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Gunnislake Clitters Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER & TIN

Callington: grid reference SX421720

Notable minerals: Chalcopyrite.

Gunnislake Clitters Mine was a large copper mine located near Gunnislake in the Tamar Valley in East Cornwall and part of the Callington Mining District. The mine sett was leased from the mineral owners the Duke of Cornwall and the Rev. H. W. Bedford. It is recorded by Spargo in his book The Mines of Cornwall; Statistics and Observations (1865) as having a 40-inch pumping engine, a 30-inch winding engine and a 30-inch stamps engine as well as a 40-foot waterwheel used for pumping. It employed 192 people.

Approaching Gunnislake Clitters

Gunnislake Clitters Mine lies three-quarters of a mile northeast of Hinston Down Mine near Gunnislake and began work in 1820. The mine worked a number of lodes with the major ones being Bonney Lode (also known as No.1 Lode); Skinners Lode; New Tin Lode; No.2 or South Lode and Greenstone Lode. These lodes were worked from mainly Skinner's Shaft on Bonney Lode and New Shaft on South Lode.

Grille covering Skinners Shaft at Gunnislake Clitters

Although Gunnislake Clitters opened in 1820, the main period of production for the mine was between 1860 and 1890. Records of production for the mine were: 40 tons of copper ore between 1822 and 1827. For the periods 1860-69 and 1902-94 the mine produced 33,310 tons of 8.25% copper ore and 510 tons of black tin.

The beam engine house at Gunnislake Clitters

Warning Sign on footpath at Gunnislake Clitters Miner's Dry and Forge

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) or what is widely regarded as the mining enthusiasts bible by H G Dines - The Metalliferous Mining Region of South-West England: Vols I & II (Economic Memoirs).

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

Drakewalls (approx. 1.3 km; TIN, COPPER & ARSENIC)

Hingston Down (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER & TIN)

Hawkmooor (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Arthur (Calstock) (approx. 2.2 km; COPPER & TIN)

Danescombe (approx. 2.3 km; COPPER & TIN )

Wheal Edward (Calstock) (approx. 2.4 km; COPPER)

Harrowbarrow (approx. 2.6 km; PYRITE & TIN)

Wheal Zion (approx. 2.9 km; COPPER)

Okel Tor (approx. 3.8 km; COPPER, TIN & PYRITE)

Wheal Langford (approx. 4.6 km; LEAD, SILVER, ZINC & MANGANESE)


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