The Wendron Mining District is one of the oldest in Cornwall, recorded Tin production dates prior to the 1500’s. Before this the rich deposits of Tin that lay close to the surface had been eroded by the weather and deposited in the river and stream beds.
Wendron Mining District 1 – This first image is the front entrance to Poldark Mine. Also in the background is the preserved Greensplat Cornish Pumping Engine.
This hidden treasure had been exploited since the middle ages by the Tin Streamers. One thing led to another, the Tin Streamers learnt where the valuable gravel had come from. Then exploited the lodes with shallow surface workings, processing techniques had also improved thus increasing the recovery.
By the 1780’s shallow and deep mines were scattered all over the area.
Wendron Mining District 2 – One of the many very interesting industrial relics at Poldark Mine.
The district has a list of over 600 mines, at the height of the production the area had over 9,000 inhabitants. The mines here were never rich but the quantity and the amount of people employed meant the mineral output outstripped the great mines of the Camborne and Redruth areas.
Wendron Mining District 3 – The converted Engine House of Tregurtha Downs Mine is a perfect example of how to make an Engine House a home. The mine worked from 1860-1902 producing 1,295 tons of Tin, the Engine that worked here was moved to Robinson’s Shaft South Crofty Mine.
Wendron Mining District 4 – Another image of the impressive engine house.
The boom lasted to the 1880’s when cheaper foreign Tin producers meant that most of the mines in Cornwall became uneconomic.
The countryside is now quiet, yet it retains it’s mining history with the remaining engine houses that can be seen. The Poldark Mine is a testament to the history of the Wendron District and well worth a visit.
Wendron Mining District 5 – Prosper United Mine, it worked from 1830-1873 producing 22,500 tons of Copper, 830 tons of Tin and 1,100 Tons of Arsenic.
Wendron Mining District 6 – Also known as Wheal Rodney, the Engine House here was built during 1913 as part of an unsuccessful reworking.
Wendron Mining District 7 – The pumping engine was an 80″, it was delivered but never installed in the house.
Wendron Mining District 8 – At the time the image was taken in 1999 the house was up for sale. It has since been purchased and converted into a home, lucky people.
Wendron Mining District 9 – The graceful engine house of Nancegollan Mine, it worked from 1853-1870 producing only 6 tons of Tin.
Wendron Mining District 10 – A second image of Nancegollan Mine.
Wendron Mining District 11 – The 60″ Engine House on Leeds Shaft of Great Work Mine. It worked during the years from 1810-1885. In total 6,256 tons of Tin and 1,020 tons of Copper were produced.
Wendron Mining District 12 – A second image of the Engine House showing strapping around the walls.
Wendron Mining District 13 – A final image of the engine house this was taken looking across the open shaft.
Wendron Mining District 14 – Part of the elevated tramway leading from “Old Men’s Shaft” of Basset and Grylls Mine to the processing mill, last re-worked during the 1930’s. Initially from 1852-1915 it produced 4,650 tons of Tin.
Wendron Mining District 15 – The 50″ Pumping Engine House on Roger’s shaft of East Wheal Lovell. The mine worked from 1859-1891 producing 2,405 tons of Tin.
Wendron Mining District 16 – Trumpet Consols, this is the 48″ Pumping Engine House on the Wheal Ann section. The stack was struck by lightening several years ago.
Wendron Mining District 17 – A second images of the engine house, the shaft here was 160 fathoms (960ft) below adit. Also the engine that worked here had a wooden beam, possibly one of the last of its kind in Cornwall.
Many of these images were taken for Bob Acton’s Book, Exploring Cornish Mines Vol 4.
Wendron Mining District 18 – Also part of Trumpet Consols this is the Whim Engine House on Dream Lode, the mines here worked from 1854-1880 producing 4,510 tons of Tin and 20 tons of Copper.
Wendron Mining District 19 – This is the converted 24″ Stamp Engine House of Wheal Enys. The mine worked from 1853-1859 producing 259 tons of Tin.
Wendron Mining District 20 – This image taken in 1996 is of a wooden frame for a set of Californian Stamps close to the workings of Wheal Fortune. It carried a 5 head set of stamps operated during the early C20th to recover Tin from local burrows.
Wendron Mining District 21 – The large open works of Great Wheal Fortune, these was known as the Conqueror Pits, from here the miners drove levels following promising lodes of Tin.
Wendron Mining District 22 – One of the open levels branching out from the base of the Conqueror Pit.
Wendron Mining District 23 – At Rinsey Cliff along the coast from Trewavas stands the graceful 30″ Pumping Engine House of Wheal Prosper.
The mine worked from 1860-1866 producing a total of 7 tons of Tin. Like so many hopefully named mines this failed to make the owners rich. The site was restored by the National Trust in the 1970’s, the shaft was 462ft deep. As with most seaward mines the workings here were very dry and the engine only needed to make two strokes every three minutes. Of the second engine house which contained a stamps and whim there are no remains.
Cornish Mine Images 24 – A second image of the Wheal Prosper Engine House.
Cornish Mine Images 25 – Looking back at Wheal Prosper from along the cliffs.
Cornish Mine Images 26 – Trewavas Head Mine also along the coast from Porthleven. In my opinion this is probably the most dramatic settings for a mine in Cornwall.
Cornish Mine Images 27 – A second image of Trewavas Head Mine showing both the engine houses on a stormy day.
Cornish Mine Images 28 – This image is of the foundations for the 1907 steam plant at Wheal Vor Borlase’s Shaft. With fifteen engines at work in 1843 there is so very little left of this once great mine. During its boom years between 1812 and 1848 Tin Oxide production peaked at 220 tons per month.
Cornish Mine Images 29 – A second image of the mounting plinths.
Cornish Mine Images 30 – Wheal Metal Ivey’s 85″ Pumping Engine House, output for this mine between 1858-1901 was 3,700 tons of Tin.
Cornish Mine Images 31 – Wheal Metal and Flow, the remains of the 30″ dual purpose pumping and stamp engine on Watson’s Shaft. The mine worked primarily on Tin recovery from the local dumps. Water from the shaft was used in the processing, the engine stopped work during 1901 after 540 tons of Tin had been recovered.
Cornish Mine Images 32 – The ornate stack beloning to Watson’s Engine House of Wheal Metal and Flow.
Cornish Mine Images 34 – A view of the front plug doorway at Wheal Metal and Flow Watson’s Shaft.
Cornish Mine Images 35 – The interior of the well preserved Engine House, Wheal Metal and Flow Mine.
Cornish Mine Images 36 – The Pumping Engine House of West Godolphin Mine. The house was for a 60″ engine, the shaft here was 229m deep.
Cornish Mine Images 37 – Another image of the West Godolphin Engine House showing the decorative stack. In 2017 it was impossible to enter because it was heavily overgrown.
Cornish Mine Images 38 – Wheal Georgia Mine, the remains of the 45″ Pumping Engine House.
Cornish Mine Images 39 – A second image of the Bob Wall. The mine worked between 1872 – 1874 producing small amounts of Copper and Tin.
Cornish Mine Images 40 – The fine 36″ Pumping Engine House of Wheal Grey. It was built during 1898 to drain Wheal Grey China Clay pit situated behind the house. This is probably the site where the China Clay was first mined in Cornwall.
Cornish Mine Images 41 – A final image of the Wheal Grey Engine House this is a listed building on private land.
St Ives Mining District