Killifreth Mine is best known for the tallest remaining stack in Cornwall at Hawke’s (or Richard’s Shaft) Pumping Engine House. This building was erected in 1891 for an 80” engine, in 1897 there was an accident when the engine beam (bob) broke and the engine was subsequently scrapped. In a later reworking in 1913 a second hand 85” engine was installed in the house and the height of the stack was increased to provide sufficient draught for the four boilers which powered it along with an air compressor and a horizontal steam whim (Winding Engine). At the rear of the house the shaft is capped with a well preserved balance box pit, the shaft reached a final depth of 125 fathoms. The engine was scrapped in 1944 soon after the troops who were billeted in the area left for D-Day.
Mining here was recorded as early as the 16th century, the mine operated from 1859-1924, starting first as a Copper producer then progressing onto Tin (1864). The final re-working was with Wheal Busy from 1923-1924. The recorded output of the mine was: 4,060 tons Tin, 681 tons Copper and 360 Tons of Arsenic.
All the images on this page were taken in the mid 1990’s.
The first view of Hawke’s Engine House through the trees. The shaft is behind the house and reached a depth of 125 fathoms. Before capping the pump rod and rising main were still in situ in the shaft.
A second close image of the engine house from the boiler house side. The building was consolidated during 1987-8.
A good image of the engine house showing the finely proportioned chimney, there are more trees around the building since this was taken.
The building in the foreground now used by a farmer for storage once housed the steam driven horizontal double cylinder whim engine.
The 50″ Engine House on Old Sump or Engine Shaft of Killifreth Mine.
I visited the engine house again in 2013 with my partner Tracy, the area is now very overgrown and we had to battle through brambles to reach it.
The house was erected in 1875, it was consolidated in 1987-88 and the height of the building was reduced in height for safety reasons.
An image of Killifreth Mine Stamps Engine House through the trees, the stack in the background served the mines Calciners probably dates form about 1890.
A closer image of the Stamps Engine House, it housed a 32″ engine which drove 64 heads of stamps.
A final image taken from the boiler house side of the Stamps House, this was erected in 1875. The crankshaft loadings with the slots for two flywheels remain well preserved at the base of the bob wall.
King Edward Mine Gallery