In the annals of poorly recorded and sparse mining across the less industrialised parishes of the county, this mine takes its name from the manor on and church parish in which it stands.
The only extant reference to these workings (that the author has found) is optimistic conjecture relating to the then proposed Illfracombe-Barnstaple railway, published in the Mining Journal (1870). It was believed that if the line was to be moved further east of its ultimate course just west of Westdown church town, it would serve a dual purpose of also exposing several spots where mineral had been found, such as at Pickard's Down and "the private mine Bittadon".
Little clue is given to the whereabouts of this venture, however being a private operation it would be less likely to coin itself in sympathy with the manor if it were outside the Bittadon Barton (it is usually the case that mines style themselves first and foremost after the rights owner or tenement, before the CP or otherwise). The Ordnance survey records many "Quarries" within the CP, however there is nothing to suggest that these are anything but non-metalliferous as would be expected. The OS does however give one irrefutable clue through the naming of "Bittadon Ball" about 1/2kms from the Bittadon manor house.
A "Ball" or "Bal" is the Cornish name for a heavily mined area or group of mines; this is usually reserved for tin works but has been observed for copper workings too (such as with Trevissa/Trevega Bal in Towednack, Cornwall). It would appear that this is the location of the "where mineral was found" in the CP, and in terming it a "ball" this could represent some quite considerable workings with a great historical pedigree.
The Bittadon estate papers are held in the North Devon Records Office in Barnstaple. The author would be interested to hear from anyone who has successfully had a root around in this collection.
Data courtesy of Ben Sum, Helston (21/7/18).
DRO = Devon Archives, South West Heritage Trust ("Devon Records Office")
NDRO = Barnstaple Records Office, South West Heritage Trust
Mining Journal 19/3/1870
[DRO] Bittadon, Brooke Index
[NDRO] Bittadon Papers, Pitts Tucker Collection
Ordnance Survey, 25in-Mile, County Series 1st & 2nd Edition