East Pool and Agar Mine: This page covers at the latter part of the mines life as East Pool and Agar Ltd. The year 1921 brought disaster for the mine, a large rockfall underground had caused flooding and destroyed both of the main winding shafts. In 1922 a shaft was proposed 250m away which was to be called Taylor’s Shaft. By 1925 the new Taylor’s Shaft Complex had been completed. This continued as the primary pumping and winding shaft for the mine until closure.
Taylor’s 90” engine was the very last engine of this type to be put to work in any mine in the world! That’s because it was bought second hand from Caen Brea’s Highburrow East shaft, which stopped in 1917 and was brought back to life in 1924.
Today the site is managed by the National Trust, the preserved 90″ Cornish Pumping Engine is the centre piece. The engine was constructed in 1892 by Harvey’s and Co of Hayle and designed by Nicholas Trestrail a local engineer. Originally built for the Carn Brea mines it lay idle until East Pool and Agar brought the engine in 1924 and moved it to Taylor’s Shaft, this was the last time a Cornish Pump was installed in a mine in Cornwall.
The shaft was named after M.T.Taylor who was the mine superintendent at the time, it was a three compartment measuring 20ft by 9ft, the final depth was 1,700ft. When East Pool and Agar closed in 1945 South Crofty Mine had to run the engine to keep their own workings dry, the engine worked until 28th September 1954 when electric pumps took over.
East Pool and Agar Mine 1 – The first view from the main gate, it is a lovely Engine House.
East Pool and Agar Mine 2 – An image looking towards the Pumping Engine House, to the right of the building stood the ore bins. In the foreground is a “Catcus Grab” which was used to sink a shaft.
East Pool and Agar Mine 3 – A closer image of the fine Engine House, in the foreground are the foundations for the ore bins, the shaft is on the right of the building.
East Pool and Agar Mine 4 – Old sections of rising main and valves make a good foreground to this image.
East Pool and Agar Mine 5 – The side wall of the Engine House, the pump rod is on the right ot the image, this still stretches down the length of the shaft, the pump rod was reduced in length when it was pumping for South Crofty.
East Pool and Agar Mine 6 – Looking towards the front of the Engine House, the 110ft Chimney with the letters EPAL in white brick (East Pool and Agar Ltd). The pump rod over the shaft can be seen, the black building to the right of the shaft was a ventilation unit that was used by South Crofty when the mine was open.
East Pool and Agar Mine 7 – Looking towards the Engine House from the foundations of the base of the original ore bin , the rock crusher was on the the concrete plinth to be seen left of engine house. The chimney was shortened slightly when it was repointed .
East Pool and Agar Mine 8 – The mine chimney here is 110ft (34m) tall. It bears the letter “EPAL” near the top. Not only did this stand for “East Pool and Agar Ltd” this was the brand attached to the Arsenic the mine sold.
East Pool and Agar Mine 9 – On walking around the outside of the Engine House there are lots of bits and pieces hidden in the grass. An old upturned wagon makes an interesting image.
East Pool and Agar Mine 10 – Sections of old pump rods along with some large valves.
East Pool and Agar Mine 11 – Scattered around are numerous pieces of mining history, here in the grass a selection of old valves.
East Pool and Agar Mine 12 – Broken sections of beams are stacked outside the Engine House.
East Pool and Agar Mine 13 – An image of the pipes and valves at the base of the Engine House.
East Pool and Agar Mine 14 – This is the surface Balance Box, this was made in 1911 by the Charlestown Foundry in St Austell, unusually it’s made from steel plate instead of cast iron. This was in place to balance the weight of the pump rods in the shaft. Underground there would have been several more.
East Pool and Agar Mine 15 – This is the swivel point which allowed the Balance Box to move with the pump rods, three more of these worked at different levels in the shaft.
East Pool and Agar Mine 16 – The plug doorway of Taylor’s Engine House, this gave access to the condensor and the top of the shaft so the Engine Drive could always have a view of the rods in the shaft.
East Pool and Agar Mine 17 – An image of the “Nose” of the beam where the pump rod is attached, the Bob Platform was used for keeping this vulnerable area well oiled.
The remaining images on this page were taken inside the 90″ Engine House at Taylor’s Shaft. The engine which weighs in the region of 100 tons was built in 1892 by Harvey’s of Hayle, it was installed here secondhand in 1924.
East Pool and Agar Mine 18 – On walking through the door the first thing you see is the massive 90″ cylinder of this magnificent engine. Surrounded by polished timber held in place by brass bands it’s quite a sight.
East Pool and Agar Mine 19 – Hanging on the wall is a toolkit for the engine. Some of the spanners were small ranging to massive.
East Pool and Agar Mine 20 – On the wall next to the driver’s position are the gauges for the steam and vacuum pressures.
East Pool and Agar Mine 21 – This is the drivers position, the timber clad engine cylinder can be seen in the background.
East Pool and Agar Mine 22 – Looking up towards the Middle Chamber of the Engine House from the drivers position.
East Pool and Agar Mine 23 – A close up of the workmanship of the driver controls.
East Pool and Agar Mine 24 – These levers are known as Horns and Arbors, these would control the valves which governed the engine’s speed.
East Pool and Agar Mine 25 – For such a huge piece of engineering some of the controls are amazingly delicate.
The next set of images were taken in the Middle Chamber of the Engine House. This is the home to the top of the huge cylinder and the valve chest which controlled the speed of the engine.
East Pool & Agar Mine 26 – On climbing the stairs this is the first view of the Middle Chamber of the Engine House.
East Pool & Agar Mine 27 – On the top of the cylinder are several objects that fed oil into the cylinder. For such a huge machine these are amazingly delicate and ornate.
East Pool & Agar Mine 28 – All different and all beautifully made, the level of craftsmanship is astounding.
East Pool & Agar Mine 29 – The third oil feeder on the cylinder cover, in the background is the engine valve chest.
East Pool & Agar Mine 30 – The top of the cylinder with the piston reaching up to the massive Beam in the roof above.
East Pool & Agar Mine 31 – A more detailed image of the valve chest. From left to right the arrangement is: Equilibrium, Steam and Governor valves.
East Pool & Agar Mine 32 – On top of the valve chest is this ornate item, this is called a Hydrostatic Cylinder Lubricator, this would inject heavy oil into the steam.
East Pool & Agar Mine 33 – This is the piston rod going up to where it joins onto the beam, the arms at the side are the Watts parallel motion arms.
East Pool and Agar Mine 34 – The top of the 90″ cylinder looking into the Middle Chamber from the raised balcony.
The remaining images were taken in the Bob Loft where the great beam of the engine is situated.
East Pool and Agar Mine 35 – The massive cast iron beam of the engine weighs 52.5 tons.
East Pool and Agar Mine 36 – The beam is in two halves which are bolted together.
East Pool and Agar Mine 37 – This is the indoor end of the beam where the cylinder rod is attached. Above the end of the beam is at right angles is the ‘catch wings’ . These were in place to prevent damage to the engine if it made too long a stroke.
East Pool and Agar Mine 38 – The indoor end of the beam from the opposite side.
East Pool and Agar Mine 39 – This is the pivot point of the beam, here its weight rested on the Bob Wall of the Engine House.
East Pool & Agar Mine 40 – This is looking down to the Middle Chamber down the length of the piston rod.
East Pool & Agar Mine 41 – A detailed image of the piston rod attached to the indoor part of the beam. The two cast sides of the beam can clearly be seen.
East Pool & Agar Mine 42 – The beam has been tied to one of the supporting beams with wire rope to reduce the stain on the piston.
East Pool & Agar Mine 43 – Perched on the end of the beam gives a better view of the ‘catch wings’ and a good view of the roof construction.
The engine houses of East Pool and Agar Mines are a great place to visit, I enjoyed myself wandering around and I would recommend it to anyone.
Thanks to Max Chitty and Michael Hockley for some of the information on the page.
For more information follow this link: East Pool and Agar Mine