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Crenver & Wheal Abraham Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER & TIN

Crowan: grid reference SW630338

Notable minerals: Cassiterite, Chalcocite & Chalcopyrite.

Crenver & Wheal Abraham, otherwise known as Abraham Consols lies in Crowan Parish to the southwest of Camborne and included the smaller mines of Wheal Sarah, Great Drym Consols and also Oatfield Mine. The large sett, situated about one and a quarter miles east of Leedstown, lies immediately to the south of the trees at Crenver Grove and can be thought of as having three distinct sections. To the west of the sett lies the Wheal Sarah section, in the centre lies the workings of the former Great Drym Consols whilst to the south and east lay Oatfield Mine.

The original workings date from about 1815 and were predominantly in copper. Records show that between 1815 and 1832 and 1845 to 1870, 112,500 tons of 7% copper ore was produced along with 960 tons of black tin. There are also reports of silver and lead being produced but we have, as yet, no figures. The mine worked the Main Lode and North Lode from a number of shafts, namely: Pelly's, Gard's, Yate's, William's, Richard's, Blewitt's, Vivian's, Woolf's, St. George's, Oatfield, Hoskin's, Crenver and Pressure (or Trenoweth) Shafts. Oatfields Mine was absorbed into Crenver & Wheal Abraham in about 1864.

Thomas Spargo gives us a great deal of information on the mine in his book The Mines of Cornwall (1865) that 'Crenver & Wheal Abraham Limited, in the parish of Crowan, Cornwall, in 30,000 shares. Since the present Company commenced operations about a year ago, the contractor for the machinery, has prosecuted his undertaking with uncommon energy. Three powerful pumping-engines, of 90, 80, and 70-inches, respectively, are nearly complete, two of them quite so; and the water is being drained rapidly by the two already at work. There are also several winding and other engines, nearly ready for their various works. I never knew works constructed with such rapidity before, and I understand the whole are done in the most substantial and satisfactory manner, reflecting credit on all concerned.

It is well known that these mines, under the old Company, which dissolved in 1825, yielded immense returns of copper ore, and that a large sum was divided between the shareholders. It is also stated on good authority, that tin, which at that time was little noticed by the Company, was stowed away in large quantities amongst the debris under ground, and that the same, on being stamped, as it now will be, and made marketable, would yield large returns. In proof that tin was thrown away, I can state that about £40,000 worth has been sold from the burrows since the old workings ceased.

It is also asserted that the old Company had so much copper in their main lode, as to make them totally indifferent as to any further discovery; so they never searched after any other lodes by cross-cutting the ground north and southward, as the present Company intend to do, to intersect parallel lodes, which are known to be in the sett.

Although the mine is 230 fathoms deep (and in 1825 that was considered very deep), it is not so deep by about 100 fathoms as some other mines in the county. The hopes of success in the present working appear to be founded on the following grounds; 1. Fresh discoveries in the bottom by further sinking on the main lode. 2. From the prosecution of parallel lodes. 3. From the returns of tin above mentioned. How far these hopes may be realised, time alone can show; but to a company of so daring a character, who can but wish success ? The Lords are Rev. H. M. St. Aubyn and others. Manager, Captain John Vivian. Purser, Mr. W. P. Cardozo, Camborne.'

For more information on Crenver & Wheal Abraham and its neighbouring mines please purchase a copy of the excellent book 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

Binner Downs (approx. 1.6 km)

Wheal Vrawz (approx. 2.0 km; TIN)

Wheal Treasury (Wheal Treasure) (approx. 2.2 km; COPPER & TIN)

Carbona (approx. 2.2 km; TIN)

Unity Consols (approx. 2.6 km; COPPER & TIN )

Wheal Prospidnick (approx. 2.7 km; LEAD)

Penhale Wheal Vor (approx. 2.8 km; TIN)

Wheal Godolphin (approx. 2.8 km; COPPER & TIN)

Gwin & Singer United (approx. 3.1 km; TIN & COPPER)

Rosewarne United (approx. 3.2 km; COPPER, ZINC & TIN)


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