East Pool Mine dates its beginnings back to the early C18th when a small concern called “Pool Old Bal” worked a sett leased by the Basset family up to the mid 1780’s.
The mine named East Pool began its life in 1834, it was completely surrounded by large well established mines: South Crofty, Tincroft, Wheal Agar and Carn Brea. It’s small sett was highly profitable, the shallow workings produced a high grade Copper Ore which sold for almost twice the price achieved by other mines.
Wheal Agar was the northern neighbour which had 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.
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.
After a period of negotiations East Pool finally purchased Agar Mine and associated equipment for £4,000 thus creating East Pool and Agar Mine in March 1897.
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 Mine.1 – The preserved Whim Engine house on Michell’s Shaft East Pool and Agar Mine. The Boiler House is on the left of the Engine House, this was rebuilt by the National Trust in 1975.
East Pool Mine.2 – The engine is powered by an electric motor and works on a daily basis through the summer months. Built in 1887 by Holman Brothers this was the last beam whim to be installed in Cornwall. It was saved from scrap in 1941, since 1967 the National Trust took over the safe keeping of the engine.
East Pool Mine.3 – This image was taken late in the day to get the position of the sun right, this is my favourite image of the Engine House, the size of the flywheel can be clearly seen.
East Pool Mine.4 – This is the “plug” doorway to the Whim Engine House, in front is the condenser for the engine, to the right is the axle of the flywheel.
East Pool Mine.5 – This image shows the pipes around the condenser with the flywheel in the background.
East Pool Mine.6 – This image was taken with a 17mm lens, the extreme wide angle has allowed me to capture the flywheel, axle and the end of the beam, the sky is turned black by using an orange filter on the lens.
East Pool Mine.7 – A detailed image of the flywheel and winding crank.. When it was working the engine could wind at 1000ft per minute.
East Pool Mine.8 – A wider image showing the complete flywheel surrounded by the stone mountings. The shaft here reached a final depth of 252 fathoms on the incline. In 1921 a major fall deep underground destroyed much of this and an adjoining shaft, this effected access to the lower levels.
East Pool Mine.9 – Propped up outside the boiler house are the remains of several broken beams.
East Pool Mine.10 – A closer look at of one of the beam fragments.
The following images on this page were taken inside the Winding Engine House. I was there just as it opened so I was the only one inside, this gave me an amazing opportunity to get some internal images without the worry of visitors in the way. I was able to use the flash quite happily, I think I got some good results. My thanks go to the kind lady from the National Trust who made me a cup of coffee, and took an interest in what I was doing. (Also for the biscuits)
East Pool Mine.11 – Access to the Engine House is through the Boiler House door. This is one of the first views inside the Boiler House which 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. Along with various tools stacked up in the background on the right is part of the steam feed pump for the boiler water.
East Pool Mine.12 – The full front face of the single flue Cornish Boiler, it is amazingly ornate and functional.
East Pool Mine.13 – The front of the Cornish Boiler showing the delicate water gauges.
East Pool Mine.14 – The boiler stoke hole, for such a functional device the care and attention to detail is incredible.
East Pool Mine.15 – The main Pressure Gauge on the boiler, the makers name can be seen clearly.
East Pool Mine.16 – A detailed image of one of the boilers Water Gauges.
East Pool Mine.17 – Next to the driver’s position is the Steam Pressure Gauge for the engine, the code of shaft signals are from South Crofty Mine.
East Pool Mine.18 – A more detailed image of the Steam Pressure Gauge.
East Pool Mine.19 – This is the Engine Driver’s position, operating handle and brake.
East Pool Mine.20 – 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 Mine.21 – A valve and control handle on the side of the cylinder.
East Pool Mine.22 – This image is taken looking up at the Middle Chamber of the Engine House, the cylinder is in the bottom of the photograph.
East Pool Mine.23 – The Middle Chamber, here is the top of the 30″ cylinder, the engine valves and the piston attached to the parallel motion arms.
East Pool Mine.24 – The view of the cylinder and piston from the opposite side.
East Pool Mine.25 – A detailed image of the ornate oil feeder on the top of the cylinder.
East Pool Mine.26 – A wider view of the Middle Chamber, with the staircase going up to the Top Chamber in the background.
East Pool Mine.27 – The top of the 30″ cylinder in the Middle Chamber, the valve gear is behind the piston.
East Pool Mine.28 – A view of the Middle Chamber looking down from the staircase.
East Pool Mine.29 – This is the staircase from the Middle to Top Chamber, I on the top floor looking down, it is wonderful to imagine walking up these when the engine was at work.
East Pool Mine.30 – 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 Mine.31 – The winch from the opposite side.
East Pool Mine.32 – The beam in the Top Chamber of the Engine House.
East Pool Mine.33 – A closeup of the designers name on the indoor part of the beam.
East Pool Mine.34 – Walking out on the Bob Platform, the makers name is clearly seen on the beam, in the background is Carn Brea.
East Pool Mine.35 – 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.
The Processing Plant for the Mine was located in the Tolvaddon Valley through which the Red River flowed. The ore was transported from the mine to here by a mineral tramway which operated until 1934, after that an aerial rope way was used until the mine finally closed in 1945. There are still extensive remains in the valley, although much is now fenced off, the images below were taken in the mid 1990’s before the site became too overgrown.
East Pool Mine.36 – The Stamps Engine House in Tolvaddon Valley, the loadings for the flywheel and crankshaft are in front of the house.
East Pool Mines.37 – The house contained a 24″ Stamps Engine.
East Pool Mines.38 – The mounting bolts are still in place on the loadings, this drove a total of 32 heads of stamps.
East Pool Mines.39 – Spoil heaps, settling tanks litter the valley bottom, the Red River is flowing in the foreground.
East Pool Mines.40 – A second image of the valley bottom showing the remaining chimney, other stacks were demolished in the 1970’s.
East Pool and Agar Mine