This page is dedicated to Castle-an-Dinas Mine, which was Cornwall’s premier Wolfram Mine.
The mine worked from 1916-1957 from two shafts South(New) and North Shaft. When the mine was fully operational it was producing approx 200 tons of concentrate per annum. This was the only mine in Cornwall only ever worked for Wolfram, also probably the last mine in the world to install a Cornish Pump. All the ore was hand trammed upto the mines closure and compressed air drills were not introduced until 1943.
When in production there was an aerial ropeway in use between the two shafts and mill, there is little left of this today. All the buildings on site are typical in their construction with corrugated roofs and an almost temporary look and feel, patterns and textures were everywhere and some buildings still offered some access.
This is also the site of one of the largest hill forts in Cornwall. For more information follow this link: Cornwall Heritage Trust
I am very grateful to Tony Brooks for the information he has provided on the images, I can thoroughly recommend his book on the Castle-an-Dinas Mine which gives a concise insight into the mine’s history.
This is a completely new page, the first of two, with reprinted images, new images and more information.
First of all, part of my own collection of Mining Paperwork.
A pay sheet for the Mine, dated 9th December 1933.
Below are two archive images of Castle-an-Dina’s Mine, these were taken in 1945.
Looking south at the Castle an Dina’s Wolfram Mine. The New Shaft is on the southern slopes of Castle an Dina’s hill. The horizontal beam from the building on the right operates the pump; the hoisting engine house is behind the headgear. Trucks from the shaft are run along the gantry, waste rock being dumped on the left and ore into the ore bin in the centre. From which it is fed into tubs on the overhead ropeway to the mill at Old Shaft. A nearly vertical quartz-wolfram lode trending north 18 degrees east intersects an isolated hill rising 300 feet or so above the surrounding country to over 700 feet. The hill is capped by an ancient earthwork that gives its name to the mine.
Photo P208061. Reproduced with the permission of the British Geological Survey.
Looking north at Castle an Dina’s Wolfram Mine. The photograph shows the Old Shaft and mill on the northern slopes of Castle an Dina’s hill. The structure in the foreground is the tension member for the overhead ropeway from New Shaft. The ore bin for ore raised from Old Shaft is just beyond the headgear. Ore from New Shaft is delivered into the bin above the processing mill. The wolfram lode had been productive for a length of nearly 1,800 feet. A few exceptionally rich patches were found in the higher levels and an average value of 30 per cent wolfram persisted at deeper levels. 46.5 tons were produced in 1918, a recovery of 28.76 lbs per ton of ore.
Photo P208060. Reproduced with the permission of the British Geological Survey.
The following images were taken in 1998 whilst photographing the Castle-an-Dinas Mine site for Tony Brooks.
This is one of my favorite places, sadly access is now restricted and fences prevent entry.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.1: This image shows some the buildings around the South Shaft Complex, due to its remoteness it had survived very well.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.2: The same buildings from a different angle. On the right is the second auxiliary Boiler House that was used as a standby when the main boiler was out of service. Back centre is the main Boiler and Winder House, finally the building on the front left is the Miner’s Dry.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.3: The Blacksmith’s Shop at South Shaft. An image of the base of the chimney stack dated 1942. The remains of the stack base can be seen on top, it was made of pieces of old boiler tube bolted together.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.4: The first image of the Combined Compressor and Pumping Engine House, it was in 1998 in a very good state of preservation.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.5: A close up of the Engine Room, the asbestos roof and cladding can be clearly seen. Everything was still so intact.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.6: A view of the Combined Compressor and Pumping Engine House from the rear.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.7: An image showing the patterns and textures in the Engine room walls at South Shaft, because all this is asbestos, it is difficult to re-use the buildings.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine 1.8: A front view of the Combined Compressor and Pumping Engine, old electricity pylons are still attached to the building.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.9: The South Winder at Castle-an-Dinas-Mine. The Winder House on the left, the second building is the Combined Compressor and Pumping Engine House. The shaft here surrounded by the fence is capped in concrete.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.10: The capped shaft and machinery mounts are in the foreground, because of the fence I could not have a good look.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.11: The Combined Compressor and Pumping Engine House from a different angle. Castle-an-Dinas hill is rising in the background.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.12: A final image of the Combined Compressor and Pumping Engine House, the shaft cap in the foreground can be clearly seen.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.13: This is the interior of the Winder House at South Shaft. Amazing is had survived so intact.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.14: This building contained a steam winder purchased in the early 1940’s from the King Edward Mine in Camborne. The blocks in the image were used to mount the installed machinery, old oil stains still cover the floor.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.15: The window were sadly smashed but the building was still in a good condition. The walls still held a large portion of the original plaster, I was very lucky to gain access to see the inside.
Castle-an-Dinas Mine.1.16: This archive image was taken in 1945. It shows the steam winder in its house, the distinctive windows behind the winding drum still survive. This winder was built in 1908 by Holman Brothers.
There is a story behind this engine that is told on this page link:
Castle-an-Dinas Mine Winder
Castle-an-Dinas Mine 2