The West Devon Mining District: So, this is one of the mining areas I have sadly neglected. However I hope as I spend more time around the Tamar the content will grow as my knowledge of the area increases.
I am aware there is no official West Devon Mining District, I have named it this to fit in with the rest of the “District” pages.
The images on this page are of the extensive remains of Devon Great Consols Mine in the Tavistock area which worked from 1844-1901. The earliest workings were known as North Bedford Mines or Wheal Maria. During November 1844, a rich vein of copper ore was discovered, this was proved to extend eastwards for over two miles.
Devon Great Consols soon became the richest copper mine in Europe and later as the world’s largest producer of arsenic. During the time the mine was open it produced a total of 763,573 tons of Copper and 71,770 tons of Arsenic.
The images below were taken in the late 1990’s. They are the remains of the Arsenic Refining Plant at Wheal Anna Maria (Devon Great Consols). Since these were taken the site has been stabilised and the most Arsenic contaminated areas have been sealed off.
This was an amazing site, I could have spent days just wandering around. It was one of the places I had so hoped to see underground. Sadly with the state of my back I cannot risk it.