Royal Polberro Mine, Cornwall
St Agnes: grid reference SW715515
Also known as Royal Polberro Consols and at one time Polberon Mine, this enterprise lies between Newdowns Head and Trevaunance Cove to the west of St. Agnes. It includes North Seal Hole Mine, Wheal Kine, Trevaunance Mine, Wheal Pye, Wheal Pell, and Turnavore, as well as the smaller mines of Wheal Squidler, Park Dolgo, East Trevaunance and Wheal Prosper, with the easternmost mines later absorbed by Wheal Kitty.
This rather large sett can be thought of as three distinct areas. To the west lies North Seal Hole Mine, Wheal Kine and Trevaunace Mine. In the centre lies Wheal Pell and Wheal Pye. To the east lies Polberro and Trevaunance Mines. The consolidated mine extracted copper and tin from a large number of lodes: Buckingham's Lode, otherwise known as Copper Gossan Lode, North House (Main) Lode, Davis' Lode, Pye Lode, Harris' Lode, Trevaunance Lode, Ellery's Lode, White Lode, Cly's Lode, Bradley's Lode, Broad House Lode, Pink Lode, South Tin Lode and Copper Lode.
A great number of shafts are dotted across the sett. These include Fortune Shaft, Gentle Shaft, Witta (or Wilts) Shaft, Viger's Shaft, Park Sump Shaft, East Pell West Shaft, East Pell Engine Shaft, North Pell Shaft, East Pye Shaft, South Park Shaft, Detastet Shaft, Tredenna Shaft, Shop Shaft, West Polberro Shaft, North Seal Hole Shaft, Humphrey's Shaft, Sump Shaft, Turnavore Shaft and Old Polberro Shaft.
Mining historian Thomas Spargo writes in his report of 1865 entitled 'The mines of Cornwall and Devon; statistics and observations' that Polberro (formerly Polberron) Consols, was
'... in St. Agnes, Cornwall, in 1,772 shares. Purser, Mr. ,T. P. Bennetts, Falmouth. Manager, Captain John Hancock, St. Agnes. Mineral Owner, Duke of Cornwall. Dues, 1-18th. Depth of adit, 60 fathoms; depth below it, 50 fathoms. Pumping-engine, 60-inch. Stamping-engine, 36-inch. Winding-engines, 22-inch and 16-inch respectively. Rock, clay-slate.
This mine has been worked from time immemorial. It has long been profitable, and is likely to continue so. The tin is disseminated through the rock in innumerable small veins, Bo that the workings are quite peculiar, rendering a perfect plan and section a most difficult undertaking. I have heard it alleged as an impossibility to make a plan of Polberro mine'.
Records of production at Polberro Consols are as follows:
North Seal Hole Mine: 1815 to 1827 - 1,740 tons of 7.25% copper ore
Wheal Pye: 1837 - 10 tons of black tin
Trevaunance Consols: 1843 to 1844 - 1,160 tons of 4.5% copper ore
Trevaunance United: 1884 to 1889 - 552 tons of 7.5% copper ore and 1855 to 1913 - 659 tons of black tin
Polberro: 1849 to 1854 - 1,052 tons of 5.5% copper ore and 1852 to 1896 - 4,378 tons of black tin and 5 tons of pyrite in 1858.
St Agnes Consols: 1846 and 1876 to 1877 - 596 tons of 5.25% copper ore and 45 tons of black tin.
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Other nearby mines and their main ores
Wheal Kitty & Penhalls United (approx. 0.8 km; TIN & COPPER)
Wheal Friendly (approx. 0.8 km; COPPER & TIN)
West Wheal Kitty (approx. 0.9 km; COPPER & TIN)
Blue Hills (approx. 1.3 km; TIN)
Wheal Coates (approx. 2.2 km; COPPER & TIN)
Cligga Head (approx. 3.2 km; TIN, WOLFRAM & ARSENIC)
Wheal Towan (approx. 4.1 km; COPPER & TIN)
West Wheal Towan (approx. 4.3 km; COPPER & TIN)
South Wheal Towan (approx. 4.4 km; COPPER)
Tywarnhayle Mine (approx. 4.5 km)