This page is dedicated to Castle-an-Dinas Mine, which was Cornwall’s premier Wolfram Mine. The mine worked during the years from 1916-1957, from two shafts South(New) and North Shaft. When the mine was fully operational it was producing approx 200 tons of concentrate per annum. This was the only mine in Cornwall only ever worked for Wolfram, also probably the last mine in the world to install a Cornish Pump. All the ore was hand trammed upto the mines closure and compressed air drills were not introduced until 1943.
When in production there was an aerial ropeway in use between the two shafts and mill, there is little left of this today. All the buildings on site are typical in their construction with corrugated roofs and an almost temporary look and feel, patterns and textures were everywhere and some buildings still offered some access.
This is also the site of one of the largest hill forts in Cornwall. For more information follow this link: Cornwall Heritage Trust
I am very grateful to Tony Brooks for the information he has provided on the images, I can thoroughly recommend his book on the Castle-an-Dinas Mine which gives a concise insight into the mine’s history. This is a completely new page, the first of two, with reprinted images, new images and more information.
Below are two archive images of Castle-an-Dina’s Mine, these were taken in 1945.
The horizontal beam from the building on the right operates the pump; the hoisting engine house is behind the headgear. Trucks from the shaft are run along the gantry, waste rock being dumped on the left and ore into the ore bin in the centre. From which it is fed into tubs on the overhead ropeway to the mill at Old Shaft. A nearly vertical quartz-wolfram lode trending north 18 degrees east intersects an isolated hill rising 300 feet or so above the surrounding country to over 700 feet. The hill is capped by an ancient earthwork that gives its name to the mine.
The photograph shows the Old Shaft and mill on the northern slopes of Castle an Dina’s hill. The structure in the foreground is the tension member for the overhead ropeway from New Shaft. The ore bin for ore raised from Old Shaft is just beyond the headgear. Ore from New Shaft is delivered into the bin above the processing mill. The wolfram lode had been productive for a length of nearly 1,800 feet. A few exceptionally rich patches were found in the higher levels and an average value of 30 per cent wolfram persisted at deeper levels. 46.5 tons were produced in 1918, a recovery of 28.76 lbs per ton of ore.
The following images were taken during 1998 whilst photographing the Castle-an-Dinas Mine site for Tony Brooks. This is one of my favorite places, sadly access is now restricted and fences prevent entry.
The buildings on my first visit were still open. Sadly when I returned they had all been boarded up and made secure.
There is a story behind this engine that is told on this page link: