Cligga Head Mine, the first images on this page were taken in the late 1990’s. Tin and Wolframite were mined here. Wolframite was the main source of Tungsten which was widely used in the manufacture of munitions.
The mine was first opened in 1938, it was closed on the completion of the Second World War in 1945. During the war years 300 tons of Wolfram and 200 tons of Black Tin were produced.
In the 1960’s Geevor Mine in collaboration with other mining companies, they re-commenced underground works with active exploration and diamond drilling. No great results were forthcoming but the prospect of lodes out to sea were high. In 1964 Geevor decided to expand their own sett with the re-entry of the Levant Mine workings where more reserves for the mine were hoped for. Sadly the site here was again abandoned.
Further work here was planned for the 1980’s, however the huge drop in the price of Tin due to the market collapse halted this project. The story here is not over yet, due to rising Tin prices I believe there has been renewed interest in the site. The future, who knows, the area maybe mined once more.
Cligga Head Mine 1: Following the coast path from Perranporth. This is the first view of the Explosive Works. The mine site is a bit further along the cliffs.
Cligga Head Mine 2: An abandoned heavily constructed building. This was part of the explosive works, probably a storage room with a blast wall behind.
Cligga Head Mine 3: In the foreground is one of the capped shafts in the area. Beyond are the remains of the mine buildings and processing area.
Cligga Head Mine 4: Another closer look at the choked shaft and the ruins behind.
Cligga Head Mine 5: Beside the capped shaft was this settling tank. This formed part of the mine processing floors.
Cligga Head Mine 6: A second view of the settling tank. The impressive remains of the mine buildings are in the background.
Cligga Head Mine 7: This is the heart of the remains of the processing floors. Very extensive and well worth a look around.
Cligga Head Mine 8: The site must have been very impressive when it was working.
Cligga Head Mine 9: Buddle pits with the main processing area behind.
Cligga Head Mine 10: Looking out to sea across the processing floors. Buddle pits can be seen in the background.
Cligga Head Mine 11: One of the convex buddles at the impressive surface remains. It still retained the fixing in the top to which brushes would have been attached.
Cligga Head Mine 12: Perhaps these are boiler foundations? A heavy Steel girder, brickwork and possibly the remains of a chimney.
Cligga Head Mine 13: Machinery foundations and fixings, there is evidence of a flywheel. Possibly a compressor or a winder was mounted here.
Cligga Head Mine 14: The final image of this first set. Looking along the coast towards Perranporth.
These remaining images on the page were taken in 2014 on the hottest day for several years. After a long hot walk Tracy sat in the shade and I had a wander around. We had walked from St Agnes enjoying the cliffs, but the heat was overwhelming and Tracy was suffering.
Cligga Head Mine 15: From the St Agnes side this is a shaft that belonged to Wheal Prudence. It was a small Copper Mine that worked in the area close to the cliffs. It produced 7000 tons of Copper ore between 1821 and 1865, with 55 tons of Tin production in 1825-6 and a further 1 ton of Tin in 1847-9.
Cligga Head Mine 16: A closer look at the capped shaft. In the background are the impressive cliffs leading to the mine site.
Cligga Head Mine 17: The whole place is covered in shafts. This one is on the edge of the mine complex.
Cligga Head Mine 18: Steps leading to a long demolished structure.
Cligga Head Mine 19: This image is looking across the long demolished buildings to ore bins in the background.
Cligga Head Mine 20: This is one of the surviving buddles on the site. The area had not changed much in the 20 odd years from the first images.
Cligga Head Mine 21: Heavily corroded bolts are the only testament to the machinery that was mounted here.
Cligga Head Mine 22: I believe this is the base of the main winder. In the background is the capped “Contact Shaft” which was the main access to the underground workings.
Cligga Head Mine 23: The final image of this set, a real piece of history. W Sandercock and P Benny 27.1.41. Their names are engraved into this concrete for as long as it lasts the elements.
The surface area beyond the mine was the location for the British and Colonial Explosives factory which opened in 1893. This was eventually purchased by the Nobel Explosive Company. The factory was in production until 1905 when a drop in metal prices closed many of the neighbouring mines. Operations were revived here during the First World War, producing shells and hand grenades for the front. With the end of hostilities the factory closed for the last time. The site covered over 100 acres and employed over 1000 workers who were mainly women due to the strain on the male population being called to war.
Cligga Head 24: The original factory was spread over a 100 acre site, he remains of building are scattered all the way to the airfield.
Cligga Head Mine 25: All the remaining structures are heavily built. In many cases the structures are covered in soil because of the risk of explosion.
Cligga Head Mine 26: Underground passageways and heavily built structures.
Cligga Head Mine 27: This was obviously part of a covered tunnel or storage area. The purpose of some of the buildings is difficult to imagine, at its height the factory was producing 3 tons of nitroglycerine was per day.
Cligga Head Mine 28: A closer look at the entrance to the tunnel.
Cligga Head Mine 29: In the foreground is a large settling tank with more masonry behind.
Cligga Head Mine 30: A small heavily built structure. Heavily reinforced roof because of the constant risk of an explosion.
Cligga Head Mine 31: One of the surviving settling tanks at the explosive works.
Cligga Head Mine 32: At the far end of the site is this heavily constructed interesting building. In the wall to the left is the blocked up entrance to one of the underground tunnels.
Cligga Head Mine 33: A closer image of the building in the previous image.
Cligga Head Mine 34: A final view of the building showing the blast wall behind because of the risk of explosion.
Cligga Head Mine 35: The walls of the structure are very thick, however the roof was lightly built so any blast was directed upwards.
Cligga Head Mine 36: These are the steps running up the side of the building. I wish they could tell a story of who walked up them.
Cligga Head Mine 37: There are many surviving tunnels on the site, These were probably used for transportation and protection.
Cligga Head Mine 38: The roof of this passageway was nicely lined with bricks and finished to a high standard.
Cligga Head Mine 39: Another one of the underground passages on the site. With the rough walls and roof this was probably used for storage.
The whole area around the mine and the Explosive Works are well worth a wander around, there are a lot of interesting remains. So, be prepared to spend a while exploring the site and enjoying the amazing views.
Consols and United Mines