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Great Briggan Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER & TIN

Redruth: grid reference SW713446

Wheal Briggan, otherwise known as Great Briggan, lies on the northeastern edge of Redruth in Mid-West Cornwall. Its sett lay to due east of Lamborne Manor and to the southeast of Briggan Farm, with its eastern boundary part of the Coast to Coast Trail Great Briggan was an old mine and was bounded on the south by Great North Downs, on the west by Wheal Peevor, on the northwest by Wheal Plenty and on the northeast by Wheal Rose.

It was chiefly a copper mine producing some tin. Briggan worked four lodes: Main Lode, New Briggan Lode, North Treskerby Lode and Trevennen Lode. Like its neighbour Great North Downs, the mine extracted the ore from a great number of shafts. Main Lode was worked from Western Shaft, Western Whim Shaft, Shop Shaft, Engine Shaft, Cross Shaft, Bawden Shaft, Scammell's Shaft Highburrow Shaft and Ennor's Shaft.
New briggan Lode was cut by Gribble's Shaft, whilst Trevennen Lode was worked by Oates' Shaft. There was also a Trial Shaft on North Treskerby Lode.

Tramway waymarker on the Coast to Coast Trail near Lower Briggan

The mining historian Thomas Spargo gives us a little insight into the state of the mine in the mid 1860's as he reports in his book 'Statistics and Observations on the Mines of Cornwall and Devon' (1865) that '... Great Briggan, in Redruth, Cornwall, in 5,000 shares. Secretary, Mr. E. King, London. Chief Clerk, Mr. Isaac Thomas, Tuckingmill. Manager, Captain John Tredinnick, Scorrier. Landowners, Sir John Lubbock and the Rev. H. M. St. Aubyn. Dues, 1-18th. Adit, 42 fathoms deep; depth under it, 72 fathoms. Pumping-engines, 70-inch and 56-inch respectively. Winding- engine, 24-inch. 65 men, 12 females and 2 boys employed. Rock, clay,slate.
Mineral Sold in 1864 was 139 tons 7 cwts. of copper ore for £837 12s 7d
This mine adjoins Great North Downs, and its circumstances are analagous. Good results are expected. Operations, by present Company, began in 1860. The mine is very old.'

A proposal was put forward in the early 1890's to amalgamate Wheal Briggan with Hallenbeagle Mine, Great North Downs and Wheal Rose and work the mine as one large mining concern. It did not however come to fruition.

For more information on production dates and so on please see Roger Burt's excellent book Cornish Mines: Metalliferous and Associated Minerals, 1845-1913 (Mineral Statistics of the United Kingdom, 1845-1913).

There is a wealth of information on the mines and miners of Cornwall available. Why not explore Cornwall's industrial heritage through the Bookstore?

Other nearby mines and their main ores

Great North Downs (approx. 0.4 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Rose (approx. 0.6 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Peevor (approx. 0.7 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Boys (approx. 0.8 km; COPPER & TIN)

West Wheal Peevor (approx. 1.0 km)

East Downs (approx. 1.1 km; COPPER)

North Treskerby (approx. 1.1 km; COPPER & TIN)

Stencoose & Mawla Mine (approx. 1.2 km; COPPER)

Hallenbeagle (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER & TIN)

Treleigh Wood (approx. 1.6 km; TIN & COPPER)


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