Blue Hills Mine, Cornwall
St Agnes: grid reference SW726516
Notable minerals: Cassiterite.
Blue Hills was mainly a tin mine employing on avarge between 50 and 150 workers in its lifetime. There are no records of any copper ore being present. It worked four main lodes, namely: Baldhu Lode, Pink Lode, Straggler's Lode and Betsy Lode. There were a number of shafts cutting the lodes, such as Blue Burrow Shaft on Baldhu Lode, whilst Pink Lode had Engine, Polyear's, Wheal Joy and Letcher's Shafts. Wheal Betsy Lode was opened up by Wheal Betsy Engine Shaft.
Records of output are scarce but Blue Hills raised 2,117 tons of Black Tin between 1858 and 1897, with its best years being between 1886 and 1891. Wheal Betsy meanwhile, returned 45 tons of black tin between 1839 and 1861. Chief Agents at the mine between 1868 and 1880 were James and Arthur Gripe as indicated by Thomas Spargo. Blue Hills was abandoned in 1897. An attempt to rework the mine in 1926 came to nothing.
Nowadays there are a number of ruined mine buildings on the foreshore just inland of Trevellas Porth. Further up the Jericho Valley lie the Blue Hills Tin Streams, run by the Wills family. Here it is possible to see how the tin was turned from the metal occuring in the rocks into tin metal and on into fine jewellery. The processes of streaming, vanning, crushing, concentrating and dressing the metal prior to melting and casting. It is an excellent way to see something tangible is created by the toil of all those thousands of Cornish miners and a great way to do something different if on holiday.
For more information on the Blue Hills Tin Streams visitor attraction, please click HERE.
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Other nearby mines and their main ores
Wheal Kitty & Penhalls United (approx. 0.6 km; TIN & COPPER)
Wheal Friendly (approx. 0.6 km; COPPER & TIN)
Royal Polberro (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER & TIN)
Wheal Trevaunance (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER & TIN)
West Wheal Kitty (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER & TIN)
Cligga Head (approx. 2.3 km; TIN, WOLFRAM & ARSENIC)
Wheal Coates (approx. 3.3 km; COPPER & TIN)
New Wheal Chiverton (approx. 4.6 km; LEAD, SILVER, ZINC, ARSENIC & PYRITE)
Perran Consols (Wheal Vlow) (approx. 4.9 km; LEAD, SILVER & TIN)
Boscawen Mine (approx. 5.0 km; COPPER, TIN & ZINC)