Category Archives: Caradon Mines

South Caradon Mine by Wilkie Collins

Another piece of writing from a Victorian author, this time from Wilkie Collins.

Ramble Beyond Railways

1851

“soon the scene presented another abrupt and extraordinary change. We had been walking hitherto amid almost invariable silence and solitude; but now with each succeeding minute, strange mingled, unintermitting noises began to grow louder and louder around us. We followed a sharp curve in the tramway, and immediately found  ourselves saluted by an entirely new prospect, and surrounded by an utterly bewildering noise. All around us monstrous wheels turned slowly; machinery was clanking and groaning in the hoarsest discords; invisible waters were pouring onwards with a rushing sound; high above our heads , on skeleton platforms, iron chains clattered fast and fiercely over iron pulleys, and huge steam pumps puffed and gasped, and slowly raised their heavy black beams of wood. Far beneath the embankment on which we stood, men women and children were breaking and washing ore in a perfect marsh of copper coloured mud and copper coloured water. We had penetrated to the very centre of the noise, the bustle and the population on the surface of a great mine”

Wilkie Collins

A portrait of Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins was a best selling  Victorian novelist, and therefore understandably, this account is more descriptive than factual. It forms an evocative image of the mine in its heyday, an image far more atmospheric then any photograph could. 

Ramble beyond Railways contains some other fascinating snapshots of Victorian Cornwall, including a non-too flattering account of a pub in Liskeard. It is a rich travelogue that is well worth a read.

‘The Moonstone ‘ by the author is regarded as the first detective novel, and created the format followed by Conan Doyel in his Sherlock Holmes books. Despite of this accolade, I consider that Rambles is a fare better book, but  being non-fiction it did not gain the recognition it deserved.

Click here for a Wilkie Collins biography website>
Wilkie Collins on Amazon

South Caradon Mine in 1851

In 1851 the mine produced 2,818 tons of ore along with 296 tons of metallic copper. This was a production which earned the mine an income of £20,208. 

South Caradon was still growing; the amount of ore raised and income would triple in the years that followed.  

Pearce's engine house at South Caradon Mine

The View of South Caradon is to return

Writing this post has stirred me into finally getting around to resurrecting some of the material lost when Geocities closed many years ago. This blog will now spend some time bringing that website back to life, and up to date.

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Webb and Geach explored- The miscellaneous mines

A wander through the ‘History and Progress of Mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District’

CaradonCopperPan

That is the final post covering the mines within the miscellaneous section of Webb and Geach’s book  completed. So before this blog leaves the topic for some William West related topics here is an index of the posts.

These posts explores some of the smaller mines described within Webb and Geach’s  book of the Liskeard mining district in east Cornwall. This 1863 publication is currently available in paperback from the Trevthick Society, ISBN 978 0904040 88 3.wpid-wp-1441052784407.png

Each of the posts explores the mine sites through maps available on the internet, so by following the links a virtual exploration of the locations can be undertaken. The mines covered are all listed in the section titled ‘Miscellaneous’ within the book ( pages 98-102). In describing these mines Webb and Geach state-

“Several lodes in various parts of this district have been formerly worked, mostly for tin, but are now abandoned, many of them for long periods.”

Predictably, many of this mines have little or no evidence on maps, even by the 1880’s little remained on the Ordnance Survey maps. Tantalising traces do remain however, of some of these unsuccessful attempts to mine in the area around Caradon Hill.

Brwestcraddockmoorsymonsenton Symons’ map of 1863 contains evidence of many of these mines, and a copy of that amazing Victorian Cartography forms part of ‘The Liskeard Mining District in 1863‘ publication.

Its been great fun exploring these little known Cornish mines through the screen of my Kindle Fire. But William West of Tredenham, The Last Great Cornish Engineer is again requiring some fresh research. So this blog will be leaving Webb and Geach for a while, but will return in the future to look at some of the more successful mines of the Liskeard District.

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Dunsley Wheal Phoenix- Webb and Geach explored

Here is the last post in this series of exploring mines described by Webb and Geach within the ‘miscellaneous mines’ section.  Dunsley Wheal Phoenix’s description is on page 101 of the Trevithick Society’s reprint of The History and Progress of mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District.

Dunsley Wheal Phoenix is located beside the Upton Cross to Minions road on Bodmin Moor. This was one of the few mines described within the miscellaneous chapter that has left clear evidence on the maps available free on the internet.

OS 1883

Cornwall XXVIII.NW (includes: Linkinhorne; St Cleer.)
Surveyed: 1881 to 1882, Published: 1883

dunsleyos1882

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland website> Click here for map

OS Map 2016

dunsleyos2016

Click here to view the current OS map>

dunsleyosair2016

Click here for OS aerial view> 

Google 2016

dunsleygoogle2016

Click here for current Google map>

Google street view

Cornwall Council

dunsleycornwall2016

PRN : 0
MINE NAME : Dunsley Wheal Phoenix
HOUSE NAME : –
SITE TYPE : ENGINE HOUSE
FORM : EXTANT
DATE : –
START DATE :
END DATE :
PERIOD :
SM NO. :
SM PRN :
SURVIVAL : <50% SURVIVAL
CONDITION : N/A
SOURCE : 1880 1ST EDITION OS
WHS AREA : Caradon Mining District
WHS AREA ID : A9
Click here for Cornwall Council interactive map>

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West Phoenix Mine- Webb and Geach explored

This series of blog post is nearing the end of  exploring the small ‘miscellaneous’ mines in Webb and Geach.  Its description can be found on page 101 of the Trevithick Society reprint of the book.  West Phoenix is the first mine within the miscellaneous section that has left obvious evidence of modern maps, so enjoy exploring.

Ordnance Survey

Surveyed: 1881 to 1882 Published: 1883, Cornwall XXVIII.NW

westphoenixos1883

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.

Click here for Map>

Ordnance Survey 2016

westphoenixos2016

Click here for Map>

Google Maps 2016

westphoenixgoogle2016

Click here for map>

Cornwall Council interactive map

westphoenixcornwallc

Reference : MCO12775
Name : WEST PHOENIX – Post Medieval mine
Monument type : MINE
Period : Post Medieval
Form : EXTANT STRUCTURE
Summary : The mine worked for tin between 1872 and 1875, and for copper from 1877-1886. It was amalgamated with Phoenix United in 1886 and was closed in 1889. The buildings were demolished as a military exercise in the 1950’s
Link to further information : http://www.heritageg… 

Click here for map>

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Webb and Geach Explored-West Craddock Moor Mine

West Craddock Moor Mine on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall

This is a post in the series exploring the Webb and Geach’s book ‘History and progress of mining in the Liskeard and Caradon district‘ through maps available on the internet. West Craddock Moor is one of the small mines listed in the miscellaneous section of the book (page 100). These mines by their nature have left little or no trace, and despite much peering I can find no evidence of this one on any of the maps apart from Brenton Symons‘.

 

Cornwall XXVIII.NW (includes: Linkinhorne; St Cleer.) Surveyed: 1881 to 1882
Published: 1883

os1883westcraddockmoor

Produced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Click Here for OS 1883 Map on the Library’s excellent website>

Brenton Symons

westcraddockmoorsymons

Extract from Brenton Symons’ 1863 map

OS 2016

westcraddockmooros2016

Click here for map>

Google Earth 2016

westcradockmoorgoogle2016

Current Google Earth Map

Cornwall Council interactive map

westcraddockmoorcau2016Reference : MCO38680
Name : WEST CRADDOCK MOOR – Post Medieval mine
Monument type : MINE
Period : Post Medieval
Form : EXTANT STRUCTURE

Click here for map>

 

 

Click here for Heritage Gateway information>


For Webb and Geach and other John Manley’s books-click here>

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East Penhargate Mine

The next of the small ‘miscellaneous; mines described by Webb and Geach had no evidence of its existence, apart from a sett name, on Brenton Symons’ map. The trace of a possible shaft and tip/adit can be seen on the OS 1883 map in the location shown on the Cornwall interactive map.  

 “…there is as yet nothing of moment doing, the company not being quite formed” Webb and Geach page 100

OS 1883

Cornwall XXVIII.NE (includes: Linkinhorne; South Hill; St Ive.)Surveyed: 1881 to 1882
Published: 1883

eastpennhargare1880is

Produced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Click  here for the map on the Library’s excellent website>

OS 2016

east-penhargate-os-2016

To view the current map on the OS website click here>

 

Google Maps

epenhargategoogle

Click here to explore the map>

There may be a small patch of undergrowth in the possible location of the tip/adit.  Also, a  circular, slightly discolored  patch of grass in the field may indicate the shaft position.

Cornwall Council

east-penhargate-cau-2016

Click here for interactive map>

Note this map also lists  a Penhargate Wood mine at this location.

“PRN (CORNWALL) : 0
SITE NAME : EAST PENHARGET MINE
SITE TYPE : MINE
FORM :
EPOCH :
PERIOD :
MRO INDEX : 1
SOURCE : CC-A11

Reference : MCO12397
Name : PENHARGET WOOD – Post Medieval mine
Monument type : MINE
Period : Post Medieval
Form : EXTANT STRUCTURE
Summary : Four shafts, the remains of a building, a spoil tip and a circular earth bank (possibly a whim) are visible on air photographs”

Click here for Heritage Gateway Entry>

 

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Webb and Geach Explored-Wheal Venton

There has been a bit of a pause in these posts whilst I have been tying up some loose ends with some work across on my other blog- NAVREGS.  I have just published a new book in my Really Handy text book range, and have been beavering away on some posts on ship certification. But now there is a chance to resume the series on Liskeard mines.  This is another small mine in the Meneheniot area, and this one is on page 99 of Webb and Geach.

“This, as well as Butterdon Mine is situated in the killas lead bearing district. There is only one lead lode discovered here. A 50-inch engine was erected, and some tons of silver-lead returned from a shallow level (the 40), but after some years’ trial the mine was suspended. ..” Webb and Geach

 

Ordnance Survey

Cornwall XXXVI.NE (includes: Menheniot; Quethiock; St Ive.) Surveyed: 1882 Published: 1888

venlandos1888

Produced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Click  here for the map on the Library’s excellent website>

Ordnance Survey 2016

ventonos2016

To view the current map on the OS website click here>

Google Mapsventongoogle2016

Click here to explore the map

 

 

 

 

Cornwall Council

cornwall-venton

PRN (CORNWALL) : 42636
SITE NAME : WHEAL VENTON
SITE TYPE : MINE
FORM : EXTANT
EPOCH : Post-Medieval
PERIOD : 19

Click here for interactive map>

Brenton Symons’ 1863 Map

Click here for more information about this map>

venton

This map clearly shows the mine in a different position than on the Cornwall interactive map. That map places Wheal Venton on the line of Butterdon mine’s adit air shafts.


 

For Webb and Geach and other John Manley’s books-click here>

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Webb and Geach explored-Wheal St. Cleer

Page 99 of Trevithick Society’s reprint of Webb and Geach’s book ‘The history and progress of mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District’ ,  is the starting point for this post, a virtual exploration of  Wheal St. Cleer.; an unsuccessful mine near Commommoor, on Bodmin Moor. 

“The former lode was worked for a long time since and an engine erected; it had received however, a very inadequate trial at the time of its suspension. With an outlay sufficient to carry the mine to a proper depth, probably a good result would follow, as there is no lode in the district that is better defined at the surface” Webb and Geach

 

Ordnance Survey

Cornwall XXVIII.SW  Surveyed: 1881 to 1882 Published: 1886

 

WhealStCleerOS1886

Produced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Click here for the Map on Library of Scotland website>

Current OS map

WhealStCleerOS2016To see the current OS map click here>

 

 

 

 

Google Maps

WhealStCleerGoogle2016Click here to explore the map>

 

Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council interactive map

Reference : MCO13138WhealStCleerCAUMap
Name : WHEAL ST CLEER – Post Medieval mine
Monument type : MINE
Period : Post Medieval
Form : DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
Summary : The remains of a shaft and spoilheap are visible on air photos

 

Click here for Heritage gateway entry


wpid-wp-1441052784407.pngwp-1453408124105.jpeg

 

For Webb and Geach and other John Manley’s books-click here>

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Webb and Geach Explored-Caradon Copper Mine

CaradonCopperPan

Caradon Copper Mine seen from the footpath in 2005

Page 99 of Trevithick Society’s reprint of Webb and Geach’s book ‘The history and progress of mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District’ ,  provides the starting point for this post, a virtual exploration of the Caradon Copper Mine.

Caradon Copper Mine

“To work these an engine was erected with all necessary buildings; but though the shaft was sunk to a good depth; and the mine worked for some years, a corresponding success was not met with, and they eventually sold the machinery and abandoned the concern.” Webb and Geach

Ordnance Survey Cornwall XXVIII.SW Surveyed: 1881 to 1882 Published: 1886

CaradonCopper1882

Produced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Click here for the Map on Library of Scotland website>

Current OS map

CaradonCopperOS2016To see the location on a current OS map click here>

 

 

 

Google Maps

CaradonCopperGoogle2016Click here to explore the map>

 

 

 

 

Google Street View

Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council interactive map>

CaradonCopperCornwallReference : MCO11918
Name : CARADON – Post Medieval mine
Monument type : MINE
Period : Post Medieval
Form : EXTANT STRUCTURE
Summary : Caradon copper mine commenced work in 1844, was renamed Trethevy Copper Mine in 1849 and was disused by 1863


wpid-wp-1441052784407.pngFor Webb and Geach and other John Manley’s books-click here>

 

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WEBB & GEACH EXPLORED-Liskeard Consols

This virtual journey of exploration based on Webb and Geach’s book ‘The history and progress of mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District’ ,  continues with another of the small mines described in the Trevithick Society’s reprint of the Victorian publication. This post covers the first of the mines described on page 99. 

Liskeard Consols

“…a mine situate a little south of the patch of greenstone forming St. Cleer Downs, was worked a few years since by a Liskeard Company, but after an incomplete trial it was abandoned.” Webb and Geach

Cornwall XXXVI.NW (includes: Liskeard Borough; Menheniot; St Cleer.) Surveyed: 1881 to 1882, Published: 1887

LiskeardConsols OS 1887

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Click here for the Map on Library of Scotland website>

Current OS map

LiskeardConsols OS 2016

To see the location on a current OS map click here>

 

 

 

Google Maps

Click here to explore the map>

LiskeardConsolsGoogle2016

Google Street view

Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council interactive map>

LiskeardConsolsCornwallReference : MCO56307
Name : LISKEARD CONSOLS – C19 mine
Monument type : BLACKSMITHS WORKSHOP, MINE, MINERS CHANGING HOUSE?
Period : Post Medieval
Form : DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE, EARTHWORK, EXTANT BUILDING
Summary : Liskeard Consols was worked between 1841 and 1844. All that remains of the site is a depression at the location of a shaft, and a cottage that is likely to have been either the smith’s shop or possibly the ‘dry’ or changing house for the mine.

Click here for the Heritage Gateway entry>


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For Webb and Geach and other John Manley’s books-click here>

 

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