East Pool and Agar Mine 1

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.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The Whim Engine house on Michell’s Shaft East Pool and Agar Mine.

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.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The doorway to the Whim Engine House, in front is the condensor for the engine, to the right is the axel of the flywheel.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The pipes around the condensor with the flywheel in the background.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

This image was taken with a 17mm lens, the extreme wide angle has allowed me to capture the flywheel, axel and the end of the beam.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

A wider image showing the complete flywheel surrounded by the stone mountings.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

Outside the boiler house are the remains of broken beams.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

A closeup of one of the beam fragments.

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.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

Inside the Boiler House, this was rebuilt in 1975 to replace the original which was demolished after the mine closed. The boiler is a single flue Cornish Type made by Ruston and Hornsby Ltd in 1926 it was reclaimed from the Poor Law Institution in Truro where it supplied steam for the laundry. When the mine was working there would have been two boilers powering the engine.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The front of the Cornish Boiler showing the ornate water and steam gauges.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The boiler stoke hole, for such a functional device the care and attention to detail is incredible.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

A detailed image of the Steam Gauge.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

One of the boilers Water Gauges.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

Part of the steam feed pump for the boiler water.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The first floor of the Engine House was known as the driving floor. The image is of the engine cylinder encased in bricks to conserve the heat.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The valve gear infront of the cylinder.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

A valve on the side of the cylinder.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The Steam Pressure Gauge for the engine, the code of shaft signals are from South Crofty Mine.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The Engine Driver Handle.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The top of the 30″ cylinder in the Middle Chamber, the valve gear is behind the piston.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

A different angle for this image of the top of the cylinder.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

A view of the middle chamber looking down from the staircase.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The engine valve gear.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

A wider view with the staircase going uo to the Top Chamber in the background.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

A detailed image of the oil feeder on the top of the cylinder.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

In the Top Chamber of the Engine house is the Beam, this is an image of the hand windlass used for lifting heavy machinery during repairs.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The beam in the Top Chamber of the Engine House.

East Pool and Agar Mine Engine House

The beam on the outside of the Engine House, the designers name can be clearly seen. in the background is Taylor’s Pumping Engine House, of East Pool and Agar Mine.

East Pool and Agar Mine Gallery 2

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