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East Wheal Seton Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER & TIN

Redruth: grid reference SW661418

Notable minerals: Chalcopyrite & Pyrites.

East Wheal Seton lies half a mile north of Tuckingmill in Illogan parish and was formed from part of the North Wheal Crofty sett some time in the late 1850's. Work began at the mine again in mid 1861 with the mine leased from the mineral lords, Messrs. Basset, Vyvyan and Tyringham. The Mine Manager at this time was Joseph vivian (1860-69). Initially all work was of a relatively shallow nature, working above adit (drainage) level. Development of the mine was slow and small scale, it took until the middle of 1867 before a 40-inch pumping engine was purchased. By October 1867, the engine house had been erected and the engine installed.

The mine worked two main lodes: Main Lode and Cook's Lode from four shafts - Engine (Barwell's), Basset's Engine, Cartwright's (or Western) and Eastern (Flat Rod) Shaft. Production began again in 1870 with the mine raising and selling 192 tons of copper ore, this increased to 264 tons in 1872. Output for the period 1861 to 1875 was 997 tons of copper ore, 216 tons of tin and 126 tons of pyrites. The ore sales made a return of approximately £4,000 before costs, not sufficient when compared to the overall investment of almost £13,000. Accurate records of production are hard to find with various mining historians offering different results. Roger Burt, for example, reports that in its lifetime, East Wheal Crofty produced 1,713 tons of 7% copper ore between 1847-53 and 1870-74 and 266 tons of tinstuff between 1871 and 1875.

Financial problems were made worse by flooding and pump failures meant that the company lost £2,070 in the first quarter of 1874 alone. The neighbouring mines of Wheal Emily Henrietta, North Wheal Crofty and North Roskear had, by this time all been closed down, with their pumps idle. This increased the water flowing into East Wheal Seton and tipped the balance. The state of affairs was unsustainable and the mine was abandoned in late 1875.

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).

For more in depth information on East Wheal Seton and its neighbouring mines please purchase a copy of the excellent Cornwall's Central Mines: Northern District, 1810-95 by T. A. Morrison.

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

North Crofty (approx. 0.5 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Emily Henrietta (approx. 0.6 km; COPPER & ZINC)

North Roskear (approx. 0.9 km; COPPER & TIN )

South Roskear (approx. 1.0 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)

South Crofty (approx. 1.1 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & WOLFRAM)

Wheal Seton (approx. 1.2 km; COPPER, TIN, ZINC & ARSENIC)

Cook’s Kitchen (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)

East Pool & Agar (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER, TIN & WOLFRAM)

West Wheal Seton (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)

South Tincroft (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER, TIN & LEAD)


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