Carpalla Engine House

Carpalla Engine House is located near the village of Foxhole in the China Clay District of St Austell.

The Engine House stands next to the flooded Carpalla China Clay pit which now serves as a Mica Dam. Mining of China Clay was suspended in 2008 in this area.

I visited the site twice in 2017, I hope to get back again soon. These are the photographs from those visits.
Carpalla Engine House
Carpalla Engine House 1 – This is the first view of the Engine House from the far side of the flooded Clay Pit.

The still roofed house here contained a 40″ Pumping Engine built by Harvey and Co in 1863. It was moved here from Thomas’s Shaft of West Kitty Mine in St Agnes during 1913.

This engine worked until 1944, during 1950’s it was purchased by the Science Museum and put into storage where it remains to the present day.

Carpalla Engine House
Carpalla Engine House 2 – This image of the Engine House is taken from the Foxhole Village side. The Bob Plat is no longer present, but from here the roof looks very good.
There are so few roofed Engine House left, restoration and protection here is desperately needed because the weather is taking its toll.
Carpalla Engine House
Carpalla Engine House 3 –  The first look at the Engine House from the approach path.
Carpalla Engine House
Carpalla Engine House 4 – This is a lovely finely proportioned Engine House. Certainly the only issue I had was where was the chimney for the boiler house.
Carpalla Engine House
Carpalla Engine House 5 – The front of the three storey Engine House, certainly the stonework is very fine.
Carpalla Engine House
Carpalla Engine House 6 – To one side of the Engine House is a dam which borders the flooded Clay Pit.
Carpalla Engine House
Carpalla Engine House 7 – But, still looking good after many years left to the elements. Sadly the roof had started to suffer as can be seen in the bottom left corner.
Carpalla Engine House
Carpalla Engine House 8 – Another closer look at the wall showing clearly the fine stonework.
Carpalla Engine House
Carpalla Engine House 9 – This is the bob wall of the Engine House, there are still stains from the oil dripping down from the beam.
Carpalla Engine House
Cornish Mine Images 10 – Water pouring from the dam across the flooded China Clay Pit.
Carpalla Engine House
Cornish Mine Images 11 – This image is looking up the front of the Engine House, the decoration around the door was very unusual.
It was possible to enter the building, it felt suprisingly small in there. It was so difficult to imagine it once housed a beam engine.
Carpalla Engine House
Cornish Mine Images 12 – This is the interior of the house. The timber floors have long gone but the supports for the floor beams were still in place.
Carpalla Engine House
Cornish Mine Images 13 – Meanwhile this is the roof from the interior. Still in very good condition but the weather had started to lift some of the slates from the outside.
The rest of the images are taken around the woods that surround the site.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 14 – The whole site is quite amazing. Hidden in trees close to the Engine House are the remains of several buildings. These were probably part of the processing works for the China Clay pit.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 15 – Without doubt a hidden gem in the trees. These are the remains of the Clay Drier on the site, such an amazing thing to find.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 16 – Sadly the oven doors had long since been removed, what a fascinating place this was.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 17 – All the stoke holes were filled with a mixture of ash and brick debris from the collapsed walls above.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 18 – A close up of one of the stoke holes, the surrounding brickwork was still in very good condition.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 19 – A final image of one of the stoke holes. The writing on the front plate indicates it was made in the St Austell foundry.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 20 – There is a path that goes around the whole site. On the other side from the flooded pit there are many more remains hidden by the thick trees. This fine chimney still survives, however I am not sure what it served.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 21 – Another image of the chimney rising up from the surrounding trees.

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