Devon has a continuous history of mineral exploitation from flint in East Devon in prehistoric times to china clay in South and West Devon today. The tin industry of Dartmoor lasted from pre-history to the 19th century and the copper, tin and arsenic mines of the Tamar Valley flourished in the 19th century. Iron ore was mined in the Blackdown Hills and in North Devon in prehistoric, Roman and later times. Stone has been quarried since the Roman period, notably Beer Stone and Dartmoor Granite.
The most important manufacturing industries of Devon's past were the wool and cloth industry and pottery making. Both have left relatively little physical evidence, notwithstanding that the considerable wealth of Devon in the 16th and 17th centuries was based on cloth and that the ceramics of North Devon were exported to the New World. A few larger 18th century cloth mills still stand; some towns have 19th century workers' industrial housing. In the countryside, corn mills still commonly survive, as do lime kilns, constructed to provide lime for the agricultural improvement.
Devon's long and extensive involvement in maritime trade is best evidenced by the warehouses of Exeter and the quays of Dartmouth, Barnstaple and Bideford.