Cligga Head Mine

Cligga Head Mine, the first images on this page were taken in the late 1990’s. Tin and Wolframite were mined here. Wolframite was the main source of Tungsten which was widely used in the manufacture of munitions.

The mine was first opened in 1938, it was closed on the completion of the Second World War in 1945. During the war years 300 tons of Wolfram and 200 tons of Black Tin were produced.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 1: So, following the coast path from Perranporth. This is the first view of the Explosive Works. The mine site is a bit further along the cliffs.
In the 1960’s Geevor Mine in collaboration with other mining companies took an interest in the site. They re-commenced underground works with active exploration and diamond drilling.
No great results were forthcoming but the prospect of rich lodes out to sea were high.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 2: An abandoned heavily constructed building. This was part of the explosive works, probably a storage room with a blast wall behind.
In 1964 Geevor decided to expand their own sett with the re-entry of the Levant Mine workings where more reserves for the mine were hoped for. Sadly the site here was again abandoned.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 3: In the foreground is one of the capped shafts in the area. Beyond are the remains of the mine buildings and processing area.
Further work here was planned for the 1980’s, because of the huge drop in the price of Tin due to the market collapse halted this project. The story here is not over yet, due to rising Tin prices I believe there has been renewed interest in the site.
The future, who knows, the area maybe mined once more.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 4: Another closer look at the choked shaft and the ruins behind.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 5: Beside the capped shaft was this settling tank. This formed part of the mine processing floors.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 6: A second view of the settling tank. The impressive remains of the mine buildings are in the background.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 7: This is the heart of the remains of the processing floors. Very extensive and well worth a look around.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 8: The site must have been very impressive when it was working.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 9: Buddle pits with the main processing area behind.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 10: Looking out to sea across the processing floors.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 11: One of the convex buddles. It still retained the fixing in the top to which brushes would have been attached.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 12: Perhaps these are boiler foundations? A heavy Steel girder, brickwork and possibly the remains of a chimney.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 13: Machinery foundations and fixings, there is evidence of a flywheel. Possibly a compressor or a winder was mounted here.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Head Mine 14: The final image of this first set. Looking along the coast towards Perranporth.
These remaining images on the page were taken in 2014 on the hottest day for several years. After a long hot walk Tracy sat in the shade and I had a wander around. We had walked from St Agnes enjoying the cliffs, but the heat was overwhelming and Tracy was suffering.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Mine 15: From the St Agnes side this is a shaft that belonged to Wheal Prudence. It was a small Copper Mine that worked in the area close to the cliffs. It produced 7000 tons of Copper ore between 1821 and 1865, with 55 tons of Tin production in 1825-6 and a further 1 ton of Tin in 1847-9.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Mine 16: A closer look at the capped shaft. Also in the background are the impressive cliffs leading to the mine site.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Mine 17: The whole place is covered in shafts. This one is on the edge of the mine complex.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Mine 18:  Steps leading to a long demolished structure.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Mine 19: Looking across the ruins to the ore bins in the background.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Mine 20: This is one of the surviving buddles on the site. The area had not changed much in the 20 odd years from the first images.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Mine 21: Heavily corroded bolts are the only testament to the machinery that was mounted here.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Mine 22: I believe this is the base of the main winder. In the background is the capped “Contact Shaft” . This was the main access to the underground workings.
Cligga Head Mine
Cligga Mine 23: The final image of this set, a real piece of history. W Sandercock and P Benny 27.1.41. Their names are engraved into this concrete for as long as it lasts the elements.
The surface area beyond the mine was the location for the British and Colonial Explosives factory which opened during 1893. This was eventually purchased by the Nobel Explosive Company. The factory was in production until 1905 when a drop in metal prices closed many of the neighbouring mines.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 24: The original factory was spread over a 100 acre site, the remains of building are scattered all the way to the airfield.
Operations were revived here during the First World War, producing shells and hand grenades for the front. With the end of hostilities the factory closed for the last time. The site covered over 100 acres and employed over 1000 workers who were mainly women due to the strain on the male population being called to war.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 25: All the remaining structures are heavily built. In many cases the structures are covered in soil because of the constant risk of explosion.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 26: Another from a slightly different angle.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 27: This was obviously part of a covered tunnel or storage area. The purpose of some of the buildings is difficult to imagine, at its height the factory was producing 3 tons of nitroglycerine was per day.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 28: A closer look at the entrance to the tunnel.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 29: In the foreground is a large settling tank with more masonry behind.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 30: A small heavily built structure. Heavily reinforced roof because of the constant risk of an explosion.
Cligga Head Mine
Cornish Mine Images 31: One of the surviving settling tanks at the explosive works.
Cligga Head Mine
Cornish Mine Images 32: At the far end of the site is this heavily constructed interesting building. In the wall to the left is the blocked up entrance to one of the underground tunnels.
Cligga Head Mine
Cornish Mine Images 33: A closer image of the building in the previous image.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 34: A final view of the building showing the blast wall behind because of the risk of explosion.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 35: The walls of the structure are very thick, however the roof was lightly built so any blast was directed upwards.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 36: These are the steps running up the side of the building. I wish they could tell a story of who walked up them.
There are several tunnels on the site. Many of which have been blocked up. These were probably used for transportation and protection.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 37: This was taken through a blocked entrance.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 38: The roof of this passageway was nicely lined with bricks also finished to a high standard.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 39: Finally, another one of the underground passages on the site. With the rough walls and roof this was probably used for storage.
The whole area around the mine and the Explosive Works are well worth a wander around, there are a lot of interesting remains. So, be prepared to spend a while exploring the site and enjoying the amazing views.

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