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Caradon United Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER & TIN

Caradon: grid reference SX241689

Caradon United Mine, otherwise known as Penhale Mine and also Penhale and Trecarne United Mine lay in the area south of Commonmoor and northwest of Penhale hamlet in St Cleer parish, to the southwest of Caradon Hill. It was initially a copper and tin mine in 256 shares. It should not be confused with Caradon Consols Mine or the Great Caradon Mine in St Ive parish (Grid Reference SX298707). It was one of the lesser mines of the Caradon Mining District, the mine had one 45-inch engine later replaced with a 62-inch pumping engine. The landowners were Captain Moorshead and Mr. W. Jope and the Manager Captain W. Penrose.

'The Railway Register and Record of Public Enterprise for Railways' gives a very full report on Caradon United in 1846 stating that: 'Caradon United - This is a very large sett, the largest in the district, adjoining Caradon Consols, and Wheal Norris. It is about three-quarters of a mile on the course of the lodes. A great many of the latter have been cut in the sett; but the operations now going on are sinking the engine-shaft, and driving an adit in Penhale.

The engine-shaft is now 27 fathoms deep from surface, and sinking through hard granite, at a cost of £30 per fathom, the same as at Wheal Norris, Caradon Consols, and The Caradon. The engine is a 45-inch cylinder, works well, and is equal to carry the mine down 150 fathoms. The shaft is well placed to take four lodes to the south, and underlying north. The must northerly lode will be in the shaft at the 50-fathom level, and from its underlie will be out of the sett at the 120-fathom level. The other lodes are much further south. The adit in Penhale has been driven 213 fathoms, and is a most important thing, as it will, in the hill, give a back of 37 fathoms. There are one or two caunter lodes in this part.

The outlay on the mine has been £4,000, and worked by a London Company. Here we may briefly notice what appears to us to be greatly the case, and unworthily so, among Cornish agents. It is scarcely possible to get the same opinion of a mine from two different Captains, and each abuses that of his neighbour. The mines seem to be divided into cliques. There are the Clymo's mines, the Quakers' mines, and the mines without friends ; and whilst the former classes get supported in opinion, each by their own partisans, the latter are buffeted by all. Every agent thinks the mine upon which he is engaged to be the best in the world, and his mode of working the beau ideal of perfection, and he has not charity enough to allow so much for his neighbour. Petty jealousies, and perhaps rivalries, tincture most of the opinions given, until it is almost impossible to get an unbiased report.

'Tis this, in a great degree, that influences the price of shares ; for it must not be supposed that a mine which bears a high price in the market is in reality worth more than many others, which may be much lower in price and in estimation. The principal owners and managers of a mine influence the prices of shares ; it being too often the object of Cornish management to get shares up to a fictitious price — force them in a hot-bed, as it were, for the London market, as their setts, like Paddy's razors, are made to sell. Not so with a mine worked legitimately by out-adventurers, or Londoners.

It is in this case sure to be abused by all parties near the spot; for the very reason they have no personal interest in speaking well of it. They would rather deter speculators from embarking in any concern out of their own control, as though it were an imputation upon their judgment to suppose any party could have obtained a sett worth prosecuting anywhere near them'

It stopped work in 1848 with a loss of £6,144. In 1909 and 1916, the mine was reopened in search of tungsten ores. Further prospecting was carried out in 1942. In 1950, the mine was opened again, but mainly to work the vein quartz, the tin and tungsten ores being treated as by-products.

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

Caradon Consols (approx. 1.7 km; COPPER)

South Caradon (approx. 2.5 km; COPPER)

West Caradon (approx. 2.6 km; COPPER)

Gonamena (approx. 2.6 km; COPPER)

Craddock Moor (approx. 3.2 km; COPPER)

South Wheal Phoenix (approx. 3.3 km; COPPER)

East Caradon (approx. 3.7 km; COPPER)

Glasgow Caradon Mine (approx. 3.9 km; COPPER)

Phoenix United (approx. 4.3 km; COPPER & TIN)

West Rosedown (approx. 4.5 km; COPPER)


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