There has been pause in these South Caradon Posts, a pause with a good reason. I have been off with the St. Neot local history group and Digventures in another part of the moor, and in another era of its history. But now it is time to leave the Bronze age behind and return to the 19th Century.
The Birth Place of South Caradon Mine
This is the location from which the Clymo’s started their great enterprise. The level dug in from here hit the great wealth of copper that lay undiscovered under Caradon Hill.
The great copper wealth discovered
The adit was originally started by a miner called Ennor, backed by Devonport adventurers. He ceased exploration before the copper was found, and the lease changed hands several times before the Clymos restarted the prospecting in 1833.
Large exposures of Gozzan on the valley side led them to this area and according to Collins the Adit was started at a point adjacent to an outcrop of a lode exposed in the stream bed. Collins then goes on to explain…
“As they advanced into the deeper ground which the rapid rise of the hill gave them, the small patches of copper ore which at first discernible became larger and more numerous; the lode also began to increase in size, and to give strong indications of leading to a great body of copper ore.
These anticipation’s were fully verified as the development proceeded, but it was only by the exercise of the greatest determination , and the straining of their small resources to the uppermost, that the Clymos were enabled to hold on to the stake until the prize was won”
Hamilton Jenkin stated that these favourable indications started to occur at 50 fathoms in from the entrance.
The two adits of the South Caradon mine opened out onto the Seaton Valley floor. This was the lowest level at which water could be naturally drained out of the mine.
The Adit opened out onto the dressing floors today the adit is marked by a gated pipe installed by the Caradon Hill Project. No access exists through the adit to the underground workings. The approximate line of the lodes can be seen on the landscape through Sump and Pearce’s shafts.
1833 –The year in perspective
William IV was still King with the Whigs in power lead by Earl Grey (for whom the tea was made). This was a period of social change after the passing of first reform bill of 1832, the abolition of colonial slavery and the first factory act.
An era passed in Cornwall, with the death of Richard Trevithick, whose development of the steam engine had made deep mining in Cornwall possible. Another era was starting with the formation of the GWR, whose arrival in Cornwall in later years would open up the Duchy to the rest of the UK.
The geology of the Caradon mining district is depicted in this Victorian map by Brenton Symons, a map made available in Kindle format in “The Liskeard Mining District in 1863”.