Webb & Geach Explored-Wheal Venland

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 on page 98 of the Trevithick Society’s reprint of the Victorian publication.


Wheal Venland

” …..Up went the shares, which were sold for fabulous amount, as also were the unfortunate purchasers, who soon found that the ore was cut out without leaving a trace of its existence.” Webb & Geach

Ordnance Survey Cornwall XXVIII.SW (includes: St Cleer.)
Surveyed: 1881 to 1882 Published: 1886

Wheal Venland Os 1886
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Click here for the Map on Library of Scotland website>

Current OS map

Venland OS 2016To see the location  current OS Maps Click here>





Google maps

Click here to explore the map>


Venland Google 2016

Google Street View

Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council interactive map

Reference : MCO38682
Name : WHEAL VENLAND – Post Medieval mine
Monument type : MINEVenland Cornwall Map Cau
Period : Post Medieval

X COORD : 225450
Y COORD : 68100

Click here for Heritage Gateway entry>

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


Brenton Symons’ Victorian Map of the Liskeard Mining District-page complete

A chance to present Brenton Symons’ cartography to the Caradon Geology group was great opportunity to get some feedback on its geology. Normally my audience are Cornish mining history experts, so discussions on rocks made a change to delving into the details of engine houses.


In attempting to understand the strength and weakness of map my focus was on its intended customers; the potential mine investors. My talk at Liskeard brought to light an alternative view point however, that is the current buyers of geological maps. No longer is it the extraction of wealth beneath the ground that attracts geological interests but the ability to build on its surface. Instead of mining investors there are civil engineers; housing estates, supermarkets, wind turbines and road improvements have replaced shafts, stopes and adits.

Now that the talk is complete, I have launched a new page dedicated to the map, a page that includes an index to my posts on the Liskeard map. Click here to view.

Time to move on to the next presentation. A presentation about a genius in the British Mining industry who died in the year that Brenton Symons published his map,1863.  The genius that was John Taylor will be the topic of the next series of blogs.

Phoenix United as shown on Brenton Symons’ 1863 Map

Brenton Symons’ 1863 Map

These extracts are from Brenton Symons’ 1863  Geological map of the Liskeard Mining District. Extracts complete with stains and cracks.


The first map shows the Phoenix United Sett, a square Sett (yellow tint=border) crossed by a single lode (lode=red Line). Running in a north easterly direction is the Great Cross-course ( cross course=grey line). The wavy grey shaded line represents the junction between the Bodmin Moor granite ( to the west) and Killas (metamorphised clay/slate).


The second map is a close up of the Clanacombe Mine section of Phoenix United. It depicts the site prior to the massive changes implemented by WillIam West as part of his transformation of the mine from a copper to tin producer.

The Phoenix tramway is shown running up from the southwest corner into the yard area. The extensive workings on the back of the lode are shown, and several shafts indicated. The ‘250’ denoted that the mine was 250 fathoms deep. A dotted line entering the extract from the northeast represents the course of flat-rods used to power the pump at Sump shaft from the large water wheel in the valley bottom.


The final map shows the western part of the mine, which includes the  old Stow(Stowes) mine. As the lode crosses the cross-course fault it is heaved to the south, a dislocation  clearly shown. 

The Cheeswring granite Quarry is named near the western border of the set with a branch of the Liskeard and Caradon railway serving it from the south.

For more extracts from this map see ‘The Liskeard Mining Area in 1863′.

Phoenix United Map

Thanks for all those who came along to the talk last night at the Pensilva History Group, it was a great evening. For the group members who have found this blog-Welcome. Enjoy digging back through the posts. And has promised at the talk-here is that map of Phoenix United.


This 1880s Ordnance Survey map should help make sense of the amazing photograph reproduced on page 124/125 of ‘The Last Great Cornish Engineer’.That photograph is taken from the west looking across the valley into the Phoenix United sett.


Enjoy exploring.

Click here to visit my Amazon authors page
For those passing through Cornwall, then pop into the Liskeard Bookshop, King Edward Mine or Geevor Mine to buy a copy of my books. To buy the books on line, or download the kindle publications then visit my Amazon store to browse through my books.

A Liskeard mining area map

Maps are amazing, they jam so much knowledge about the past and the present into such a small space. I have no doubt that this blog will keep dashing down rabbit holes of maps-here is another one!   No apologies for the diversion.


This a copy of a map I produced for the interactive CD-ROM ‘The Liskeard Mining District in 1863‘. It is based on a wonderful piece of Victorian cartography, Brenton Symon’s 1863 map. Each of the mine setts is colour coded to indicate the status in 1863, forming a patchwork of colours across the landscape reflecting the mineral wealth beneath.

Click here to see a list of my books available on Amazon.

West’s Caradon Mines-Caradon Vale.

I have had a bit of pause in the preparation for the Pensilva talk, whilst putting together the latest East Cornwall Trevithick Society program.  Quite a mix of talks and walks..pop across to my Trevithick Society blog for the latest version of the program.
Now back to the William West Caradon Mines research.  

By the 1860s  West’s name had become associated with high quality machinery, and was often used in mine agent’s reports attempting to ‘fluff up’ the prospects of their mines. Here is an such an example of a purser’s report.

Caradon Vale Consols
1st December 1862

I beg to inform you that the new 45 in. Cylinder pumping-engine was put to work at Caradon Vale Mine on Tuesday last.

The engine, by West and Sons, is a very superior piece of machinery, and has given great satisfaction.

The flat-rod to be attached to the engine will also be set to work in about a fortnight; and as soon as the water is pumped from the shafts, the underground works will be carried on with vigour,-and from which the most favourable results may be expected.
Fred R.A Fricker,Purser.

Webb and Geach page 121


Caradon Vale was formed in 1862 out of Wheal Sedley, Cargibbett and Ashlake Mines. Caradon Vale’s location placed it on possible an extension of the rich East Caradon lodes. The mine was short lived, becoming idle by 1864 and put up for sale in 1865.

Webb and Geach’s book is called ‘History and Progress of Mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District’. Published in 1863, it describes the mines in the Caradon, Meneheniot, St. Neot and Herodsfoot areas. The Trevithick Society have republished Webb and Geach in paperback and it is avaiable from Amazon on the link below, or from the Liskeard Bookshop.

I am currently re formatting and editing my CD-ROM version of Symons’s excellent map in an ebook (initially Kindle) format. Watch this blog for progress on that project.

Click here to see a list of my books available on Amazon.