Great Wheal Busy, formerly named Chacewater Mine. Tin was mined here from the 17th Century onwards. One of the most important periods for the mine was from around 1815 to 1870, initially Copper was produced but from the mid 1850’s Tin was the main production. In 1856 Harvey’s Engine House was erected to hold an 85″ Pumping Engine. The mine steadily expanded to take in neighbouring setts and it was renamed to Great Wheal Busy United. After ten years of working the original engine was sold off when the company moved most of its operations to the eastern part of the mine.
In 1872 the house was once again in use hosting a 90″ engine, this was to drain the old workings to allow re-investigation and development. However this was a short lived attempt, the Tin price crash of 1873 forced the mine to close after much investment in the older sections. Mining was carried out on a small scale in the last years of the 19th Century for Arsenic from the levels above adit.
The final chapter of the mine occurred in 1907 when an Anglo-Belgium company re-opened the sett for Arsenic production. A new secondhand 85″ engine was erected in the house, processing floors and an Arsenic Calciner and Flue were erected. The mine finally closed in 1924.
The recorded production figures from 1815-1924 are: 104,700 tons Copper, 1,758 tons tin, 26,650 tons Mispickel and 735 tons of Arsenic. The majority of these images were taken in the mid 1990’s.
Harvey’s 85″ Pumping Engine House on Great Wheal Busy, this well preserved survival is west of Chacewater and retains the stack and boiler house.
The inside of the Engine House with the chimney in the background, the location of the floors can be clearly seen.
An image of the 85″ Engine House showing the fine chimney and the Boiler House on the left.
At this time the Boiler House was used for storage, in the foreground are the remains of some associated buildings.
The site has been recently renovated (2016) new doors and roof have brought the Boiler House back to life.
The Boiler House still had many of the supporting blocks for the boilers.
One of the entrances to a large building on the site which housed the: Mine Smithy, Workshops and the Miner’s Dry. The cast-iron lintel was made at the Perran Foundry dated 1872.
A wider view of the Smithy and Workshops, this building has badly deteriorated in recent years.
There are significant remains of the processing plant on the site, these are the mountings for the mines Californian Stamps.
The stamps mountings from the other side, the Engine House and mine buildings are in the background.
A wider view of the Stamps foundations, on the left of the image are ruined buildings associated with the processing area.
A view of the Engine House and Smithy, this area has become quite overgrown in recent years.
The Arsenic Calciner at Great Wheal Busy Mine, the bracing on the walls were made at Carn Brea foundry.
A wider view of the Calciner, the Arsenic labyrinth is on the left of the image.
A final image of the Calciner. This was built in 1907 the remains of the flue is behind which leads to the stack in the background.
The remains of the Bob Wall on Black Dog Shaft Wheal Busy Mine. This dates from 1872, the mine closed in 1873. The engine was never erected. It was left lying on the ground next to the house where it was eventually scrapped.
A second image of the Bob Wall from the other side, this area is now heavily overgrown.
Killifreth Mine Gallery