Navsbooks>South Caradon Mine
This page will expand over the next few months as I resurrect the old ‘views of South Caradon’ website. As each of the old pages are transferred, refreshed, and expanded, this page will also grow. Each post added to the blog will be reflected in the index below, the index eventually forming the home page for a new web resourced dedicated to the South Caradon mine in Cornwall.
The Richest Copper Mine in South East Cornwall
South Caradon Mine was one of the largest copper mines in Cornwall, and one with a fascinating history. It is an enterprise with a rags to riches story and one that had a huge impact on the social, financial and transport history of South East Cornwall. The emigration that resulted from its final closure spread this impact around the world to wherever metal was mined. The mine now forms an important part of the Cornish World Heritage Site.
An Index of posts
The Mine’s history spanned the period from 1833 to 1889. It arrived relatively late in the story of Cornish copper mining, and its production dominated the final years of that industry.
- South Caradon Mine history
- South Caradon Mine key dates
- The Mine in 1843
- The Mine in 1853
- The Mine in 1863
- The Mine in 1885
- The Names
The earliest Ordnance Survey Maps capture the final surface layout of the mine. Fortunately, a Brenton Symon’s map of 1863 catches a snapshot of the mine at its zenith, a snapshot that includes the lodes, shafts and engine houses.
- Exploring South Caradon Mine through maps
- A map of South Caradon Mine in 1863
- Grid references of the remains
- Sump Shaft area
- Jope’s Shaft area
- Holman’s Shaft area
- Kitto’s Shaft area
- The Dressing Floors
The Engine houses
The site is an amazing post-industrial landscape, rich with Cornish engine house remains. It forms one of the largest collection of these impressive buildings in Cornwall, if not the world.
- The Stamp Engine
- Sump Pumping
- Sump Winding
- Pearce’s Pumping
- Jope’s Pumping
- Jope’s Winding and Man Engine
- Rule’s Pumping
- Rules Winding
- Holman’s Shaft Pumping Engine
- Kitto’s Man Engine
- Kitto’s Pump Engine
- Kitto’s winding Engine
The Seaton Valley
This was the birth place of the mine, and the centre of its administration and ore processing.
Transporting the Ore
The transport infrastrcture that grew up around Caradon Hill was an integral part of the mining system. It linked the mines of the area with the port of Looe, enabling the economic transport of the Ore to the smelters of South Wales. Tin and granite travelled down these rails but it was the great wealth of Copper that provided the main reason for these railways. In particular it was the great copper wealth of South Caradon mine that triggered the building of this network of railways across the moorland.
Other online resources
My South Caradon Related Books
If you are in the Caradon area, or passing through, pop in to the wonderful bookshop in Liskeard. It has an excellent local history section that includes the paperbacks listed here. Other sources of these books in Cornwall include the giftshops at Geevor Mine, Wheal Martyn and Wheal Edward.
The History and Progress of Mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District
By Willian Webb and Edward Geach (1863)
An exploration of Brenton Symons’s Geological map
William West of Tredenham