The resurrection of the old South Caradon Website continues with another engine house.
Pearce’s engine house is one the most distinctive of all Cornish Engine house ruins. What it lacks in grandeur , it replaces with a strong Gothic profile; a profile that has emerged from its decay. Pearce’s hill slope location above the Seaton Valley make it a prominent landmark and its distinctive look arises from an unusual buttressed wall.
Pearce’s shaft is located uphill from Sump Shaft. It was sunk on main lode, but cross-cuts also gave access to other lodes to the north and south.
The pumps on this shaft were originally powered by flat-rods running uphill from the winding engine at Sump Shaft.
These rods were replaced by Pearce’s 50″ engine in 1870, relatively late in the mine’s life.
Reasons suggested for the distinctive buttressing are unstable ground, or the angle of the shaft. The shaft may have been sunk on the underlie from the surface, as opposed to the normal practice having a short vertical section before following the lode at an angle. Why this was does is not known, but it would have resulted in the engine house requiring additional support to oppose the forces pulling it down the sloping shaft.
The unusual buttresses are clearly visible on the north side supporting the collapsing bob wall, and the tallest remaining wall corner supports the chimney stump. The boiler house is on the western side and only foundations remain. More obvious is the reservoir pond, sited close uphill, which has a large retaining wall on its southern end.
Pearce’s Shaft on Google Earth
Pearce’s Shaft on the OS Online mapping
Some Book Searches on Amazon
If you fancy a quick browse around the Amazon store for some South Caradon Mine related books, then click on these links to try some pre-made searches. If you have a local independent bookshop that stocks local history books, then pop along and ask if they hold the titles on the shelves.