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South Roskear Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC

Camborne: grid reference SW650407

South Roskear Mine sett lies on the northern outskirts of Camborne Town and is more accurately an old large sett sub-divided into two distinct sections some time around 1850. They were Gustavus Mines, including Wheal Gerry and South Roskear. Prior to 1850, the sett had stretched from Trelawny Road to North Roskear Road on the northern side of Camborne.

Gustavus section was worked from the following shafts: Dunstanville, Wellington, Engine, Crosscourse and Hartley's Shafts. The Wheal Gerry section was worked from: Lamb, Western Whim, Gregory and Hollyhock Shafts whilst the South Roskear section was worked by Dunkins, Hodge's, Vivian's, Pendarves' and Taylor's Shafts.

George Abbot states in his book An Essay on the Mines of England (1833) that Wheal Chance despite making a profit of over £150,000 was to be considered closed and was 'only working up refuse ores'. For South Roskear however he reports that the mine was producing about 1,000 tons of ore per year. This fact is backed up by production records showing clearly that between 1836 and 1840 South Roskear raised between 1,900 and 2,500 tons of copper ore per year and between 1,500 and 2,000 tons per annum from 1841 to 1844. It continued producing over 1,000 tons yearly until about 1847 when output began to decline rapidly. The mine was in such a poor state that it along with its 60-inch and 35-inch pumping engines, 20-inch and 16-inch winding engines and two horse whims was offered up for sale in January 1850.

The original sett held under 5 leases was subdivided. The western section, the former Wheal Chance, Wheal Kitty and a part of Wheal Gerry were to be worked as Gustavus Mines, Grid reference SW645405. The eastern section of Wheal Gerry and part of Wheal Susan as well as the original Roskear Mine formed Pendarves Consols in the east. Wheal Gerry, Grid reference SW650407 included the former mines of Wheal Speedwell and Wheal Hatchet, which dated from at least the early 1770's. The eastern section at SW656410 was worked by South Roskear Mine. All sections worked the South Roskear Main Lode. Tin was first raised and sold in 1858 increasing to about 30 tons per year in 1878. Associated with the ore was a sizeable amount of arsenic with the 257.8 tons raised in 1876 sold for £1,283.80. The mine employed about 100 people in 1878.

For more in depth information on South Roskear and its neighbouring mines please purchase a copy of the excellent Cornwall's Central Mines: Northern District, 1810-95 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

North Roskear (approx. 0.3 km; COPPER & TIN )

Wheal Seton (approx. 0.7 km; COPPER, TIN, ZINC & ARSENIC)

West Wheal Seton (approx. 0.8 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)

Dolcoath (approx. 0.9 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & MISPICKEL)

North Crofty (approx. 0.9 km; COPPER & TIN)

East Wheal Seton (approx. 1.0 km; COPPER & TIN)

Cook’s Kitchen (approx. 1.0 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)

Wheal Emily Henrietta (approx. 1.0 km; COPPER & ZINC)

Camborne Vean (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER 1845-85 & TIN 1857-84)

South Tincroft (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER, TIN & LEAD)


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