Great Crinnis Mine, Cornwall
St Austell: grid reference SW937564
Great Crinnis Mine lies 2 miles east of St. Austell in the St. Austell Mining District. The sett now lies partially obscured by the Carlyon Bay Hotel and Golf Course. Formerly known as Crinnins Cliff Mine and dating from 1811, the mine began life as an adit excavated at the base of the cliff here, with some mining thought to have taken place under the sea. According to Bob Acton in his book 'From the Roseland to St. Austell Bay', mine workings also extended inland 'at least as far as Crinnis Wood'. An old miner had dismissed the mineral prospects of the area as 'not worth a pipe of baccy' in 1808, yet just a few years later Crinnis Mine as it was now known was producing on average 600 tons of good quality copper ore per month.
Working North Lode and South Lode from Stratford's Shaft and Fanny's Shaft, the ore was at quite shallow depth and its extraction relatively easy and speedy. The ore was transported by teams of pack mules the short distance to the newly formed port of Charlestown. Its harbour the brainchild of local entrepreneur Charles Rashleigh.
The mining boom here was to be short lived however as the copper reserves were soon exhausted. Great Crinnis, struggled on for a few years before closing temporarily in about 1833. The mine reopened again in 1854 as Great Crinnis and worked for the next fifteen years producing a little lead ore and copper. Suspended again in 1869 the mine remained closed until 1878 when it reopened briefly as Great Crinnis and Carlyon Consolidated to produce copper ore and also about 30 tons of silver ore.
Records of production are:
As Crinnis (1815 to 1833) - 38,330 tons of 5.25% copper ore
As Great Crinnis (1854-69 and 1877) - 3,758 tons of 6% copper ore; 182 tons of 56% lead ore between 1854 and 1860 as well as 950 ounces of silver, 572 tons of pyrite, 6 tons of iron ore (from the gossan) and it is suggested a further 2,000 ounces of silver.
As Great Crinnis and Carlyon Consols (1878-81) - 408 tons of 9% copper ore and 29.5 tons of silver ore.
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Other nearby mines and their main ores
Pembroke Mine (approx. 0.4 km; COPPER & TIN )
East Crinnis (approx. 0.5 km; COPPER, TIN & ZINC)
Par Consols (approx. 0.9 km; COPPER & TIN)
Polmear (approx. 3.0 km; COPPER & PYRITES)
Par & St Blazey Consols (approx. 3.0 km; TIN)
Fowey Consols (approx. 4.3 km; COPPER & TIN)
Treverbyn, Knightor, Ruby & Trethurgy (approx. 5.0 km; IRON)
Great Polgooth (approx. 6.4 km; TIN & COPPER)
Rocks and Treverbyn United (approx. 7.0 km; TIN)
Wheal Bunnie (approx. 7.2 km; TIN & WOLFRAM)