The Basset Mines: This mining group came about after an amalgamation of three neighbouring companies; South Wheal Frances, West Wheal Basset and Wheal Basset.
All of these mines had worked as Copper producers during the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 1820’s -30’s most of the shallow Copper workings had been exhausted, steam power was employed more to keep the mines dry as the miners dug deeper. With more depth the mines reached the rich Tin deposit known as the “Great Flat Lode” named thus due to the shallow dip of the Lode making it almost flat. Tin production gradually increased during the latter half of the century. By the 1880’s Copper annual output had been overtaken by Tin.
The merger of the mines took place in 1896 after several boundary disputes, where miners had accidentally crossed into their neighbours sett. The company remained until 1918 when the falling Tin price forced closure. The group’s output before and after the merger was a total of 290,118 tons Copper, 43,134 tons of Tin.
The extensive remains here are centered around the 80″ Engine House. The shaft is brick lined with a 14ft diameter and reached a depth of 340 Fathoms. The buildings here include: Ore Sorter, Miner’s Dry, Winding Engine, Boiler, Compressor and Pumping Engine Houses.
All the structures have been recently consolidated.
This next image is an interesting one because it was taken when the shaft was still covered by a blockhouse. I had the camera on a tripod, so I stuck it through the hole in the wall and shot the camera remotely.
I do find it difficult to stop going back to these ruined remains. It’s so special, the light changes constantly and the ruins are stunning. The next few images of Marriott’s Shaft were taken in 2016 in the late afternoon, the sun was on the rear walls, so I made the most of it.
Furthur down the hill are the remains of Pascoe’s Shaft formally part of South Frances Mine.
The rest of the group are covered on the next page. Finally, there is a dedicated walking route around the Great Flat Lode, follow this link for more information:Great Flat Lode