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Pendarves United Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER & TIN

Camborne: grid reference SW654389

Notable minerals: Condurrite, Copper & Cassiterite.

Pendarves United Mines consists of a number of smaller concerns amalgamated into a larger sett. In general it lies about a mile southeast of Camborne Church to the west of the Camborne to Troon road alongside Tolcarne Road. Remains were visible in the 1980's but recent development of the land means that little if anything now exists above ground. In its Wheal Bounty section, located near Croft Danger, grid reference SW649384, a small copper mine worked dating from about 1790. It closed in about 1798 during the 'Great Copper Slump', when cheap copper from Parys Mountain in Anglesey flooded the market and depressed prices.

Renamed Wheal Tryphena, the mine was at work in the 1840's, again producing a small amount of copper ore. The mine extracted ore from one chief lode known unsurprisingly as Main Lode. It worked from seven shafts: Plantation, Bennetts', Pendarves, Newton, Vivian's, Tolcarne and Roaring Water Shafts. Part of the Wheal Tryphena sett was acquired by West Condurrow Mine in 1857, with Wheal Tryphena reopening in 1860 as part of the enlarged Pendarves United group. Actual production figures are hard to find, however it is thought that despite over £15,000 worth of investment, the mine raised only about 100 tons of copper ore and 30 tons of black tin in its lifetime.

The immediate area is dotted with several mines working the western slope of Camborne Beacon. From west to east they included Wheal Pendarves, near Killivose (SW646384); Tolcarne Mine (SW655388), South Tolcarne Mine (SW656381) and to the east of the Troon road, South Condurrow Mine at Grid Reference SW660386. As mines its constituent parts had varied amounts of success - Tolcarne mine worked from 1860 until 1883 and sold over 6,900 tons of copper. The Tryphena section of Pendarves United was finally abandoned in 1873 as ore prices fell again. The group was absorbed into the expanded Dolcoath Mine sett in 1898. From 1968, it was worked as part of Wheal Pendarves until its closure in the 1980s.

Thomas Spargo states in his book The Mines of Cornwall (1865) that Tolcarne Mine was managed by Captain Joshua Jewell of Redruth with the mine leased from the landowner Sir R. R. Vyvyan Bart. Equipment included a combined 18-inch pumping and winding engine, with employment in 1865 standing at 120 - 78 men, 20 females and 22 boys. He also states that'Present company commenced about 1860 ... good prospects for early dividends'.

For more information on the Pendarves United group and its neighbouring mines please purchase a copy of the excellent Cornwall's Central Mines: The Southern District 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

Carn Camborne (approx. 0.5 km; COPPER, TIN, ZINC & ARSENIC)

Great Condurrow (approx. 0.7 km)

South Condurrow (approx. 0.7 km; TIN & COPPER)

Camborne Vean (approx. 0.8 km; COPPER 1845-85 & TIN 1857-84)

Grenville United (approx. 1.0 km; COPPER & TIN)

Dolcoath (approx. 1.7 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & MISPICKEL)

West Wheal Frances (approx. 1.7 km; COPPER & TIN)

North Dolcoath (approx. 1.8 km; COPPER & SILVER ORE)

Stray Park (approx. 1.9 km; TIN & COPPER)

Cook’s Kitchen (approx. 2.0 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)


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