This page covers the East Cornwall Mining District, these are the mines located around Kit Hill, Callington, Gunnislake and Calstock. Mining dates back for many hundreds of years with Tin streaming, shaft and adit works in use during the 16th Century.
Large scale mining for Tin, Copper, Arsenic, Wolfram commenced during the latter half of the 18th Century. Lead, Silver and Zinc were also evident in the area. The mining boom continued into the latter years of the 19th Century.
Some mines continued to operate into the 1900’s, investigation into Wolfram production occurred during the first world war. In the latter months of 2012 investigations at Redmoor Mine with a view to an exploration drilling program during 2013. This could mean a return of mining to this part of Cornwall.
Hidden away in the Danescombe Valley West of Calstock are the remains of Cothele Consols otherwise known as Danescombe Mine. The mine worked from 1880-1887 producing 72 tons of Copper and 323 tons of Arsenic. The surviving Engine House has been converted into a holiday home.
East Cornwall Mining District 1: The first image on the page is of the 40″ Pumping Engine House of Cothele Consols. To the right of the building are the remains of the Crushing and Boiler Houses.
East Cornwall Mining District 2: The Engine House from the Rock Crusher side, the stream runs through the valley.
East Cornwall Mining District 3: The interior of the Boiler House, the foundation for the single boiler can clearly be seen.
East Cornwall Mining District 4: A detailed image of the brickwork at the end of the Boiler House, these lead to the flue to the chimney on the hillside above.
East Cornwall Mining District 5: This is the flue from the Boiler House leading up the hillside to the chimney hidden in the trees, one of my favorite images on this page.
East Cornwall Mining District 6: One of the walled shafts in Danescombe Valley on the approach to the mine buildings.
Drakewall’s Mine near Gunnislake, this worked from 1817 to 1897. For a while it was the largest producer of Tin in East Cornwall employing some 398 people. Overall the output was put at 5,433 tons of Tin, 2,015 tons of Copper and 2,368 tons of Arsenic.
East Cornwall Mining District 7: The remains of Mattew’s Pumping Engine House, the shaft here was 195 fathoms deep.
East Cornwall Mining District 8: A closer look at the Bob Wall of the Engine House, the area was stabilised in the 1990’s.
Close to the town of Gunnislake are the remains of Hingston Down Consols. The impressive engine house on Bayly’s Shaft remains, this image was taken in the 1990’s since then the site has been cleared and stabilised. The mine worked from 1850-1917 producing 65,710 tons of Copper, 254 tons of Tin, 200 tons of Arsenic and 152 tons of Wolfram.
East Cornwall Mining District 9: The impressive flat roofed engine house on Bayly’s Shaft, still open when the photograph was taken in the mid 1990’s.
East Cornwall Mining District 10: The remains of Holmbush Mine near Kelly Bray, these buildings are around Hitchen’s Shaft, a pumping, crusher and steam whim house are here. The mine worked from 1822- 1892 producing: 42,900 ton of Copper, 1,689 tons of Lead, 20,092 oz of Silver, 30,326 tons of Mispickel and 10,554 tons of Arsenic.
East Cornwall Mining District 11: A closer view of the overgrown Whim Engine House.
East Cornwall Mining District 12: Totally overgrown and hidden in trees this is the “lower Whim” Engine House of Holmbush Mine.
East Cornwall Mining District 13: The Engine House still had part of its roof in 1998.
East Cornwall Mining District 14: A better view of the surviving roof, a real survivor in the East Cornwall Mining District.
East Cornwall Mining District 15: The engine here was a 30″, it wound from Wall’s Shaft which was 124 fathoms deep.
East Cornwall Mining District 16: A final image of the heavily overgrown Engine House, I believe this has since been fenced off.
East Cornwall Mining District 17: This is the engine pond for the Lower Whim. Also in the background is the burrow for Wall’s Shaft.
Kit Hill is the highest point in the East Cornwall Mining District. At the 334m summit is the ornate chimney of Kit Hill Consols.
East Cornwall Mining District 18: Kit Hill Consols, the mine worked from 1860-1890 producing: 139 tons Tin, 15 tons Copper and 125 tons of Wolfram. The engine here was a 30″ denotative beam engine. It drove stamps, a crusher and also pumped from two shafts.
East Cornwall Mining District 9: South Kit Hill Mine, these are the remains of the Engine House that was demolished during the 1980’s. It contained a 32″ Rotary Steam Engine .
Cornish Mine Images 20: The remains of several secondary buildings survive.
Cornish Mine Images 21: The tall stack that served the Whim Engine House. Working from 1870-1883 it produced only 62 tons of Tin.
Cornish Mine Images 22: The remaining Stamps Engine House of East Kit Hill Mine. It was worked from 1853-1909 producing 218 tons of Tin. the processing works here were also used by Kit Hill.
Cornish Mine Images 23: New (Great) Consols Mine (Wheal Martha) at Luckett. This is the interior of Phillip’s 80″ Pumping Engine House still roofed in the late 1990’s. The mine worked from 1844 – 1888 with reworkings in 1915 and 1943. Total output was: 28,682 tons Copper, 735 tons Tin, 3,587 tons Arsenic, 2 tons Wolfram and 3,779 tons of Pyrite. There are three Engine Houses on the site all were still roofed. Since then they have deteriorated quite badly, certainly a loss to the history of the area.
Cornish Mine Images 24: Okel Tor Mine, this is the remains of the 50″ Pumping Engine House which was stabilised during the early 2000’s. The shaft here was 91 fathoms deep, the engine was installed in the 1850’s.
Cornish Mine Images 25: The cylinder bed stones can be clearly seen through the plug doorway.
Cornish Mine Images 26: The mine is perched above the River Tamar. This is one of the Calciners hidden in the undergrowth.
Cornish Mine Images 27: A closer look at the Calciner. The mine worked from 1848-1887. Total Production was: 13,821 tons Copper, 5,790 tons Arsenic, 226 tons Tin and 13,370 tons of Pyrites.
Cornish Mine Images 28: Remains of the cluster of secondary buildings at Okel Tor. Also the Smithy has been converted into a very tasteful holiday home.
Cornish Mine Images 29: Walking back from Okel Tor Mine. This is the railway viaduct at Calstock on the River Tamar. It stands 120 feet tall with 12 sixty foot arches, it was built in 1907.
Cornish Mine Images 30: Near the village of Luckett are the remains of Great Wheal Sheba. This mine was drained by three waterwheels, the remains of many flat rods used for pumping can be found in the valley.
Cornish Mine Images 31: Pat of a flat rod joint poking from a bush.
Cornish Mine Images 32: The mine worked during the late 1870’s. This is another section of flat rod, the 20p gives some scale.
Cornish Mine Images 33: Finally these are the remains of the wheelpit which housed a 50ft waterwheel. This drove flat rods to pump from two nearby shafts.