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North Jane Mine, Cornwall


Gwennap: grid reference SW789440

North Wheal Jane lies 2 miles west of Truro, near the hamlet of Newbridge, in Kenwyn parish. Otherwise known as Besore Mine or Wheal Evelyn, it was chiefly a tin mine also producing sizeable amounts of arsenic and iron ore as well as Silver-Lead. North Wheal Jane worked three major lodes from a number of shafts. Main Lode ran just north of the road from Hugus to Newbridge and was worked from Western Footway Shaft, Gossan Shaft, Kerr's Shaft, Kerr's Footway Shaft, New Shaft and Mitchell's Shaft. Ready Money Lode was worked from Ready Money Shaft whilst Lead Lode was worked from Carne's Shaft, Engine Shaft and Bull Shaft. Its nearest neigbours were East Wheal Falmouth (1 mile away) and Wheal Jane Mine about one and a half miles away to the southwest.

Production records state that North Wheal Jane sold 74 tins of black tin, 370 tons of arsenic and 340 tons of iron ore in the period between 1861 and 1875. There is also a report of over 69 tons of silver ore being sold in 1864.

A good account of the state of North Wheal Jane 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 Kenwyn, Cornwall, in 6,000 shares. Purser, Mr. Thorman Woodward, Truro. Secretary, Mr. William Bartlett, Bucklersbury, London. Manager, Captain James Rowe, Camborne. Landowners, Lord Falmouth and J. W. Buller, Esq. Dues, 1-18th. Depth of adit, 30 fathoms; depth under it, 40 fathoms. Pumping-engine, 30-inch. 31 men, 13 females, and 20 boys employed. 3 water-wheels stamping tin, lifting 15 heads, Rock, clay-slate and elvan.

The present Company has been at work four years. Operations were first commenced in the lead lodes, which contain large quantities of blende: at that time blende was so low in price as scarcely to be worth raising. The lead, however, is of unusual richness, having sold for £30 per ton; and it is the prevailing opinion that had but a quarter of the expended capital been laid out in opening those lodes, a profitable mine would have been the result. It was at that time deemed expedient, with the then high price of tin, to commence to work for that mineral on a large lode seen to the west, about half a mile from where the engine was erected, when intended to develop the lead lodes. Horizontal rods were attached, and having but little water, a shaft was sunk 70 fathoms from surface, at which depth there is every appearance of satisfactory discoveries being made.

This mine adjoins Wheal Jane. As Wheal Jane lode underlies south, and North Jane underlies north, these tin lodes will form a junction in depth, when immense quantities of tin may be fairly expected. And when we remember that Wheal Jane, on an outlay of £3 10s. per share, has given dividends of £15 10s. per share, with a prospect of still increasing dividends, we may be sanguine as to North Jane. It is now contemplated by North Jane shareholders to sink a shaft near their boundary to intersect Wheal Jane Lode, which can be done by sinking about 40 fathoms. When that has been accomplished, no doubt North Jane will become a valuable property, and the Company will be rewarded for their perseverance.'

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

Falmouth & Sperries (approx. 1.7 km; COPPER, ZINC, LEAD-SILVER & IRON ORE)

South Wheal Garras (approx. 2.3 km; LEAD, SILVER & PYRITE)

Great Wheal Baddon (approx. 2.3 km; LEAD, SILVER, ZINC & TIN)

Wheal Jane & West Wheal Jane (approx. 2.4 km; TIN, COPPER & SILVER-LEAD)

Falmouth Consolidated (approx. 2.4 km; TIN, COPPER, SILVER-LEAD & ZINC)

Nangiles (approx. 3.3 km; COPPER, TIN, ZINC, PYRITE, ARSENIC, IRON ORE & OCHRE)

Mount Wellington (approx. 3.7 km; TIN)

Wheal Daniell (approx. 4.3 km; OCHRE & LEAD)

Creegbrawse & Penkevil United (approx. 4.6 km; COPPER & TIN)

Great South Chiverton (approx. 5.0 km; LEAD, ZINC & ARSENIC)


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