South Caradon Mine-The area around Sump Shaft

This post looks at the area of the two engine houses described so far in the series, those of Sump Shaft. It uses the map from my original website, then adds a few more from the resources now available online.

South Caradon Mine Sump Shaft in the snow

Sump shaft is the deepest on the mine and was sometimes called Engine shaft. Around it lies a complex of buildings that include a winding engine, pump engine, capstan engine and an explosives magazine.

The expanse of dumps below the buildings give a clue to the far larger scale of construction that lay below the ground, out of sight.
The shaft at 250 fathoms deep formed the lowest point of the mine and the point to which water drained, the sump. This hole in the ground extends 1500 ft below the level of the valley floor in modern measurements this is 457 metres, almost half a kilometre!
Caradon Hill itself only rises 371 meters above sea level, and Sump shaft is almost four times as deep as the height between the valley floor and the hill’s summit.

The Sump Shaft area in Maps

Layout of structures at Sump Shaft

South Caradon Mine Sump shaft area map
The layout of the buildings around Sump Shaft

This is a complex area of remains containing the structures associated with the extraction of ores from the Northern lodes. The winding engine at Sump shaft provided the power to wind at Pearce’s through a set of flat rods.

This map was resurrected from the old TeamManley website, along with some minor typo’s. As of yet I have not managed to find an easy way of re-editing, so sometime in the future it will be updated with a replacement version.

More information on the structures shown on the map

Sump Shaft as shown by the OS in 1906

South Caradon Mine Sump Shaft area in 1906
Extract From the Ordnance Survey 25″ 1906 Map

This map shows the Sump shaft area in 1906, the buildings have lost there roofs, but the outlines are clearly shown.  The full map can be seen on the excellent National Library of Scotland Website.

Sump Shaft from the air

South Caradon Sump Shaft area in google Earth
Google Earth view of Sump Shaft

This Google Earth view was captured from Google Maps in 2017. The outline of the pumping engine house is seen in the top left quadrant, with the stump of the chimney clearly visible. The winding house chimney is to the right of the center. The prominent chimney, casting a long shadow is that of the capstan engine.

The mine in 2017

OS map of South Caradon Mine Sump shaft
OS Map of the Sump Shaft area in 2017

OS Maps online was used to obtain this screen shot. The Grid Ref cross hair sits above the centre of Sump Shaft.

Next in this series of posts on South Caradon Mine will be the distinctive Structure of Pearce’s Shaft.


OS Explorer Map of Bodmin Moor

Map number 109 is the best map available to explore the area of South Caradon Mine.

Click here to find the map on Amazon>

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