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Nangiles Mine, Cornwall


Gwennap: grid reference SW764420

Notable minerals: Chalcopyrite, Gold, Sulphur & Pyrites.

The sett of Nangiles Mine lies 2 miles east of St. Day, just to the southwest of Wheal Jane and was absorbed, along with Wheal Widden, West Wheal Jane, Wheal Hope, Falmouth & Sperries (East Wheal Falmouth) and Wheal Jane into 'Falmouth Consolidated Mines' in 1905. Although the Falmouth Consols Group was dissolved in 1915, Nangiles is now best thought of as a section of Wheal Jane Mine to the southwest of the hamlet of Twelveheads. It lies west of the large tailings dam at the head of the Carnon Valley. It is bounded by, and worked at one time or another with, Wheal Andrew (otherwise known as Wheal Friendship). Neighbouring mines include Mount Wellington Mine (Wheal Magpie) to the southwest with Falmouth and Sperries Mine to the northeast and Wheal Baddon (Baddern) to the southeast.

The mine, also known as Bread & Cheese Mine, worked two main lodes, Nangiles Copper Lode and Baldhu (also known as Mundic) Lode from Bread & Cheese Shaft and Engine Shaft. Chiefly a copper mine, Nangiles also raised tin, zinc ore, pyrite, arsenic, iron ore and ochre.

Production records state that:
Nangiles Mine, sold 1,561 tons of 6% copper ore between 1863 and 1868; 99 tons of black tin for the periods 1855-1876 and 1901-1905;, 299 tons of zinc ore in 1856, 1858 and 1866.
Wheal Andrew produced 1,449 tons of 7.5% copper ore between 1845 and 1848.

Nangiles appears in several historical records, the 'Annals of Philosophy' (1822), whilst discussing the temperatures found at depth in 'stopped' mines, states that Nangiles mine was '... a copper mine in the parish of Kea. The temperature of the water at 59 fathoms under the surface was 58°. Nangiles is 88 fathoms deep at the engine shaft. The machinery, for pumping the water out of this mine had very recently been set to work, and had consequently made but little progress in draining it. I mention this in connection with my remarks on the temperature of stopped mines, in order to account for its not being greater. The veins in this mine are large, and remarkable for the quantity of iron pyrites they contain'.

A good account of the state of Nangiles in the mid 1860's comes from Thomas Spargo's book of 1865, entitled 'Statistics and Observations on the Mines of Cornwall and Devon' where he writes '... In the parish of Kea, lies east of Wheal Clifford. In ancient times the mine was rich, and may become so again. It is divided into 1,024 parts, or shares. It is about 190 fathoms deep. This mine, from its position, promises to do well. Clifford lodes run through the sett, and it is well-known that the large courses of ore in Clifford dip rapidly east into Nanjiles; but before they get to the depth for meeting with Clifford large courses of ore, most likely, they will meet with shoots of ore at shallower levels. This mine has also produced much mundic. It is very probable that Nanjiles will be a prize. The position of the ground is all that could be wished, and the prospects even before the ore was discovered in the engine-shaft were sufficiently good to warrant a most favourable prophecy as to its great and lasting success. It was worked many years ago by Messrs. Williams and Co., and is now in the hands of a very respectable company, including Mr. W. Williams, Mr. R. Lanyon, Mr. Bickford, Dr. George Smith, &co. The lords are Viscount Falmouth and Messrs. Vivian and Graham. Depth of the mine, 80 fathoms. 4 lodes worked on; 15 men employed (1861). An 80-inch pumping engine erected. A promising adventure. Purser, B. Matthews, St. Day; manager, J. Row, Camborne; agent, E. Dower'.

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).

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

Mount Wellington (approx. 0.4 km; TIN)

Wheal Jane & West Wheal Jane (approx. 1.0 km; TIN, COPPER & SILVER-LEAD)

Falmouth Consolidated (approx. 1.0 km; TIN, COPPER, SILVER-LEAD & ZINC)

South Wheal Garras (approx. 1.2 km; LEAD, SILVER & PYRITE)

Great Wheal Baddon (approx. 1.2 km; LEAD, SILVER, ZINC & TIN)

Falmouth & Sperries (approx. 1.6 km; COPPER, ZINC, LEAD-SILVER & IRON ORE)

Wheal Maid (approx. 2.0 km; TIN)

Consolidated Mines (Consols) (approx. 2.0 km; COPPER & TIN)

Ale & Cakes (approx. 2.1 km; COPPER & TIN)

Gwennap United Mines (approx. 2.1 km; COPPER)


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