East Crinnis Mine, Cornwall
St Austell: grid reference SX065528
Notable minerals: Blende, Chalcocite, Chalcopyrite, Chalybite, Copper, Melaconite, Pyrites & Rock Crystal.
East Crinnis Mine lies about threequarters of a mile southwest of Par, in the Par Section of the St. Austell Mining District. The sett lies just north of the A3082, Par Moor Road, immediately south of East Crinnis Farm and is bounded on the west by Biscovey Road.
The mine worked a number of copper and tin lodes including: Main Lode, North Lode, Mundic Lode, Phillip's (or South) Lode, Thomas' Lode and Thomas' South Lode. There were a large number of shafts on the sett. The main shafts were: Gill's, Hudson's (also known as East Crinnis Engine), Brenton's, Strike's, Clark's, Taylor's, Bridgeman's, Chubb's (or Smith's), Margetson's (or Davey's), Pearce's, Reid's (also known as Rundle's) and Welch's Shafts.
East Crinnis Mine is known to have been at work before 1820 and research shows that it was the subject of a legal case at the Devon Summer Assizes at Exeter in 1824 between Messrs. Rowe (Plaintiff) and Grenfell and Brenton (Defendants), concerning the removal of copper ore from the mine without the consent of the owner. Here is a brief taste of the proceedings:
Francis Vivian witness for the Plaintiff, Mr Rowe, the owner of this part of Lamellan Manor since 1814: '... Part of the estate is called Lemellan Moor. It was there I commenced my mining operations ...First sunk a shaft, called Rowe Shaft. Began in June 1820. We got upon a lode ... We sunk three shafts...We obtained copper from that lode in July 1820. We have since obtained other copper. Shortly after July I went to London, having left the copper-ores then lying on the surface of the land. When I returned, the first copper we had raised had disappeared. In consequence of what I had heard, I saw Defendant, Brenton. We have since raised other copper, which has been removed by other persons than the Defendants. On 21st November 1820, I saw the Defendant, Captain Brenton, on the estate, when the copper which had been subsequently raised was removing. It was removed by the Defendant, with carts. He gave instructions to the men who were removing the copper. It was removed against my consent. I was there, in charge for the Plaintiff. Some had been taken off the estate before I came. I had left about 10 tons on the ground, in the morning of the same day. About 6 or 7 tons were removed before I arrived. The rest was all removed in my presence. It had been raised by me as the servant of Plaintiff, and deposited in the place from whence the Defendants took it'.
Some years later, Thomas Spargo the mining historian, writes in his book 'The Mines of Cornwall and Devon: Statistics and Observations' in 1865, of East Crinnis and South Par: '... In St. Austell and St. Blazey, commenced under the present company, in November 1859. Landowners, Duke of Cornwall and Major Carlyon. Dues 1-24th. One pumping engine, 80-inch; a crusher, 24-inch; steam whim, 30-inch; water stamps 24 heads. 210 men, and 50 boys and girls employed (1861.) East Crinnis gave a profit to Messrs. Taylor and Co. of about £110,000, in the former working, and if the works be carried out again with spirit, I doubt not the present company will reap a good harvest. Acting purser, Mr. John Polkinghorne, acting agent, Captain Merritt'.
Production at East Crinnis was as follows: 70,919 tons of 10.5% copper ore for the years 1820-1841, and 1860-62 as well as 530 tons of tin for 1837 and between 1861-72. Between 1860 and 1861 some zinc in the form of blende (zinc sulphide) was raised as well as 210 tons of pyrite, the iron sulphide.
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Other nearby mines and their main ores
Pembroke Mine (approx. 0.2 km; COPPER & TIN )
Great Crinnis (approx. 0.5 km; COPPER, LEAD, IRON & SILVER)
Par Consols (approx. 0.6 km; COPPER & TIN)
Par & St Blazey Consols (approx. 2.5 km; TIN)
Polmear (approx. 3.2 km; COPPER & PYRITES)
Fowey Consols (approx. 3.9 km; COPPER & TIN)
Treverbyn, Knightor, Ruby & Trethurgy (approx. 4.7 km; IRON)
Great Polgooth (approx. 6.7 km; TIN & COPPER)
Rocks and Treverbyn United (approx. 6.7 km; TIN)
Wheal Bunnie (approx. 7.0 km; TIN & WOLFRAM)