The Basset Mines were an amalgamation of three neighbouring companies; South Wheal Frances, West Wheal Basset and Wheal Basset. All of these mines had worked as Copper producers during the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 1820’s -30’s most of the shallow Copper workings had been exhausted, steam power was employed more to keep the mines dry as the miners dug deeper. With more depth the mines reached the rich Tin deposit known as the “Great Flat Lode” named thus due to the shallow dip of the Lode making it almost flat. Tin production gradually increased during the latter half of the century, by the 1880’s Copper annual output had been overtaken by Tin. The merger of these mines took place in 1896 after several boundary disputes, where miners had accidently crossed into their neighbours sett, the company remained until 1918 when the falling Tin price forced closure, the mines output before and after the merger was a total of 290,118 tons Copper, 43,134 tons of Tin.
The impressive remains at Marriott’s Shaft South Wheal Frances section was built in 1897. The impressive remains here are centered around the 80″ Engine House, the shaft is brick lined with a 14ft diameter and reached a depth of 340 Fathoms. The buildings here include: Ore Sorter, Miner’s Dry, Winding Engine, Boiler, Compressor and Pumping Engine Houses, all have been recently consolidated.
An impressive image looking down the brick lined Marriot’s Shaft, timber compartments can still be seen further down.
The remains of the Ore Hopper at Marriott’s Shaft, this would have had a timber structure build around it, on the top there was a grizzler to stop large rocks from entering, these would have been further reduced in size in a crusher mounted close by. Once sorted the ore was taken along a tramway by a steam locomotive to the mine’s dressing floors for processing.
The almost church like Marriott’s Pumping Engine House, the shaft is in front of the camera close to the house, the building to the left is the compressor house which supplied air to the underground rock drills.
A second image of the Pumping Engine House at Marriot’s Shaft.
The Pumping Engine House on Pascoe’s Shaft South Wheal Frances section Basset Mines. This contained an 80″ pumping engine built in 1881, it worked here until the mines closure in 1918 when it was drawing water from a depth of 340 fathoms.
The 30″ Whim Engine House at Pascoe’s Shaft from the boiler house side, the line of the roof can be seen on the engine house wall.
An image of Wheal Basset Stamps, the engine house contained two 30″ rotary beam engines which drove 96 heads of stamps to crush the ore. The stamps would have been infront of the engine house at right angles, one of the mounting blocks is in the foreground.
An image of the Vanner House (Processing) House at Wheal Basset Stamps.
A nicely framed image of the Vanner House looking through the arched entrance.
Another view of the archway from a different angle.
The second processing area of the Basset Group is West Basset Stamps, this image was taken before the site was cleared and consolidated. On the left of the image are the Calciner remains with the chimney behind, in the centre is the impressive Vanner House, on the skyline is the engine house that drove the 80 heads of Cornish Stamps, in the foreground are the remains of Buddles which were used to concentrate the Tin from the crushed ore.
A detailed image showing the well preserved Vanner House walls.
A close image of the Stamps Engine House at West Bassset, it was a 40″ cylinder built in Camborne in 1875.
An image showing the flywheel slot infront of the engine house.
Lyle’s 80″ Pumping Engine House of Wheal Basset, in the background is the Whim House.
The Whim House at Lyle’s Shaft.
Lyle’s 80″ engine house, in the foreground is a small pumping engine that supplied water to the processing floors.
The remains of Thomas’s 60″ Pumping Engine House of West Basset Mine built in 1854.
A final image of the Vannier House at Basset Stamps, one of my favorite images.
Basset and Grylls Mine Gallery