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Craddock Moor Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER

Caradon: grid reference SX255719


Notable minerals: Chalcopyrite & Cuprite.

Caradon Mining District lies on the southeast section of Bodmin Moor and may be approached from Bodmin, Launceston or more commonly Liskeard. Situated just north of Darite in St Cleer parish and part of the Caradon Mining District of East Cornwall.

Craddock Moor Mine lies on Craddock Moor to the northwest of Minions and Caradon Hill and west of the Cheesewring Tor and Quarry. It was one of the smaller mining concerns of the area working two groups of lodes. The western section was worked from Harris' Shaft, whilst the five eastern lodes - Menadue Lode, Vivian's Lode, Dunstan's Lode, Gilpin's Lode and an unnamed lode were worked from Main Shaft and Fox's Shaft. Its nearest neighbours were West Caradon, with Hallet's Shaft lying just about 100 yards away to the east; Caradon Consols within half a mile to the southwest and Gonamena and South Caradon Mines within half a mile to the east southeast.


The Pipers standing stones near Minions, Bodmin Moor


For fans of prehistoric standing stones and crosses as well as the industrial remains, a brief walk around the area may be of interest. Park your vehicle in the small car park at Minions and head northwest along the track as far as a pair of round buddles, used in recovering the ore, just north of the Craddock Moor Mine engine house. Take time out to capture the essence of this part of Bodmin Moor before retracing your steps to the engine house. Nowadays just the chimney and doorway remain beside the engine pool. An excellent book to refer to on the trip is 'The Minions Moor' by Peter Stanier. Continue along the track back towards Minions. The twin standing stones known as The Pipers and the Hurlers Stone Circles lie just off to the left as you head back to the car park and are well worth a short detour. If time permits there is also a track leading west from Minions to the nine feet high 'Long Tom', otherwise known as the Minions Cross (Grid Reference SX255705). Its alignment to the Hurlers Stone Circles suggesting some ancient significance.


The Hurlers Stone Circles near Minions, Bodmin Moor


Turning our attention back to the mine, there was a 24-inch pumping engine and a combined 16-inch rotary engine that took care of pumping, winding and crushing. The mine raised 20,110 tons of 7.25% copper ore between 1856 and 1873. The mine was stopped in 1874 and despite a brief reworking between 1907 and 1913, Craddock Moor Mine was finished.


In 1846 we have a report on the Craddock Moor Mine in the grandly entitled 'The Railway Register and Record of Public Enterprise for Railways, Mines, Patents and Inventions' by Hyde Clarke Esquire stating: 'Craddock Moor, to the north-east of Caradon Consols, and west of West Caradon, is a splendid sett; but the workings are on a miserably small scale, and such as will never, we should think, prove it a mine. The engine is a small 22-inch cylinder, and the shaft, which is now only 18 fathoms deep, is on an inclined plane, and sinking on the course of the lode, at an expense of £30 per fathom. When we were there, two men were drawing up the stuff by means of the horse whim'.

Richard Tredinninck writes in his 1858 book 'A Review of Cornish Copper Mining Enterprise..': Craddock Moor and Gonemena are two promising progressive mines in the Caradon district, but are very slow and expensive in development.

Some years later, Mining Historian Thomas Spargo reports in his book 'The Mines of Cornwall and Devon: Statistics and Observations' (1865) that Craddock Moor Mine was '... in the parish of St. Cleer, Cornwall, in 1,055 shares. Purser, Mr. John Taylor, St. Cleer, Liskeard. Manager, Captain Henry Taylor, St. Cleer. Landowner, Rev. Gr. P. Norris. Dues, 1-15th. Depth of mine, 126 fathoms. No adit. 140 men, 30 females, and 30 boys employed. Rock, granite, interspersed with a little elvan. Pumping-engine, 24-inch. Pumping and winding engine, 16-inch.
Mineral sold in 1864: 1,682 tons 6 cwt. 3 qrs. of copper ore worth £10,823 6s 4d.
This mine, that takes its name from the famous old British warrior, Caractacus, shows the best evidence of good management. The lodes in the richest parts, according to the reports, seldom yield more than 2 tons to the fathom; now, considering that the produce of a fathom of such ground is not worth above £12 or £13, it is a remarkable fact that this mine should have made dividends nearly to the extent of the outlay. Such facts as these speak much for British mining, and although stocks of this sort may be so dealt with in the market as to bring disgrace upon the calling, it is yet a pleasant thing to see that the miner stands with clean hands in the matter, and conducts his business with a care, respectability, and prudence that demands our admiration.'
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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

South Wheal Phoenix (approx. 0.8 km; COPPER)

Phoenix United (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER & TIN)

South Caradon (approx. 1.8 km; COPPER)

Gonamena (approx. 2.0 km; COPPER)

Caradon Consols (approx. 2.1 km; COPPER)

West Caradon (approx. 2.1 km; COPPER)

West Rosedown (approx. 2.2 km; COPPER)

Marke Valley Mine (approx. 2.2 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Jenkin (approx. 2.2 km; TIN & COPPER)

East Caradon (approx. 2.6 km; COPPER)

 

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