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Poldice Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & ZINC

Gwennap: grid reference SW740427


Notable minerals: Bitumen, Cassiterite, Copper, Chalcopyrite, Galena, Pyrites, Sulphur, Wolfram & Wolframite.

Location
Poldice Mine sett lies half a mile east of St. Day in the parish of Gwennap. It lies adjacent to Wheal Unity on the west and is bounded by Creegbrawse and Penkevil Mine to the east. To the south lies Wheal Maid.


History
Poldice Mine is known to have been at work in the 17th cntury and an ancient document held at a court in Exeter confirms tin mining as early as 1512. The document dated 28th September 1512 relates about a quarrel between two parties over a theft of tin, 'near Poldyth in Wennap' as witnessed by one John Busveal. It reads as follows:
'... Michael said to Nicholas "Thou art a theff and yu stolys my Tynne"; scilicet in lingua materna, hoc est in Cornysh" - spoken in the mother language, which is Cornish ...'.

Poldice was drained by two Newcomen Engines, a 66-inch engine and a 60-inch engine, pumping the water into the Great County Adit. This network of drainage channels, drains into the Carnon valley near Point Mills. Work commenced on the Great Adit in 1748 under the supervision of Captain John Williams, Manager at Poldice. Contrary to the mines of the Camborne-Redruth area, Poldice was initially a tin mine and was recorded as such in 1748. Forty years later, the value of copper production outweighed that of tin. Between 1792 and 1798, over £150,000 worth of copper was sold ensuring that Poldice made an healthy profit.

Poldice Mine was amalgamated with Wheal Unity in the early 19th century and made almost £400,000 from the sale of 41,196 tons of copper ore. When added to the recipts from sales of tin, the mine made an overall profit of over £45,000.

There were a great number of lodes on the sett. They included: Tin Lode, worked from Harris' Shaft, Terrill's Shaft, Trevivian's Shaft, Trussal's Shaft, Painter's Shaft, Billing's Shaft, Oppie's Shaft and John Jeffrey's Shaft. The Main Copper Lode (also known as Bissa Pool Lode and Trezise's Lode) was worked from Quick's Shaft, Richards' Shaft, Bissa Pool Shaft and Roger's Shaft. Kemp's Lode was cut by Kemp's Shaft and Kitty Billy's Shaft. North Lode was worked by Cornish Shaft, Holman's Shaft, Lean's Shaft and Trussal's Engine Shaft. Quarry Lode was worked from Mundic Shaft. Trevivians Lode was worked from Trevivian's Shaft. Tower Engine Lode was worked from Tower Engine Shaft. Also present were Mundic Lode and Field's Lode.

Production at Poldice was as follows: 1815 to 1849 108,698 tons of 6.25% copper ore, as well as over 1,500 tons of black tin, 12 tons of zinc ore, 1,822 tons of mispickel, 873 tons of arsenic, 51 tons of pyrite and 321 tons of ochre. An unknown quantity of lead ore was also produced.

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

Consolidated Mines (Consols) (approx. 0.3 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Maid (approx. 0.3 km; TIN)

East Wheal Damsel (approx. 0.5 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Jewell (approx. 0.7 km; COPPER)

Wheal Unity (approx. 0.9 km; COPPER)

Ale & Cakes (approx. 1.1 km; COPPER & TIN)

Gwennap United Mines (approx. 1.1 km; COPPER)

Creegbrawse & Penkevil United (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Squire, United Mines (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER)

Wheal Gorland (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & WOLFRAM)

 

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