The Cornish Engine House in Virgin Gorda

EhPan1A little snippet of Cornwall in the British Virgin Islands

My last post on the President Steam Engine in the USA mentioned another remnant of Cornish mining across the Atlantic; the Virgin Gorda engine house. By pure chance that was and engine house that I have had the chance to visit, and so it seemed like a good excuse to locate the files on the laptop, and give them a public airing. 

A Caribbean gem of industrial historyDSCF2367

My visit to this fascinating site in 2009 was a result of one of those rare occasions where my leisure (Cornish mining History) and professional  (Navigation) interests crossed paths. In this case the ship I was navigating anchored off Tortola, and I managed to grab a few hours off in the afternoon to explore.

Whilst my fellow shipmates headed rapidly off in one direction to explore the delights of the Pussers Rum distillery, I headed off in another direction to locate a copper mine.

Copper point- a Surreal Juxtaposition

The scenery that greeted me at Copper Point proved to be ample reward for the

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hike across the Island for forsaking the chance to devour ‘Painkiller; cocktails all afternoon. It seemed so surreal, drystone Cornish walls and Caribbean scenery.  Vegetation from one Continent growing around the iconic architecture of another.

The engine house was partially standing with its bedstone still in place inside.

 

 

Remnants of past industry

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This site has remains that are rare in Cornwall; ironwork.  Sat among the piles of masonry I found the rusting remains of a boiler.  Its survival in this salt laden atmosphere without preservation was remarkable.

The real gem of this site I found after some scrabbling down to the waterline. For there laying partly submerged in the sea lay the engine’s bob.

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Partially encrusted in barnacles, and draped in fishing gear the two halves of a Cornish Engine Beam lay on the sand acting as a reminder on how far the Cornish and their technology traveled around the world, chasing the copper, chasing the tin.DSCF2429.JPG

The nearest source of refreshments to the site was a bar aptly named The Mine Shaft, and there hung from the ceiling I discovered one final  reminder of Cornwall, A St.Piran’s flag. The white on black hung in a wooden shack, in a far off Caribbean Island; a perfect excuse to toast Cousin Jack if there ever was one!

 


The next post in this blog is planned to finish the series on the President Engine. Meanwhile, if you are a professional navigator, then pop across to  have a look at my other blog at Navsregs.

 

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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.

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>

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>

Penhauger Mine-Webb and Geach Explored

Penhauger Mine is the first of the small miscellaneous mines listed by Webb and Geach (Page 101) for which I have found evidence for within the mapping resources found on line.  An explore around the Scottish library site was rewarded with clear evidence of an engine house and possible shaft/adit remains. 

OS 1888

Cornwall XXXVI.NE , Surveyed: 1882, Published: 1888

panhaugeros1888

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.

Click here to view map>

 

OS 2016

panhaugeros2016

Click here for map>

Google Maps 2016

panhaugergoogle2016

Click here to view map>

Cornish Council Map

panhaugercau2016Reference : MCO12398
Name : PENHAWGER – Post Medieval mine
Monument type : MINE
Period : Post Medieval
Form : EXTANT STRUCTURE

Click here for map>

Click here for Heritage Gateway entry>


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

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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>