South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3, it was always an adventure to get out to the old areas of the mine. I always jumped at the opportunity, it is sad that these images are maybe the last anyone will see of the old mine. Lets hope not, hopefully the mine will be dewatered and reopen as promised. Maybe these sights will be seen again.
In South Crofty Mine, Tincroft North Lode is faulted up thrown by Pryce’s Lode. Below Pyce’s Lode it is known as Main Lode. This eventually hinges into the south-dipping No:1 Lode. In East Pool Wheal Agar, North Tincroft Lode is known as South Lode and below Pryce’s Lode is known as Great Lode.
The next set of images were taken in this huge excavation.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.1 – At one end of the Great Lode Stope there was some old timber stulls still in place.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.2 – Miners of old would have stood on this timber to work the walls by candlelight.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.3 – A closer image of the impressive Stulls.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.4 – Further along the passage there were more of the massive timbers still in place.
Great Lode hinges into the south-dipping Middle Lode around the 252 fathom level.This hinge zone maybe partially responsible for the exceptionally wide stope at this level. Great Lode was also known as Wolfram Lode. This was due to the high tungsten concentrations between 140-200 fathom around and below the granite contact. This was also of great width itself and also carried lensoid splays with mineralised granite in between.This may also go towards an explanation for the very wide stope seen at the 252 fathom level.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.5 – This first image certainly shows one of the biggest holes I had seen in South Crofty, the Great Lode Stope. Located on the Wheal Agar 252 Fathom. Nick Le Boutillier is struggling through the acres of deep and sticky mud on the floor.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.6 – Again Nick Le Boutillier, this time halted by a hole in the floor full of deep liquid mud.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.7 – In the picture my friend Dave Cox gives a good idea of the scale of the workings. This was one of those fluke photographs taken on a single flash. When I returned here with more flashguns they never came out as good as this.
The next few images were taken on another trip with the guys from the Ventilation Department.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.8 – The Ventilation Staff, Mike Clothier and James Pettett playing in the mud, Great Lode stope, Wheal Agar 252 Fathom.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.9 – In this image James Pettet is holding a slave flash to help light up this amazing space.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.10 – James Pettett in the huge stope holding a second flashgun, Great Lode stope, Wheal Agar 252 Fathom.
Close to the bridge on the 260 Fathom Level. A crosscut off New North Lode led straight to East Pool and Agar, Taylor’s Shaft. This was intersected at the 1600ft level where the shaft was partially blocked by collapsed pump rods and pitwork. South Crofty miners had to mine a vent raise around this blockage to allow free flow of air. Fans at surface, next to the preserved pumping engine house, forced air down into the mine to ventilate the East Pool section. I had always wanted to climb this raise to see a balance box still in the shaft. This was a 600ft climb on a chain, sadly I never had the chance.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.11 – This is the first image of the crosscut leading to the shaft. At some point pitwork and rising mains had been removed from the blockage.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.12 – Pump rods from Taylor’s Shaft lying against the walls of the crosscut to the shaft on 260 Fathom East Pool and Agar Mine.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.13 – In the distance the blockage can be seen.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.14 – A close look at the collapse, remains of pump rods and rising main are in the debris which has totally blocked the opening.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.15 – A final image of the shaft blockage. The collapsed pump rods and rising main can be clearly seen.
South Crofty Mine Old Workings 3.16 – I believe this was taken from the other side of the blockage. The remains of maybe an air receiver pokes out from the debris.
The next set of images on the page are of an abandoned underground winder. My recollection of its location is also sketchy but I believe it was once again on the 260 Fathom level.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.17 – An extraordinary thing to find underground.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.18 – I presumed it dates back to the 1960’s when the area was being expanded.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.19 – The drums were still full of wire rope.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.20 – A large chamber had been mined out for the winder.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.21 – It is hard to believe this has been underwater. Sadly forgotten for over 20 years.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.22 – A final image of the winder.
In another part of the mine I managed to get into an old stope that was last worked in the 1920’s. The timbering was in a bad way, I did not hang around for long.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.23 – The first view of the collapsing stope.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.24 – I ventured inside to place a second flashgun, it was very unpleasant.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.25 – Certainly an amazing thing to see, 100 years ago men with candles were working here.
Maybe one day the mine will work again. Even then would these Old Workings be seen again, who knows. For the meantime these are all the images I have of these pieces of living history. I hope these images have captured some of the mystery and grandeur the workings had to offer.
To complete this, a few more images of some of the sights covered on the earlier pages.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.26 – Looking into the Western end of the Tolgus Tunnel.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.27 – In the tunnel there was some impressive timbering which was probably installed in the 1970’s.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.28 – Finally the way out of the 260 Fathom level. Therefore, a long climb on the ladders was next on the agenda.
Finally there is one more page looking at the “Old Workings” centred around the Roskear Shaft. Once again this was a very interesting area that I luckily had the chance to explore.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.29 – This is the shaft station on the 2000ft level at Roskear. Due to dangerous conditions Robinson’s Shaft was retired as the secondary egress. This shaft was renovated and equipped with new winders to take over in 1996.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 3.30 – The last image on this page is of the Roskear Shaft station. This was the 2000ft level, the shaft is circular and brick lined from here to the top.
For more images of Roskear Shaft follow this link: Roskear Shaft Underground.
My thanks as always to my late friend Dr Nick Le Boutillier for much of the information on these pages.
South Crofty Mine Roskear Underground