The Caradon Mining District: high up on Bodmin Moor lies Caradon Hill. This was the setting for one of Cornwall’s typical “Boom and Bust” scenarios.
This area has been the site of tin streaming for many hundreds of years. However it was not until the 1830’s when a large Copper deposit was discovered at South Caradon Mine then large scale mining commenced on both sides of the hill. South Caradon Mine worked during the years 1837-1885. Whilst working it became the third largest producer of Copper in Cornwall.
Around the Granite outcrop of Caradon Hill many more mines opened up. While hoping to capitalise on South Caradon’s success many adopted the name “Caradon” in theirs to tempt prospective share holders in investing in their mine. The boom lasted to the 1890’s when the last mines closed due to low prices and much of the ground being worked out.
The whole area is a wealth of Mining remains, with many engine houses and impressive views, it is well worth a visit. The majority of the images below were taken in the 1990’s on many visits and long walks taking photographs for the Exploring Cornish Mines series of Books. For additional information on the area follow this link. Caradon Hill
The first section of images look at The Phoenix and neighbouring Mines.
The next few images are of New Phoenix Mine. A very lonely place, so very quiet out on the open moor.
Phoenix United Mine. This dates from 1907 when an Australian company took the lease on the mine. The engine was the last to be built in Cornwall by Holmans Brothers of Camborne. After building this complex and investing huge amounts the company ran out of money and the mine consequently closed in 1914.
The mine worked in total from 1848-1898 producing 16,352 ton Tin and 82,686 tons of Copper. While the final reworking 1907- 1914 produced only 95 Tons of Tin Concentrate, the shaft here is some 200 Fathoms deep.
The next group of images look at the remain of Wheal Jenkin and Marke Valley Mines. From 1881 these worked as Marke Valley Consols Mines.
Marke Valley Mine, the earliest workings here date from during the late 1820’s there is no recorded output. In 1837 the a new company called Marke Valley Tin and Copper mine was set up. The best output was recorded in the latter years of the 1870’s when a branch of the Liskeard and Caradon railway. Soon after the mine became the second biggest Copper producer in the area. The site was abandoned in 1883 when it was decided to focus on the Wheal Jenkin part of the sett.
On the South Western side of Caradon Hill is South Caradon Mine. It is the jewel of the Caradon Mining District, a huge Copper deposit was discovered here in 1836 which started the mining boom in this area.
The Caradon Mining District is an extraordinary area, I have walked it in the winter months and the summer. Because it has it’s own mini environment, this is defiantly one of my best days out.