The Railway at South Caradon Mine 

ViewRail

The South Caradon Mine Website resurrection is still on-going, although the pace has slowed. Here is another of its railway themed posts, with a touch of light editing.

The South Caradon Mine provided the core traffic for the Looe and Caradon Railway (LCR)  for most of its history, and without the Railway the mine’s development would have been severely restricted. This interrelationship explains the presence of the LCR trackbed within the dressing floors of the mine. 1844 was the year that the LCR started transporting ore from South Caradon, seven years after the mine has started production.

The railway layout in the Seaton Valley

 

scrail

The unusual layout of the lines Within the Seaton valley came about from the historical development of the railways around Caradon Hill. The Original LCR line split at Polwrath depot, with one branch following the western slope of the valley up to the Granite quarries at Cheeswring via the Gonamena Incline. South Caradon Mine was served by the lower branch that ran to a siding at Valley floor level. 

In 1861 the line was extended around the Southern slopes of Caradon Hill to Tokenbury Corner, with the siding at South Caradon becoming a headshunt for trains using that branch. The layout changed again in 1877 with the opening of the Kilmar Junction Railway, which enabled trains to reach Cheeswring around the Eastern side of the Hill, and therefore bypassing the Gonamena incline.
This Plan is based on OS Maps 1882 (Copyright reserved),site visits, interprestions of the photographs in Messenger and notes within that book.

The Office

RailOffice

In the view above a small office is prominent beside the railway track at the head of the ore yard. The hut is dwarfed by the reveted piles of waste rock behind it and a lone worker appears to be busy with a shovel just outside its door. It has been assumed that the building was an office associated with the ore transport and was possibly owned by the LCR rather than the mine. CAU Minions survey.

The Office Today

viewHut

The remains of the office in 2001 as seen from the footpath. The foundations can be seen to the left of a patch of undergrowth with a line of fence post runnung infront. None of these fence post existed in the Victorian photograph, indicating that these originate from the period when the LCR remained open but the Mine was shut, and the headhunt remained in use to allow trains to reverse onto the Tokenbury branch.
Using the hut as a reference point it can quickly be seen how much material has been removed from the valley floor since South Caradon’s closure. The huge wall of rock had disappeared and undergrowth now grows over the ore floors

Tolls

The tolls in 1877 paid by the mines to LCR varied from 5s to 5s 9d per ton.(ref messenger pp 48)


For each wagon loaded the railway would collect about £1 10s and earn approximately 5s profit. South Cardon would therefore be paying tolls of just under £30 per week and adding to the railways profits by approximately £5 weekly.
Today these figures seem small, but to place them in perspective the amount of profit made on each wagon was roughly the same as the weekly wages paid to some of the mine’s surface worker at the time.

The wagons

RailWagons

The photograph above shows three wagons alongside the loading bank on the South Cardadon siding, The head shunt ran in front of these wagons and the ore yard can be seen behind. Dressed ore was probably delivered to the yard by the overhead tramway in the background.
The wagons shown are some of the stock bought in the early 1860’s when the line was converted to steam haulage. Smaller bottom discharging hopper wagons were used In the lines early history when the line terminated at Moorswater canal basin. These unloaded from overhead stages direct into the canal boats and only carried about 3 tons.

The wagons in the photograph were 6 ton capacity and to enable gravity working had screw brakes ( handles can be seen on the back right hand corners).These brakes enabled a guard to ride on a platform on the buffer to control the wagons descent down the gradient to Moorswater.

The Ore

Parcels of ore can be seen piled up behind the wagons. This ore had been dressed ready for sale to the Copper smelters who would bid for it by a system called ticketing. Copper Ore was normally concentrated ready for selling to the point where it contained about 6.5% metal.
the parcels would be sold by a system called ticketing. At certain dates the smelters agents sampled the ore parcels and made bids by placing tickets on them. The parcel would go to the smelter with the highest bidding ticket in on the parcel. From here the parcels would go down to loow where they would be stored on the quay ore yard to wait shipment by sea to the South Wales.

Some Traffic figures to give a sense of scale

Estimated weekley traffic In wagon loads:

  • Ore from South Caradon 16
  • Freight Carried on LCR 99
  • Maximum Ore from South Caradon 22
  • South Caradon ore as a percentage of LCR Freight tonnage 17%

Estimated weekly ore traffic In wagon loads from South Caradon, by decade:

  • 1840’s 12.69
  • 1850’s 12.05
  • 1860’s 18.58
  • 1870 ‘s 19.09
  • 1880’s 17.46

The above figures are based on Ore production figures published in Burt and LCR figures in Messenger with an assumed wagon size of 6 ton capacity. They only show the Copper ore traffic and do not indicate the return freight of coal,timber and machinery. Despite the limitations of the calculations they show that a couple wagons of ore a day must have left the siding for the quays at Looe, and also indicate that the mine gave provided a relatively consistent source of traffic right up to its closure.


The 1880 photograph from which the photograph on this page was taken is reproduced Webb and Geach Book Coverin full in the Trevithick Society’s re-print of  “History and Progress of Mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District”.

Webb  and  Geach  published  their  History  and  Progress  of  Mining  in  the Caradon  and  Liskeard  Districts  in  1862,  and  a  new  edition  was  issued  the following  year.  Although  predominantly  aimed  at  potential  investors,  it  is clear  that  the  authors  also  wished  to  put  on  record  the  history  of  the  area.  In consequence  their  book  is  an  invaluable  picture  of  the  Liskeard  and  Caradon area in those early boom times.

Click here to find the book on Amazon>

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The Terminus of the Tramway at Kitto's Shaft

The South Caradon Mine Tramway to Kitto’s Shaft

After a pause whilst another project takes priority (more of that in a later post) this blog resumes in reclaiming and updating the old ‘South Caradon mine’ website. It continues with the theme of tramways and railways.

 

The Terminus of the Tramway at Kitto's ShaftLinking the hugely productive Kitto’s Shaft with the South Caradon Mine’s dressing floors was a tramway, a tramway that carried the massive amounts of ore the mine pulled out of the ground from the rich Caunter Lode.

This tramway ran from near the sett’s eastern boundary at Kitto’s Shaft, around the southern slope of Caradon Hill, to a terminus near the yard above the dressing floors. It passed through a tunnel at Holman’s Shaft but did not appear to have  branches to any other shafts. The tramway ran parallel and slightly higher than  the mines main east to west cart track.

Operation of the tramway

It assumed that the tramway was horsedrawn but a lone chimney (seen in the above photograph) has been suggested by some authors to have served stationary haulage engine for the tramway. This theory is unlikely due to the chimney’s location, and the likelihood that it was located at a now lost shaft used for hauling.
Assuming the wagons to hold two tons of ore each, about ten wagons a day would have trundled along the route when the mine was operating at its peak production.

The Tramway Route

Map of the South Caradon mine tramway terminus in the Seaton Valley

This map shows the route of the tramway as it rounded the corner of the hill into the Seaton Valley. The parallel lines of tracks, tramline and leats all squeeze under the slopes of the mine waste tips.These can be seen in the photograph below as they run behind the stamp engine. Messenger interprets the rear parallel line as being a raised launder. The OS map confirms that a leat ran along this alignment to Donkey Pond. The reveted route below this is probably that of the Tramway on a descent to the Yard.

The Eastern TerminusOS 1880 map of Kittow's Shaft South Caradon Mine

The tramway ends at Kitto’s Shaft in a trench between two waste dumps. Another tramway, at a higher level, links this to the shaft. The 1880 Os map shows this layout (note the incorrect spelling of the shaft) .

The dressing floor terminus

Once at the terminus the track track appears to turn to the west to an unloading siding above the dressing shed. How this is achieved with the gradient that existed beside the Drys is not clear. However, close inspection of the Victorian photograph does not reveal a possible raised track bed supported by trestles or a simple ore slide that allowed the ore to fall.by gravity down to the lower level.

PhototramTips


wpid-wp-1435842521499.jpegThe Liskeard Mining District in 1863

This Kindle Publication contains a map of the mine clearly showing the tramway route.

Click here to view on Amazon>

The Tramways on the South Caradon Mine Dressing Floor

Navsbooks>South Caradon Mine>Dressing floor Tramway layout

The resurrection of the old South Caradon Mine Website  has now reached the stage of digging in and pulling out the transport related pages. It starts off with the network of rails that ran around the bottom of the Seaton Valley to serve the dressing floors.

Transportation of ore around the various processes on the dressing floors required a tramway network that running on different levels along bridges, trestles and embankments.DSCF7228SouthCaradonFloors

Its exact layout is open to some speculation with the tracks shown on the 1882 OS map not fully coinciding with the evidence from the one existing Victorian picture.

The Picture below is a  detail from this picture and it is fully reproduced in Webb and Geach. Detail within this view gives some fascinating clues to the operation and construction of the tramway and yet also leaves some question unanswered.

phototramway

Within the photograph one of the mines trucks can be seen sat on a raised track above piles of dressed ore.

An interpretation

The map below an interpretation of the possible track layout based on the following evidence:

  • 1st and 2nd series OS 6″ maps
  • 1880’s photograph
  • Earl: Ore Dressing
  • Maps in CAU, Shambrock, Brown

This layout supports the suggested layout and material flow given on the dressing floor page. The radius of the curves visible in the picture do not coincide well with those in the OS map and it is not clear how the wagons were moved around on the raised walkway.

If anyone on closer inspection of the maps and photograph have alternative suggestions please email me and I will include them in the web site.dftram

Process

1 Ore is delivered from Kitto’s and Holman’s shafts for sorting, ragging, spalling and cobbing in the dressing shed area.

2 Cobbed ore is taken from the dressing shed area up to the crusher for Bucking.

3 After bucking it runs down to the upper valley floor for Jigging

4 The jigged ore sent down the valley.

5 Dressed ore tipped into parcels for sale and shipment by LCR

6 Ore requiring further dressing is trammed back up to the stamps for crushing

7 Crushed Ore is transported to Halven floors by launder in suspension.


Webb and Geach Reprinted

The 1880 photograph from which the photograph on this page was taken is reproduced Webb and Geach Book Coverin full in the Trevithick Society’s re-print of  “History and Progress of Mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District”.

Webb  and  Geach  published  their  History  and  Progress  of  Mining  in  the Caradon  and  Liskeard  Districts  in  1862,  and  a  new  edition  was  issued  the following  year.  Although  predominantly  aimed  at  potential  investors,  it  is clear  that  the  authors  also  wished  to  put  on  record  the  history  of  the  area.  In consequence  their  book  is  an  invaluable  picture  of  the  Liskeard  and  Caradon area in those early boom times.

Click here to find the book on Amazon>

The Names at South Caradon Mine

Navsbooks>South Caradon Mine>The Names

Who owned and ran South Caradon Mine?

Now that the talk at Luckett is over this post returns to the task of resurrecting more of the South Caradon Mine web pages. Now doubt the mines of Luckett will be the topic of later posts but in the meantime here is a summary of some of the characters at South Caradon.

The owners

The Clymo Brothers and Thomas Kittow became wealthy as a result of  South Caradon. They re-invested much of the profits into other ventures in the Liskeard area, including the lead mines of Menheniot.

Peter ClymoPeter Clymo's grave at Liskeard

The 1851 Census showed Peter was born in Camborne and was married to Mary who was born in Devonport. They lived in Dean House Liskeard with two servants.

Peter Clymo remained Captain until forced to resign from ill health in 1869 after Overseeing thirty six years of production.In addition to his business interests he had been mayor of Liskeard three times and a JP

Peter became died in 1870 aged 69 after spending three years bed bound.

At his funeral 600 miners lead the cortege and over 1000 spectators looked on. A symbol of the impact the practical skills and vision of the South Caradon adventurers had made to South East Cornwall.

James ClymoJames Clymo's Grave

Brother of Peter. He worked underground until 23 obtaining a large amount of practical knowledge that proved of great value in the running of the mine. He died earlier than his brother in 1849.

The Clymo’s father worked at Fowey Consols and a cousin James Budge Clymo emigrated to manage Molong Mining Company New South Wales.

Tom Kittow

A farmer from Browda in Linkinhorne Parish. Thomas Kittow was secretary of the mine until 1875, over 40 years! He was born 1788 at Trewen and died 31st December 1886 at Browda on his own estate aged a 100. Thomas farmed at Browda and Linkinhorne and never married. 

The landowner-The Mineral Lord

Reverend Norris

This was perhaps the luckiest of all those involved in the mine. For no risk, no investment and no skill the landowner saw his previous rough grazing land turn into a huge source of income. By 1863 alone he had been paid up to £43,000 in dues.

The engineer

William West

wpid-screenshot_2015-08-21-17-43-45.png

The famous Cornish engineer was involved in the mine from its creation to his death.

Click here for more information about William West>

Click her for a biography on William West>

 

The Management Teams

The managers-The Mine Captains

  • Peter Clymo
  • William Rule
  • John Holman

The Chief Agents-The Supervisors

  • William Rule
  • John Pearce
  • John Holman
  • W. Wills
  • William Tyacke
  • James Dymond
  • William Clogg
  • Fred Waddleton
  • William George
  • George Seccombe

Just as in other Cornish mines many of these names are now part of the landscape. Their names have been given to the shafts that now lie un-used and choked. The buildings of Rule’s, Pearce’s and Holman’s shaft

The secretaries and pursers-The account keepers

  • Thomas Kitto
  • J. Dymond
  • William Rule

 

Fatalities at the mine

A few of the many Cornish mine deaths

Jane Husband

“On Tuesday last, a young women called  Jane
Husband, about 17 years of age, went to work at this mine a little late in the morning. To escape being seen by the captain dresser, she went into the jigging house instead of going into the tool house, and by some means got her dress caught in the jigging machine, by which she was crushed to death. It is remarkable that there was not a single bone broken.”

28 Feb 1862
West Briton Newspaper

John Oliver

“On Saturday morning at South Caradon mine, a number of men were engaged in putting in a flywheel, when John Oliver, of Tremar Coombe, St. Cleer, slipped his foot and was caught in the wheel. He was taken round, both his legs were broken, and he was placed under medical treatment, but he died almost as soon as he reached his own door. He leaves a wife and eight children. Whilst the unfortunate man was being conveyed home, the people conveying him were observed by a young married women, who, thinking the deceased might be her own husband, also a miner, gave premature birth, in her fright, to a child, still born. The mother was seized with fits and died shortly after.”

1st December 1870
West Briton Newspaper

Luckett and New Consols

Next Saturday I will be giving a talk at Luckett, a village oozing in Cornish Mining Heritage, so it seems appropriate to re-publish some of the content of my Tamar Valley in 1848 CD-ROM. So here it is, the page about Great Huel Martha, a mine now better known as New Consols, and a mine with William West Connections.

Great Huel Martha

Great Huel Martha Map 1848

This long sett dominates the landscape of Luckett. It worked complex lodes and was operated by a series of companies right up to the 1950’s. All these companies struggled to treat the difficult ores and all struggled to make a profit. Although one mine is shown on the map, the sett was often worked by two separate companies and frequent changes of ownership have left a confusing series of mine names.

The easterly section was first worked as Wheal Martha in 1836, but little was done as a result of the lode being hard to work. In 1844 the mine reopened under the title of Great Wheal Martha as shown on the map, in an attempt to find tin beneath the shallow copper deposits. This re-opening was also influenced by the success of Devon Great Consols and the possibility that the rich lode of that mine passed into this sett. The old engine shaft was sunk to the 80 fathoms and the new shaft to the 40. During this period a Sims compound engine was in use at Phillip’s Shaft. This engine had a 60″ and a 32″ cylinder mounted vertically over the shaft, it was installed in 1845 and built by William West in his St. Blazey foundry. The mine also had installed three water wheels, two of which are shown on Symons’s map. This working ceased in 1848, a closure that was forced by the financial crisis of 1848. The Sims compound was advertised for sale in 1848 and was eventually moved to Comblawn Mine near Callington.

Extract of 1848 map with New Consols overlay

In 1850 the mine reorganized and then went through many name changes. In 1861 it became New Wheal Martha and in 1867 New Great Consols, a name which later became shortened to New Consols. Work continued until 1879, but the machinery remained on site for 60 years. A modern attempt at reworking occurred in 1946 with a new mill installed in 1949 with American capital. The mine finally closed in 1954 after spending the last two years treating ores from other mines in the area.

The western part of the sett was worked at times as a separate mine. In 1843 it was known as Trehill Mine. Between 1854 and 1858 copper was raised under the name of Great Wheal Sheba (or Great Sheba Consols) but by 1860 it had reverted to its old name of Trehill Mine. Between 1863 and 1867 it operated as West Wheal Martha and then became amalgamated with the adjacent mines to form New Great Consols. This part of the mine was also associated with Kellyhole Mine, the shaft of which lay on the North side of the stream. Broadgate Mine was another working that became amalgamated into New Great Consols. It was at work in 1764 and 1805 and was located between Wheal Sheba and Wheal Martha

“TWO WATER WHEELS, one 40 feet in diameter, 4 feet breast, and one 30 feet diameter , 3 feet breast , both having Cast Iron Rings, Sockets and Cylinder ends, and in excellent condition.

ALSO, A VERY POWERFUL STEAM ENGINE (nearly new,) on the combined principle of Messrs. Harvey & Co., from the drawings of Mr William West , with 60 and 32 inch cylinder , equal to 141 Horse power, with a Boiler 9 tons.”

From notice of sale October 26th Devonport Journal 1848.

Production

Production by mine

New Consols Prodution by mine

This graph illustrates the relative output of the mines between 1884 and 1913. New Martha was the most successful of the workings prior to the formation of New Great Consols. New Consols differed from the previous operations by producing a wide range of ores. This was made possible by the installation of large processing floors required to treat the complex ore.
The most successful part of the western part of the sett was Great Sheba Consols between 1854-1863

Production by ore type

New Consols production by ore type
This graph shows the value of the ores sold from the sett. Although tin forms a major proportion of the sales, it was only produced in the latter part of the sett’s history by New Consols.

Production by year

Production by year

This graph shows the production value of the whole sett on a yearly basis from 1845 to 1913. The fall in production after 1864 coincided with the collapse in copper prices that destroyed the copper mining industry in from 1866 onwards. The peak occurring in the early 1870’s was from the output of New Consols, with it sales of copper, tin and arsenic.


The map extracts shown on this page are from Robert Symon’s map of the Tavistock

Extract of Brenton Symons' 1863 map showing South Caradon Mine
South Caradon Sett as shown by Brenton Symons in 1862

mining district. A copy of a similar map published by his son is available in Kindle format as part of the Liskeard Mining District in 1863 book.

Click here for information about that publication>

Some Cornish Mining Terms

My talk at Luckett next month will be rich in Cornish Mining terms, and so it seems like a good idea to create a quick reference for those attending to look through after the evening. So here is a collection of words that I will be explaining on the evening, in the rough order that they will appear.

A collection of some Cornish Mining words and terms

The Name

Wheal, Whele, Whild, Huel
A prefix to most Cornish mine name’s.
The word was a corruption of word huel which means hole, a mine pit.  Sometimes Wheal was used inside of a mines name, rather than as a prefix, such as in “South Caradon Wheal Hooper”.

Bal
An old term for a mine.
The name was derived from Cornish ‘Pal’, the word for a shovel, and hence ‘a digging’, a mine.In its earliest usage it referred to a group of small shallow, or surface tin works.

Consols
A shortened form of the word ‘Consolidated’.
This suffix was originally used where a number of mines were brought together and worked under a common management, but it was a word that became misused to inspire confidence in unwary investors. Consolidated Mine at Gwennap and Devon Great Consols are the two most successful mines to include this word in their names.

The Ground

Sett, Set
The legal boundary within which a mine could extract minerals.

Extract of Brenton Symons' 1863 map showing South Caradon Mine
South Caradon Sett as shown by Brenton Symons in 1863

The normal period of granting a sett was 21 years.

Mineral Lord
The owner of the mineral rights, this was not necessarily the landowner.

Royalty, Dish, Dues
The mineral lord’s portion of the produce.
The dish was a portion of the value of ore produced at a mine which was paid to the mineral owner. In deep-expensive to operate mines, the dues did not often exceed 15th, whilst in newer mines it may be a 10th or even a 8th. The payment was based on gross produce, that is before expenses, and therefore could act as a discouragement for the development of mines. The lords had little to loose, but much to gain the wealth underground.

The Country

Killas
A sedimentary clay-slate rock.
Killas is a Cornish miner’s term for sedimentary rock, often metamorphosed by the granite intrusion,

Elvan
An intrusive quartz porphyry rock, or an intrusion of that rock.
Elvan is a very hard rock that can add greatly to the cost of driving levels and sinking shafts. Its hardness made it a sought after building material.

Lode
A crack in the rock filled with minerals, from which the miners extracted the ore.

Lode
A lode in the ‘End’ of a Cornish mine

Lodes were normally vertical, or near-vertical; often extending for considerable distances. In other parts of Britain, they are known as a veins or seams.

Strike of a lode
The bearing of a lode.
The strike is the horizontal direction of a lode, given as a compass bearing.

Dip, Underlie
The angle of slope of a ;ode.
The underlie is the angle measured from the vertical, whilst the dip is the angle measured from the surface. A shaft following the lode was said to be underlie shaft.

The shareholders

Adventurers
The shareholders of a mine.

Out-adventurer
A mine’s shareholder who did not hold shares just to enable them to supply it with goods or services.

Bal-Selling, Share-jobbing
The selling of mine shares for speculative purposes.
Mines were often formed and promoted to make profits from the shares, rather then the minerals.

Financing the mine

Cost book system
A method of conducting the finances of a Cornish mine.
It was a simple system that had served the industry well for hundreds of years, but had limitations when used for the large capital hungry concerns of the 19th Century. Under the cost book system, adventurers put money into a new venture by buying shares, and then at periodic meetings it would be decided whether they would have to pay a call to provide more money to continue running the mine, or receive a dividend.

Cost book Companies could only raise money from its adventurers or from the sale of ore, the reserves of ore underground therefore had to act as its ‘bank’ and skillful management of reserves would be required for long term success. Development work had to be conducted alongside the extraction of ore to ensure new ore would be available in the future when needed.

One drawback of the system was that investors would become impatient if they had a long wait for dividends, and would refuse to make more calls. The mine would then run short of capital, and close before making a profit. Sometimes a new company would be formed to keep development going, or the mine went into liquidation, selling off its equipment. This explains the frequent starts and stops in Cornish mining history, and how unscrupulous companies could operate.

Cost book
The book containing the names and addresses of all adventures of a mine, along with all share transfers and expenses.

Progressive mine
A mine in operation, but not paying dividends.
Such a mine may be making calls on its adventures.

Call
A demand on the adventures to pay their share of costs.

The Workers

Tribute
A system of payment in which groups of miners bid for contracts to work sections of the mine for a percentage of the value of the ore raised.
It was given at so much in a pound, that is a sum per 20 shillings of ore raised. Normally from 3 to 15 shillings in a pound. The tributers account was charged with tools, materials, subsist and the wages of the ore dressers. The payment is based on the amount paid for the ore by the smelters at the sale.

Tributer
A miner whose pay was a proportion of the ore, or of the value of the ore raised.

Tribute pitches
The portions of a lode set to pares of tributors.

Takers
Those who took up a pitch on tribute

Take an end
To agree to drive an adit or level for so much per fathom.

Tutwork
Work in which a miner earned an amount in proportion to the work completed.
Tutwork was work done by measure, such as sinking shafts, driving levels or stopeing ground. These would be paid by fathoms sunk, fathoms driven, or cubic fathom. Each lot was called a bargain.

The Employment System

Captains
Experienced miners who supervised operations at a mine.
There were underground captains, surface captains, and dressing captains. The head captain was the manager.

Setting
A public auction of the work at a mine.
Setting generally took place every two months. It was held in the open air before the counthouse of the mine which normally had an elevated stage for the captains to stand on. The auction was normally started about the middle of the day, and conducted on a high to low basis. Bidding was closed by a pebble being thrown into air, when it hit the ground the bidding was closed. A reserve price may be set by the captain to prevent collusion amongst the miners to keep the prices high.

Survey
The action at a setting.

General article
A set of rules governing every contract made during a setting.
This was read out before the setting started.

Count house, Account house, Counthouse

South Caradon Mine Counthouse in the 1880s
South Caradon Mine Counthouse


The mine office.
This was a commonly used shortened version of the proper name, ‘Account house’.

Often a counthouses was used as a dwelling, and provided a venue for adventurers dinners. Smaller mines sometimes used shanty-type count houses suitable for moving from site to site.

Stope
An excavated area produced during the extraction of ore-bearing rock.

A disused Stope in a Cornish Mine
A Stope

Stopes are the most impressive of underground features, the larger ones form massive man-made caverns. Where open to the surface, they form gunnis or coffens.

Stoper
A miner who extracted the ore in a stope.

Overhand
A method of stoping by removing ore from the roof.

Underhand stoping
A method of stoping by working below a level.

Levels
A horizontal tunnel in a mine not extending to the open air.
Levels were driven on lodes, usually at a depth spacing of 10 fathoms.

End
The end of a level, or cross-cut.

Prilling the sample
A clandestine addition of a rich mineral to the sample submitted to the assayer.
Prilling would give a tributer a higher payment for his ore then he would have been entitled.

Selling the Ore

Ticketing
The weekly sale of ore by tender.
The mine agents met around a table at 12 o’clock. Each buyer gave in his ticket offering price per ton. The tickets were read by the chairman, who was the agent having the largest quantity of ore for sale, and the persons present note the prices. The lots were sold to the highest bidder. After the sales the attendees dine together at the expense of their mine. Ticketing was originally used for copper sales, but some ticketings also occurred for tin sales.

Doles of copper ore at South Caradon Mine
Doles of Copper ore at South Caradon Mine

Doles
Piles of crushed ore, laid out ready for sampling.
Doles were usualy about two three feet high, with flat tops. Six doles make up a parcel of ore for sale. Buyer’s agents took a sample from a dole for assaying before the ticketing.


wp-1453408124105.jpegThe map shown in this post is part of Brenton Symons’s map of the Liskeard Mining District.  The full map is reproduced in Kindle format in “The Liskeard Mining District in 1863”.

Click here to view on Amazon>

A glimpse into the workings of Cornish Mining Companies- A talk for November

Hope, Luck and a Sprinkling of Underhand Dealings

A talk for the East Cornwall Mining History Association at Luckett

A brief pause in the posts this week to promote my talk for the ECMHA at Luckett village, a village rich in miming history and heritage. 

Luckett Talk Poster

On the 24th of November 2018  I will be giving a talk   on the dealings that went on behind the scenes of 18th Century Cornish mines. An evening that will bring to life many of the words and phrases that fill the pages of newspapers and mine reports of the day, and a talk that will throw some light of what was called the “Cornish System” .  Some come along and enjoy an evening of Tributes and Tuts, Wheals and Winzes.  This is local history with great a plot line!

Click here for the ECMHA website>

The Talk

Some of the talk will be based on my latest publication  “On the Economy of the Mines of Cornwall and Devon 1814 (Annotated): The Cornish System described” , some of it on my other publications, some of it on publications to come, and some of it on the research behind the posts on this blog.

JT cover Front

Click here to see Kindle Edition on Amazon>
Click here for the Paperback Edition on Amazon>

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books on the night

For those looking for a Christmas present then I will have on sale my range of Cornish Mining paperbacks on the night, and for the younger readers Cheryl will have her range of Cornish Legend themed storybooks.