniatus Lustleigh Cleve Rev. Mr. Jones.
— omphalodes North Bovey Rev. Mr. Jones.
— pallidus Moreton Mr. Jones.
— perellus (fn. n12) North Bovey
— paschalis Grimspound and rocks on Dartmoor
— pulmonarius Lustleigh Cleve
— pustulatus Heytor rocks
— proboscideus Dartmoor Mr. Newberry.
— plumbeus Mr. Newberry.
— resupinatus Moreton Mr. Puddicombe.
— saxatilis Dartmoor Rev. Mr. Jones.
— scrobiculatus Manaton Rev. Mr. Jones.
— stictoceros Warren opposite Exmouth James Brodie, Esq.
— sinuatus See English Botany, 772.
— tartareus (fn. n12) Dartmoor.
— tristis See English Botany, 720.
— tremelloides See English Botany:
— torrefactus Dartmoor Mr. Newberry.
— ventosus Dartmoor Mr. Newberry.
— vulpinus Dartmoor Mr. Newberry.

Birds. — On this head I have little to observe. The black eagle and osprey are sometimes seen in this county, and the latter breeds on the cliffs. The Cornish chough is less frequent than in Cornwall: the black cock is still to be found on the moor, but is become scarce: among the rarer birds are the ring owzle and the aberdevine or siskin. The nightingale is so rare, that it has been questioned whether it ever comes into the county. In addition to the authorities given by Polwhele, I am assured by George Drake, Esq., of Ipplepen, that he frequently both saw and heard one, which continued near his house a whole summer, a few years ago. Among birds of passage, flocks of Bohemian chatterers, grossbeaks, and crossbills are occasionally seen, and some rare waterfowl, especially during severe winters. The late G. Montague, Esq., of Kingsbridge, had a large collection of stuffed English birds, among which were many rare species shot in this county: the collection has been purchased, since his death, by government, for the British Museum. The Rev. Mr. Vaughan, of Aveton Giffard, has a collection also of preserved birds.

Mineral and other remarkable Springs. — Chalybeate springs abound in the county of Devon: some of these have acquired temporary celebrity. A spring near Totnes is spoken of by Westcote as having possessed great popularity about the year 1605: its virtues were probably over-rated, as it appears to have been in disuse about 20 years afterwards. At Brook, near Tavistock, was a spring much resorted to by the common people, as were springs at Swimbridge, North Molton, Whitwell, on Little Haldon, and Bellamarsh, in King's Teignton. Mr. Polwhele, in 1793, speaks of the latter as still in repute: that gentleman observes that he could learn nothing at Lifton of a mineral spring there, mentioned by tourists. There is a strong chalybeate spring near Lifton bridge. (fn. n13) A spring in St. Sidwell's parish was formerly in repute for its medicinal virtues. Gabb's well, near Cleve, in St. Thomas's parish, was formerly in use as a chalybeate, and there are others in that parish. There are chalybeate springs also at King's Teignton, on Well estate in Ideford, a very strong one at Bampton, others near Cowleybridge, at Castlehill, Ilsington, &c.; several in Exminster, near Totnes, &c. &c. Some of those near Totnes are, or were in repute for complaints of the eye: there is a spring, said to have similar virtues, at Anchorwood, near Barnstaple. At Ashburton, and near the Dart, are springs saturated with ochre. A pool in one of the Bovey coalpits is spoken of as warm, the water being covered with an ochreous incrustation. Laywell in Brixham ebbs and flows. Risdon speaks of a pond at Tidwell, near Otterton, which is of the same nature.


  • n1. At South Hooe, in one of these mines, are found cubes, which evidently have been fluor; they are coated with quartz, and the cavity filled with water, the fluor having been decomposed: these are sold by the name of water-cubes.
  • n2. The attention of the learned world was first called to the subject of the extraordinary phenomenon of falling stones, by one which was said to have fallen in Yorkshire in 1795, and was exhibited in London. Sir Joseph Banks having received fragments of a stone which was said to have fallen in India, proposed that they should be analysed and compared. They proved to be similar, and of very peculiar ingredients, containing, among others, the only two metallic metals, iron and nickel. Inquiry was called forth; the records of such occurrences in various parts of the world were sought for, and there is no longer any doubt, that these stones, or meteoric masses, have fallen from the atmosphere. In Rees's Cyclopædia is a large memoir on this subject, and a list of all the stones known to have fallen, with the dates. The compiler was not aware of the Devonshire stone: and no other that fell in Great Britain is noticed, except the Yorkshire stone, and one that fell at Glasgow in 1804.
  • n3. I have been indebted to this gentleman for the above brief statement of the organic remains of Devon.
  • n4. Mr. Polwhele speaks of one field, at Berry Narbor, in which it abounds, but supposes that the seed had been sown there.
  • n5. Now Dean of Bristol.
  • n6. Mr. Jones could not find it in this habitat.
  • n7. An addition to the English Flora since Hudson's time.
  • n8. This species of sium, also, is a modern discovery.
  • n9. Now bishop of Carlisle.
  • n10. This plant, when cultivated, is the excellent vegetable called sea-kale, introduced to the notice of the market-gardeners near London, by Mr. Curtis, about the year 1795: it had been known some years before in the western markets.
  • n11. See English Botany, 2505.
  • n12. These are the lichens used by the dyers. See the article Produce, p. cclxxix.
  • n13. From the information of the Rev. Mr. Martyn of Lifton.