East Pool and Agar Mine

East Pool and Agar Mine, today the site is managed by the National Trust. The preserved 90-Inch Pumping Engine is the centrepiece of the site. The images on this page were taken during the early 2000’s.

After a period of negotiations East Pool finally purchased Wheal Agar and associated equipment for £4,000. So East Pool and Agar Mine was created during March 1897. The new mine continued for nearly 50 years finally closing in 1945.
However, the neighbouring South Crofty Mine kept the huge engine going to prevent their tunnels from flooding. This continued to work until electric pumps took over in September 1954.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 1 – Firstly, the view from the main gate.
In total the mines worked from 1835-1945. East Pool produced 88,3000 tons Copper, 38,490 tons Tin, 31,722 tons Arsenic also 2,820 tons of Wolfram. Wheal Agar also produced 3.033 tons of Copper.
East Pool and Agar Mine 2
East Pool and Agar Mine 2 – Looking towards the Pumping Engine House, to the right of the building stood the ore bins. In the foreground is a “Catcus Grab” which was used to sink a shaft.
The year 1921 brought a chain of disasters for the mine. Old workings around Mitchell’s and Engine shaft which were the primary shafts collapsed. This caused massive slumps underground along with significant flooding. So both shafts had to be adandoned.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 3 – Another image of the fine Engine House. Also in the foreground are the foundations for the ore bins.
To prevent the mine from closing for good a new mining complex was proposed some 250m away to the north. This was to be called Taylor’s Shaft, so named after M.T.Taylor who was the mine superintendent.
The shaft is vertical made up from three compartments. The internal measurements are 20ft by 9ft, the final depth reached was 1,700ft. Shaft sinking commenced in 1922, the Engine House construction was completed during 1924.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 4 – Old sections of rising main and valves make a good foreground.
Beside the Engine House was the Boiler House, this contained five boilers which supplied steam to the pumping engine. Also, steam was supplied to a horizontal winding engine which hauled men and materials up and down the shaft.
Other features around the site are the extensive foundations for a rock crusher and ore bins. Also other buildings still survive including: The Compressor House, Winder House, Capstan House and an electrical Substaion.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 5 – The side wall of the Engine House. The pump rod is on the right.
Seperate to the engine and boiler house is the 110ft tall chimney. The unique feature of this stack are the vertical letter “EPAL” near the top, spelled out using white bricks. This stood for “East Pool and Agar Ltd”, “EPAL” was also the brand name for the Arsenic the mine produced.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 6 – The front of the Engine House. The black building to the right of the shaft was a ventilation unit that was once used by South Crofty.
The installation of the massive 90-Inch pumping engine was completed during 1924. Consequently this was the last time a Cornish Pump was installed in a mine in Cornwall.
The secondhand engine was purchased from Carn Brea mine where it had lain unused since 1914. Know as Harvey’s Engine, it was designed by a local engineer Nicholas Trestrail. Built by Harvey and Co in 1892.
So, by 1925 the new Taylor’s Shaft complex was complete.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 7 – Looking towards the Engine House from the foundations of the ore bin.
This remained the primary winding and pumping shaft until the mine finally closed in 1945. During the second world war the mine had recieved a government subsidy to ensure supplies of Tin and Wolfram were uninterupted.
With the end of the war the subsidy was withdrawn and the mine soon closed. With the closure of East Pool and Agar in 1945,  South Crofty continued to run the engine to keep their own working dry. It finally worked until 28th September 1954, when electric pumps took over the task.
The shaft continued to be used by South Crofty for ventilation. At the head of the shaft is a small concrete building which contained an updraught fan.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 8 – The mine chimney here is 110ft (34m) tall.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 9 – Hidden in the undergrowth. An old upturned wagon makes an interesting image.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 10 – Sections of old pump rods along with some large valves.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 11 – Scattered around are numerous pieces of mining history, here in the grass a selection of old valves.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 12 – Broken sections of beams are stacked outside the Engine House.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 13 – Pipes and valves at the base of the Engine House.
At the top of the shaft is a rare sight indeed. It is a complete Balance Box. This was made in 1911 by the Charlestown Foundry in St Austell. Unusually it is constructed form steel plate, the normal was cast iron. This was here (along with others down the shaft) because of the need to balance the weight of the pump rods in the shaft.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 14 – This is the surface Balance Box. During use this would have been filled with scrap metal or rocks.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 15 – This is the swivel point which allowed the Balance Box to move with the pump rods. Also three more of these worked at different levels in the shaft.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 16 – The plug doorway of Taylor’s Engine House. This gave access to the condensor and the top of the shaft so the Engine Driver could always have a view of the moving rods.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 17 – This is the “Nose” of the beam where the pump rod is attached.
The remaining images on the page are taken inside the 90-Inch Engine House. The engine weighs in at around 100 tons, it was built in 1892 by Harvey’s of Hayle. Insatallation of the engine was completed during 1924.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 18 – On walking through the door the first thing you see is the massive 90″ cylinder of this magnificent engine. Surrounded by polished timber held in place by brass bands.
East Pool and Agar Mine 19
East Pool and Agar Mine 19 – Hanging on the wall is a toolkit for the engine. Some of the spanners were small, ranging to massive.
East Pool and Agar Mine
East Pool and Agar Mine 20 – On the wall next to the driver’s position, these are the gauges for the steam and vacuum pressures.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 21 – The drivers position. The timber clad engine cylinder can be seen in the background.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 22 – Looking up towards the Middle Chamber from the drivers position.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 23 – A close up of the workmanship of the driver controls.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 24 – These levers are known as Horns and Arbors. Adjusting these would alter the valves which governed the engine’s speed.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 25 – For such a huge piece of engineering some of the controls are amazingly delicate.
The next images are of the Middle Chamber of the Engine House. This is the home to the top of the huge cylinder, also the valve chest which controlled the engine speed.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 26 – So, on climbing the stairs this is the first view of the Middle Chamber of the Engine House.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 27 – On the top of the cylinder are several objects that fed oil into the cylinder. For such a huge machine these are amazingly delicate and ornate.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 28  – All different and all beautifully made, the level of craftsmanship is astounding.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 29 – The third oil feeder on the cylinder cover. In the background is the engine valve chest.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 30 – Another view of the top of the cylinder.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 31 – The valve chest, from left to right the arrangement is: Equilibrium, Steam and Governor valves.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 32 – On top of the valve chest is this ornate item. This is called a Hydrostatic Cylinder Lubricator, this would inject heavy oil into the steam.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 33 – This is the piston rod going up to where it joins onto the beam. At the side are the Watts parallel motion arms.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 34 –  The top of the 90″ cylinder looking into the Middle Chamber from the raised balcony.
The final set of images are taken in the Bob Loft. This is the home to the great beam of the engine. It alone weighs in at 52.5 tons.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 35 – The massive cast iron beam of the engine which weighs 52.5 tons.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 36 – The beam is in two halves which are bolted together.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 37 – This is the indoor end of the beam where the cylinder rod is attached. Above the end of the beam at right angles are the ‘catch wings’. These were in place to prevent damage to the engine if it made too long a stroke.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 38 – Another of the indoor end of the beam from the opposite side.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 39 – The balance pivot point of the beam. Here its total weight rested on the Bob Wall of the Engine House.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 40 – Looking down into to the Middle Chamber down the length of the piston rod.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 41 – More detail of the piston rod attached to the indoor part of the beam. Also the two cast sides of the beam can clearly be seen.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 42 – This has been tied to one of the supporting beams with wire rope because of the strain on the piston.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 43 – Perched on the end of the beam gives a better view of the ‘catch wings’. Also a good view of the roof construction.
The Engine Houses of these mines are a great place to visit. I enjoyed myself wandering around, also I would recommend it to anyone for a good day out.

Thanks to Max Chitty and Michael Hockley for some of the information on the page.
For more information follow this link: National Trust Engines

Giew Mine

Contact