South Polgooth Mine is located on a ridge above the mining village of Sticker on Treloweth Common. It is an ancient mine dating back to the 16th Century. The mine was worked intermittently from 1830-1882, but it was never rich. During this time it produced a modest 149 tons of Tin. The last period of working was from 1915-1918 when Arsenic and small quantities of Tin were produced.
The Engine House on the site was built in 1880, it housed a rotary engine which was employed in pumping and running 16 heads of stamps. The site is quite extensive with the remains of a Brunton Calciner which was used to roast and refine the Arsenic during the last working.
South Polgooth Mine 1 – This is the first view of the Engine House seen from Chapel Hill.
Along with the Engine House there are the remains of a few ancillary buildings and an impressive concrete topped flue leading to the Calciner. The workings here are quite shallow reaching only 276 feet,the mine was always hoped to be as rich as its neighbour Great Polgooth which produced over 3000 tons of Tin.
South Polgooth Mine 2 – It is a well proportioned Engine House with a graceful attached chimney. In the background can just be seen the Clay Pits of the St Austell area.
South Polgooth Mine 3 – There is a farm track approaching the site, these are the remains of ancillary buildings.
South Polgooth Mine 4 – These are possibly old mine offices and workshops.
South Polgooth Mine 5 – The remains are quite extensive with a well preserved chimney.
South Polgooth Mine 6 – A close side on view of the Engine House, on the left of the image is the concrete topped Calciner Flue.
South Polgooth Mine 7 – A wider view, the Calciner Flue is more visible, the ivy is rapidly taking over the Engine House and the site is quite overgrown.
South Polgooth Mine 8 – This is the inside of the Calciner Flue, this was used in the last period of working to recover the refined Arsenic. Not a pleasant and a very dangerous job, no Health and Safety in those days.
South Polgooth Mine 9 – At the far end of the site is the front of the Brunton Calciner with the Engine House standing proudly at the rear.
South Polgooth Mine 10 – My favourite image on this page, nicely framed with the Engine House in the background. The hearths and stoke holes for the Calciner would have been here mounted in the brickwork. The Arsenic would have been roasted on a rotating hearth, the vapour would then condense into the refined product in the flue.
I thought this was a wonderful little site. I was so surprised when I found the impressive remains of the Calciner.