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    Devon and Cornwall Mining Visit October 2013
Day 1 of 3

Distance = Short walks and driving
Route = Paths, tracks and minor roads
Start / End = N/A
Weather = Sunny intervals

With short notice, as per the usual scenario, myself and Ian decided for a short excursion to Devon and Cornwall for a few days, to have a look at a few quality and some off-beat sites. Setting off from my house very early, I got to Ian's and we set off at around 4am - to get the best of the days' light.

After making the long journey down, we were both glad to get to the first site of Wheal Betsy (SX510813) engine house; and luckily the early morning sun was out with blue skies - an excellent start to hopefully a quality day ahead. After taking a few photos, we headed of to the next site of Wheal Friendship (SX506794) with remains of the wheel pit (unfilled and overgrown) and crank for flat rods. The next site(s) was just a short distance away, although the site of Devon United Mines (SX511785) requires a good walk to capture all the features. Usually the site of the processing floors and mills are too overgrown, however on this visit luck was on our side, and we got to see most of the surface remains.

Leaving Devon United we headed to our next site of Devon Great Consols (SX426733), we only had time to have a look at the impressive remains of the Wheal Anna Maria complex arsenic mill and some remains belwo the tips. Next on the lest was Drakewalls Mine (SX425707) with two engine houses, on route to the next site on the list, we passed Edward Mine (SX427700); taking a quick roadside photo we continued to Oker Tor Mine (SX445689), with kind permission of the owner we were able to look at the remains of the surface buildings, including the smithy, county house, whim engine house, stamps engine house and dressing floors and calciners. From Oker Tor we made our way the short distance to Cotehele Consols (SX423692) where there are the remains of the count house, crusher house and engine house, Danescombe Engine House, dressing floors and adit with tramway and wagon. From Cothele, we drove the few miles to see part of Gunnislake Clitters site (SX422723); the site is split in to different parts, and on this visit we did a quick tour of the Skinners site. The site comprises a number of remains including pumping engine house, boiler house and copper crushing engine house.

After leaving Gunnislake, our next place on the list was Luckett, however passing East Kit Hill (SX389711) enroute, we took some roadside long distance photos. Continuing our journey, we soon arrived at the site of Wheal Martha (New Consols) (SX387736), which includes the sites of the new mill, Broadgate pumping engine house (being renovated) and crushing engine house (on private lane). After finish at New Consols, the day was getting late, so we decided to change our route slightly and miss out a few sites. Hence, our next site involved back tracking a little, to the upper section of Hingston Down Consols (SX407718), with the Engine House and Boiler House above Baileys Shaft. From Hington Down we headed across to Harrowbarrow and the site of Prince of Wales Mine (SX401704), with the remains of the stamps engine house, pumping engine house, wheel pit and whim engine house on Watsons Shaft. Heading the short distance through Harrowbarrow, our next site(s) was that of Wheal Langford (East Cornwall Silver Mill) (SX383695), all these sites are on private land and residential properties, but visible from the road.

It was now starting to get fairly dark, but we had time for one more visit (in the daylight); this was the site of Holmbush Mine (SX358721) with three engine houses. Our next site (in the dark) of Phoenix United (SX267724) was on the original plan of action with a night visit to South Caradon, however we still managed some night time photos at Phoenix United. Whilst on site, it began to rain, so we called it a night and headed off, firstly for some fish and chips, and finally to get to the hotel.

I long day with some excellent sites, many thank to ICLOK for the driving and choice of sites.

    Devon and Cornwall Mining Visit October 2013
Day 2 of 3

Distance = Short walks and driving
Route = Paths, tracks and minor roads
Start / End = N/A
Weather = Sunny intervals

After a very long first day, getting up at dawn was difficult; however both Ian and myself met in the hotel lobby and went to get some breakfast while the sun was still rising.

Our first scheduled site was Great Wheal Busy, however on the way we took some quick photos of the Dog Shaft at Killifreth (SW736444) and some long distance shots of the main engine house. The site of Great Wheal Busy (SW739448) is split in to the mine site buildings (industrial use) to the north and the stamps/processing area to the south. Leaving Great Wheal Busy, we heading south a short distance to the site of both engine house and a few other remains at Wheal Unity Woods (SW735436). A quick look around and then off to the next site of the Poldice / Parc-an-Chy Arsenic Works (SW741430), this required a longer stay to look at the numerous remains of the original Poldice Works and later Parc-an-Chy Works and surround mine shafts. The site of Wheal Cusvey (SW758419) and Shears Engine shaft were next on the list; the site being accessed from the path off the old tramway and up the hillside, with the pumping engine house and whim engine house hidden behind the trees.

The next two sites form part of the Unites Mines and include the Stamps Engine House with water pond (SW748416) and the Eldon Engine House (SW747414). After a few photos, we headed for a short walk to the site of the Clock Tower (SW745419) and Taylors Pumping Engine House (SW744420) ; including part of the engine house for Davey's Shaft, which form part of Consolidated Mines, nearby are a number of other shafts and below are the tailings ponds for Wheal Maid (SW746422), the path along the bottom also has a few tram stone blocks in place.

For the next couple of site, there was a short drive heading back north towards the A30. The first of these to view was Hallenbeagle Mine (SW726446) which at the time of the visit was part of a development site, although the area around both the pumping engine house and whim engine house has been cleared and landscaped. At the time of our visit there was no access, however this may have changed since then. The next of this cluster was North Treskerby (SW723451) which we viewed from a distance and whilst on our way to Wheal Rose (SW718449) which is used as a residential property.

By now the early morning cloud had broken, and some lovely blue sky was developing. Driving northward for a while we arrived at Cligga Head and the site of the former British and Colonial Explosives Factory (SW740538) and dressing floors for Cligga Head Mine (SW742535). It was a little windy above the cliffs, and we just managed to finish taking our photos before a short rain shower came. Heading back to St Agnes we visited the site of Wheal Kitty (SW726509) with the resotored engine house and the mine building in use as industrial units; below this are the remains of the dressing floors. They are a few other sites in St Agnes, however we had both seen these before, hence we took a quick look at Wheal Friendly (SW720512) engine house and count house on the otherside of the valley.

Passing through St Agnes we decided to stop and get a few drinks and snack for lunch. There was short drive to our next site; of two closely spaced mines of Tywarnhale (SW702472) and Wheal Ellen (SW702469) , although the former was only viewed from the bottom of the hillside. Heading down to the coast at Porthtowan, we took a few photos of the restored Wheal Lushington engine house (SW692479).

Leaving the central area (for the time being), we headed westwards for a long drive to the western coast sites. The first one we visited was Boys Shaft (Wheal Owles) (SW366325) engine house, followed by the nearby engine house at Wheal Drea (SW366324). Arriving at Botallack (SW363336) which is a very impresssive site including a number engine house, headgear and dressing floors; there was some excellent blue sky with a sun picking out the various features. After taking the narrow path across to the zawn and getting some classic images of Crowns Engine Houses, we headed up the coastal path to Wheal Owles (SW362328), then returning to view the rest of the Botallack site. The daylight was starting to draw in, however we just had time to do a few more sites during the sunset. The next site was that of Higher Bal Engine House (SW370340), this was followed by a visit to Levant (SW369345) with a number of remains. The last site to see during daylight was a long distance photo of Geevor (SW375345) at sunset.

Usually night fall would mean the end of mine exploring and photography, however after taking a short break back at the hotel; we headed out to try some nighttime photos. The first to try was Wheal Coates (SW699500), unfortunately it was too windy for the tripod. After some thinking we thought we would try some of the site around Redruth/Camborne; the first of these was East Pool engine house (SW672415), which although it was windy, we did manage to get some photos. The next one we tried was East Pool & Agar (SW675417), however our batteries were becoming low and it started to rain; hence we called it a day.

Another long day with lots of sites. Many thank to Ian for the driving!!!