Cobbled flooring at South Caradon Mine

South Caradon Dressing Sheds

Navsbooks>South Caradon Mine>Maps>Dressing Sheds

The dressing shed floors in 2018

Another one of the gaps in the South Caradon Mine’s views posts has been closed with this post. It has been slightly delayed in being published whilst I was distracted into pulling together all this series into a more cohesive resource. So if you are interested in finding more about South Caradon have a look at its updated index page, and use the ‘breadcrumb’ navigation at the top of each post to help find your way around. Meanwhile, its back to the views….

The Bal Maidens workplace

In front of  the main adit  can be seen the remains of one of the many  buildings that jostled for room on the flat space of the valley floor. Within this building  much of the processing of the copper ore would have been undertaken.

The role of the shed

Copper ore dressing was mainly a series of manual tasks requiring large numbers of people. The rock was broken down in size and the ore sorted the ore from the waste by hand.This hand processing was a feature of copper mining and was a result of the nature of copper ores which tended to break in a fine powder if crushed.

Click for information on the dressing process at South Caradon>

Click for a map of the dressing floor>

The dressing shed in 1880

A rare surviving example of dressing floors cobbled flooring

Cobbled flooring at South Caradon Mine

This is one of the gems of the South Caradon’s remains; a feature closely associated with copper ore dressing.

The flooring

On the valley floor below and down stream of the Yard can be seen some  cobbled flooring. These cobbles are the remains of the large main processing shed, of which some of the northern walls still remain.

Towards the Count House site another level of cobbled flooring exists. This coincides with the structure shown below. Possibly a sorting floor or where spalling was undertaken.


Webb and Geach Book CoverThe full 1880 photograph of the South Caradon Mine is re-produced in the ‘History and Progress of Mining in the Liskeard and Caradon Distict’, a paperback printed by the Trevithick Society.

Click here to find the book on Amazon>

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South Caradon Mine Counthouse in the 1880s

South Caradon Mine’s Count House

Navsbooks>South Caradon>Views>Count House

It’s back to exploring South Caradon’s views; filling in the gaps on the valley floor view.

The centre of the mine’s administration

Many Cornish Mines have left impressive Count houses, but not at South Caradon. Its derelict state possibly arising from its location deep within the dressing floors. This is not a location to be developed into a grand home, farmhouse or Nursing Home, it is a location where buildings  have been left to crumble.

The role of the count house

Mine count houses where normally imposing buildings, from which the mine was administered and the mine’s accounts kept. Traditionally, the bidding for work by the miners was carried out at the front of the  count houses, at the steps of the front door.

The remains of the count house

The area of South Caradon mine counthouse

On the terrace above the valley floor and down stream of the Yard is the sparse remains of the count house. In 1937 this stood to a substantial height but today only its foundations and a small pile if rubble remains. 

However , the nearby the count houses of West Caradon, East Caradon and Glasgow Caradon remain standing and in use as residences or hotels.

The Count House in the 19th  century

South Caradon Mine Counthouse in the 1880s

This photograph of the building shows it to be a rambling construction with several extensions added to its rear. The nearest corner appears to be of wood construction, and presumably the grand entrance is on the north side, hidden from the camera.

At that entrance the  miners would bid to take part in an auction (The setting) for work. This was an important part of the ‘Cornish system’ , the subject of the book described in my last post.


Second Hand Books

In addition to my own paperbacks and Kindle publications I sometimes also have a small selection of second hand books for sale, some on mining, some on railways, some on maritime and whenever possible some on maps. I say ‘sometimes’ because the listings are closed whenever I am more than a day away from the increasingly evasive post offices and their restricted opening hours.

Click here to see the current stock on Amazon>

If the shelves area empty try another day, when my travels may have brought me past a post office counter.