UK Mining Walks & Visits Log

South West Mining Walks

Journals of mining walks

    Carnon Valley Area Mining Walks & Visits July 2011
  A Brief Description

Distance = Short walks and driving over two days
Route = Woodland paths, field paths, tracks and minor roads
Start / End = N/A
Weather = Cloudy becoming sunny intervals

This was my first trip down to Cornwall to see some of the vast amount of mining and industrial remains. The trip was done as part of an investigation in to the Carnon Valley.

After leaving home fairly early in the morning we arrived at our first site at about midday, the first stop was to have a look for the Jane adit and to see the old pilot passive treatment scheme from Wheal Jane (SW777412), this involved parking at the car park off Greena Lane and following the track along side the river, the old ponds are to the right of the river. After a quick look at this site we took a quick look at the overgrown site of Nangiles Adit, we then made our way to where the cycle path meets the road by Andrew Mine (SW761419) with remains of engine house and counting house. From here we took a short walk along the path / old railway to have a look at the County Adit portal, adjacent to which was a nice looking bridge over the river and the remains of an old pump house above the adit. We returned back to the path and followed it easterly and soon we came to the site of Bread & Cheese shaft (SW and an adjacent shaft on Nangiles Adit. Walking along the path to Nangiles were some remains of the old railway (see photo), before going up the tip area to Nangiles shaft on top we took a quick look at the Nangiles Manway. On the way up to Nangiles we noted a shaft hollow at the bottom of the tip, on top was the remains of the shaft with some rails, shaft pit joind the shaft cap, bob wall and a small hut building and some others stone remains adjacent. Heading back along the path towards the car the Shears Engine House at Cusvey Mine could be seen in the hillside, prior to getting back in the car we took a look at some of the air and access shafts in to County Adit (see photo).

The next stop was to have a quick look at Mount Wellington Mine (SW760418) where there were the remains of some buildings, the capped shaft, some rails and the winding wheels adjacent. After Mount Wellington we decided to have a look at some of the sites around Cusvey, so we parked the car near to Twelveheads and made our way on to the access land between the stream and Cusvey. Along the track were a number of shafts, each with a newish wall surround and included the sites of Bawdens Engine (within stone wall with stone remains), Chappels and West Engine Shafts (see photos). Walking up the hill the site of Wheal Henry could be seen across the valley, at the top we noted a path and stile which lead in to the site of Wheal Cusvey Mine (SW758419) with the site of Shears Engine House and the winding engine house. It was now getting fairly late and we were both getting hungry, so we headed off to the hotel by the cove in St Agnes. However, prior to eating we had enough time to visit the impressive site of Wheal Coates mine (SW699500) which includes a number of engine house, calciner, reservoir, flues and some adjacent old workings, the tide was in so we couldn't get to the adit on the beach.

It was day two of our visit and the weather was a little bit better, although still a bit cloudy. Our first port of call was the site of Wheal Jane to have a look at the scheme there which took until about lunch time, there was also a large array of newly installed solar panels. We then headed via Chacewater to get some pasties (very good) to the site of (SW742423) and the old tailings lagoons (SW7442), the first shaft to be seen was Decant Shaft on the County Adit. Compared to the numerous engine houses in the area the tailings lagoons are a different kind of mining history (and more unique). Walking alongside the lagoons and noting the various danger signs regarding the old lagoons (basically don't eat the soil) I was fairly impressed by the size of the modern lagoons and the fact that on the skyline behind is the Taylors Engine House. I was surprised to see some remaining structure around the lagoons including two towers and the concreted flume for the stream, there was also an adjacent tram or rail bridge but we didn't get a good look at it. We made our way up the hill to the site of Pearces Shaft (SW749420) where the engine shaft site was fenced with a large overgrown hole - hence we didn't have a proper look, however to the north in the middle of the bike tracks was a second capped shaft (Andrews Shaft). From this vantage point we could cleary see the site of the cutting for the tram or railway on the opposite side of the valley and next to this was the site of Maid East Mine.

From here we headed westerly to look at some of the shafts and mines forming part of Consolidated Mines. These included Daveys Shaft(s) a walled and fenced enclosure around two adjoing overgrown open shafts with some stone work visible; the next sites were Daveys South Shaft and Gribbles Shaft. From here we made our way to Taylors Engine House (SW745421) and adjacent remains of the Taylors Whim Engine House. Next we headed up the hill to the site of the Clock Tower and nearby Footway Shaft and Ogdens Shaft (raised stone wall with grill). Slightly to the west of here was a walled and overgrown enclosure of Terrils Shafts with their Clwd 'Hat' type caps, further to the west was another walled areas which is the site of the Elvans Shaft and collapse or hollow. Slightly down hill and to the norheast we noticed the grilled Frances shaft, from there we decided to head back to the road and have a look at Pauls Shaft, although this was totally overgrown.

Next on the itinary was to have a look at a few sties of the United Mines, the first of which was one we saw whilst driving turned out to be the site of a Stamps Engine House (SW748416), we made our way back towards the road and took the track heading southeast, after a short distance we came across the remains of Garlands Engine House (SW 751416) situated in the woods. Following the track we soon came to the site of a fenced area around some rather nasty oily looking stuff, around the other side of this was the capped Grylls shaft with broken fence. We returned back to the car and headed around to the site of Eldons Engine House which we could see from the distance, on the opposite side of the road was another shaft, but this was too overgrown to see anything.

The sun was now starting to appear and it was getting a little warmer. Next on our list was to have a look at the mines and area of Poldice (SW740427) which included the impressive remains of the arsenic works (see photos), the site of Bissoe Pool Shaft (SW747429) with some remains of buildings and other structures. From Bissoe Pool Mine with headed westerley to the site of some close shafts including the large fenced and overgrown Engine Shaft, the walled Quicks Shaft and the Clwd cap on Simms Shaft, they were also a number of other shafts in the area althogh I have not got any names for these. We then proceeded to the site of the chimney above the works with it bricked up flue, this lead nicely to the site of the works below which includes a number of stone and concrete buildings and remains, there was a nearby notice board giving an explanantion of the site.

It was starting to get a little late, although we still had time to have a look at our final area of the day at the nearby Unity Woods. This involved a nice short walk through the woods and area to have a look at a few of the sites. The first site we could see was the site of Wheal Unity Wood and the two engine houses, although we visited this later. Walking around Unity Woods and keeping to the paths are a number of walled, grilled and fenced shafts, the more impressive of these were Williams Shaft? to the southwest of the woods and included a large grilled shaft cut in to the bedrock. To the north of the woods were to adjacent shafts, the smaller is a footway shaft (for Killifret) grilled on raised concrete, the other was a larger site of the Killifreth Skip Shaft with a grill on a concrete platform with some adjacent stone building. Continuing along the path north from the woods we past the site of some unknown overgrown buildings then on to the site of Killifreth Pumping Engine House (SSW736444) with the tall extended chimney. From here we headed back along the path towards the woods, however took the path heading west, which looked like a miners path or tramway. After a short while in a small wooden area was the site of the large Killifreth West Shaft and some stone ruins around the floor of the site. We headed out of the woods to have a look at our last site of Wheal Unity Woods Mine (SW735436) with the pumping and winding engine houses along with some other remains of buildings.

A nice two days and an area which I will definately be looking forward to having some more walks and visits