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Carn Brea Mines Mine, Cornwall

Carn Brea Mines

Principal ores: COPPER, TIN & LEAD

Redruth: grid reference SW668406

Notable minerals: Agate, Cassiterite,Chalybite, Chalcocite, Chlorite, Condurrite, Copper, Covellite, Cuprite, Erubescite, Fluor, Goethite, Haematite, Limonite, Mica, Marcasite, Mispickel, Pharmacosiderite, Pyrites, Rock Crystal, Stannite, Tennantite, Wolfram & Smectite.

The Man Engine house at Dunkin's shaft, South Tincroft Mine - the last one standing in Cornwall

Tincroft was first mentioned in historical texts in the 1680s as 'Penhellick Vean & Tyn Croft'. In 1832 Wheal Druid was amalgamated with Wheal Fanny, Tregajorran Mine and Barncoose Mine to become Carn Brea Mines. During the 1840-50's production from the highly mineralised area running southeast from Camborne to Bissoe was at its peak. Cornwall produced almost 80% of the UK's copper and about a quarter of world production! 1859 A 'man engine was installed on Dunkin's shaft, connected to a 26-inch rotative beam engine at South Tincroft Mine - Grid reference SW669406. 1850-1870 As copper production fell tin production increased with advances in mining technology allowing the tin to be worked at greater depths. 1891 The compressor house was constructed at South Tincroft housing a horizontal steam-driven compressor made by Harvey's of Hayle which powered the rock drills underground. 1896 Tincroft and Carn Brea Mines amalgamated - records show that in this year the mine employed 466 workers undergound and 607 on the surface - quite a shock when you see the area today. 1921 South Tincroft mine closed. In their lifetime Carn Brea and Tincroft mines produced 470,000 tons of copper and 53,000 tons of tin.

The Compressor house at South Tincroft Mine
Inside the Compressor house at South Tincroft Mine

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.

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

South Crofty (approx. 0.6 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & WOLFRAM)

South Tincroft (approx. 0.6 km; COPPER, TIN & LEAD)

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

East Pool & Agar (approx. 1.0 km; COPPER, TIN & WOLFRAM)

North Crofty (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER & TIN)

Dolcoath (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & MISPICKEL)

North Pool (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & ZINC)

West Wheal Basset (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER & TIN)

Great South Tolgus (approx. 1.6 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & ZINC)

South Wheal Tolgus (approx. 1.6 km; LEAD, ZINC, COPPER & TIN)


Great Flat Lode

Great Flat Lode

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