South Condurrow Mine, Cornwall
Camborne: grid reference SW663389
Notable minerals: Cassiterite.
South Condurrow Sett lies to the southeast of Camborne on the western extremity of the Great Flat Lode. The sett is bounded to the east by West Wheal Basset; to the south by Wheal Grenville Sett, to the west by Tolcarne Sett and to the north by Pendarves United Sett. There are historical records showing copper mining taking place at neighbouring Condurrow by 1815. This mine only operated for a short time before closing again in 1830. In 1844 however, Great Condurrow was reopened along with a mine called 'Old Tye' located about 300 metres to the south. In 1845, Baroness Grenville granted a lease to work the area to the southwest. This was to become Wheal Grenville Sett.
Old Tye Mine was renamed South Condurrow Mine in 1850 and worked for many years before producing any profitable tin in 1864. South Condurrow also experienced major problems with flooding, especially during 1872. Providence smiled on this area around this time however as shafts encountered a rich shallow dipping ore body. The true nature of what we know today as the Great Flat Lode began to be fully understood. Fortunes turned around so much that the mine was able to pay a dividend for the first time in 1875 and continued to pay yearly dividends until 1893.
In the same year South Condurrow enlarged its operations to the south west with Marshall's Shaft being sunk in 1881, unfortunately, this proved to be unsuccessful and further slumps in the price of tin in the 1890's caused South Condurrow to struggle again. The mine paid its last annual dividend in 1893 and finally closed in 1896. Luck played a part again as the following year saw the older sections of the mine being offered to the Camborne School of Mines as a training base for future miners. South Condurrow was renamed King Edward Mine on the accession of King Edward VII in January 1901. For more information on South Condurrow and its neighbouring mines please purchase a copy of the excellent Cornwall's Central Mines: The Southern District by T. A. Morrison.
King Edward Mine Today
The Great Flat Lode is an enormous ore bearing body tilted at an angle of about 45 degrees situated to the south of Carn Brea. Normally lodes are found perpendicular to the ground surface or at best at angles of about 60 degrees. The Great Flat lode got its name as in relative terms it lay a lot flatter in the ground. This, meant that mines could be placed at the optimum locations to extract the tin or copper ore from the ground without digging to excessive depths. The Great Flat Lode Trail encompasses all the major mines of the Camborne-Redruth area running in a 7.5 mile multi-use circular trail around the granite hill of Carn Brea. Follow the hyperlinks for more information and photographs on the main sections of this excellent trail.
It is hoped to achieve 'World Heritage' status for this area shortly which should help to provide the necessary funding to improve and interlink all the mineral tramway projects. The majority of the trail is off-road and suitable for walkers, horse riders and cyclists. There are even some parts accessible to wheelchair users.
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Other nearby mines and their main ores
Grenville United (approx. 0.3 km; COPPER & TIN)
South Tolcarne (approx. 0.7 km; COPPER)
Pendarves United (approx. 0.7 km; COPPER & TIN)
Great Condurrow (approx. 0.7 km)
Carn Camborne (approx. 1.1 km; COPPER, TIN, ZINC & ARSENIC)
West Wheal Frances (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER & TIN)
Camborne Vean (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER 1845-85 & TIN 1857-84)
Dolcoath (approx. 1.9 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & MISPICKEL)
South Wheal Frances (approx. 2.2 km; COPPER & TIN)
Cook’s Kitchen (approx. 2.2 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)