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 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.
The Whim Engine house on Michell’s Shaft East Pool and Agar Mine.
The Boiler House is on the left of the Engine House.
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.
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.
Detailed image of the flywheel. When in work the engine could wind at 1000ft per minute.
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.
The pipes around the condenser with the flywheel in the background.
The doorway to the Whim Engine House, in front is the condenser for the engine, to the right is the axle of the flywheel.
Outside the boiler house are the remains of broken beams.
A closeup of one of the beam fragments.
The following images were taken inside the Winding Engine House at East Pool. 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.
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.
The front of the Cornish Boiler showing the ornate water and steam gauges.
The boiler stoke hole, for such a functional device the care and attention to detail is incredible.
A detailed image of the Steam Gauge, the makers name can be seen clearly.
One of the boilers Water Gauges.
Part of the steam feed pump for the boiler water.
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.
The valve gear in front of the cylinder.
A valve on the side of the cylinder.
The Steam Pressure Gauge for the engine, the code of shaft signals are from South Crofty Mine.
The Engine Driver Handle and brake.
The top of the 30″ cylinder in the Middle Chamber, the valve gear is behind the piston.
A different angle for this image of the top of the cylinder.
A view of the middle chamber looking down from the staircase.
The engine valve gear and piston rod.
A wider view with the staircase going up to the Top Chamber in the background.
A detailed image of the ornate oil feeder on the top of the cylinder.
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.
The beam in the Top Chamber of the 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.
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 ropeway 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.
The Stamps Engine House in Tolvaddon Valley, the loadings for the flywheel and crankshaft are in front of the house.
The house contained a 24″ Stamps Engine.
The mounting bolts are still in place on the loadings, this drove a total of 32 heads of stamps.
Spoil heaps, settling tanks litter the valley bottom, the Red River is flowing in the foreground.
A second image of the valley bottom showing the remaining chimney, other stacks were demolished in the 1970’s.
East Pool and Agar Mine