East Pool and Agar Mine Ltd was created by the purchase of Wheal Agar by East Pool in March 1897. In the years leading upto this takeover East Pool was the more profitable mine, from 1862 until the drop in Tin prices in 1894 good profits were returned, the dividends paid to the shareholders were often higher than those from Dolcoath. East Pool produced a variety of ores, apart from Tin and Copper significant amounts of Wolfram were discovered in the 1860’s along with Arsenic, Cobalt, Nickel and Uranium.
Wheal Agar was the northern neighbour which struggled to make a profit apart from a short period during the 1880’s. Wheal Agar eventually closed in 1895, the workings soon started to flood to a point where the East Pool system was threatened. After a period of negotiations East Pool finally purchased the site for £4,000.
After de-watering the new mine continued until being taken over by South Crofty. The working were closed in 1945, however the impressive Beam Engine on Taylor’s Shaft continued to pump from South Crofty until electric pumps took over in September 1954.
In total the mines worked from 1835-1945, East Pool produced 88,3000 tons Copper, 38,490 tons Tin, 31,722 tons Arsenic and 2,820 tons of Wolfram. Wheal Agar produced 3,033 tons of Copper.
The following pages show external and internal views of the two remaining preserved Engine Houses, now managed by the National Trust they are open to the public on a regular basis throughout the year, these images were taken in April 2012.
The first preserved engine is the East Pool Whim on Michell’s Shaft named after the mines chairman G.A.Michell when it was sunk in the 1880’s. The Whim is a smaller engine used to ferry men and materials up and down the shaft. The depth of the shaft here was 1500ft, it was in use until 1921 when a movement of ground produced a serious rockfall which caused the shaft closure. The engine was designed by Frank Michell and built by Holman Brothers of Camborne in 1887. The cylinder is 30″ with an eight foot stroke designed to work at a quicker than average 17 revolutions per minute, it cost £675 and was the last rotative beam engine to be installed on a mine in Cornwall. It was saved from the scrapman in 1941, the National Trust have preserved it since the 1960’s.
The following images were taken inside the Winding Engine House at East Pool ans Agar Mine. I was there just as it opened so I was the only one inside. My thanks go to the lady from the National Trust who kindly made me a cup of coffee.