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Wheal Tolgus Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER & TIN

Redruth: grid reference SW683427


Location: The Wheal Tolgus sett lies just southeast of the crossroads at Sparnon Gate. The principal shafts were Horton's, Pryce's and Davey's and was bounded on its eastern flank by Wheal Montague and Treleigh Consols to the south by South Wheal Tolgus. The main workings lay about 400 metres south of the Cornish Arms pub.

Whilst nearby Camborne produced only copper at this time the Tolgus Mines in conjunction with the mines on North Downs near Treleigh also produced large quantities of tin. From an initial 29 tons of copper ore sold in 1819, Tolgus Downs Mine underwent several changes in its early years, with the mine being renamed Wheal Tolgus in 1823. A lode of high grade ore was discovered a short time later and its quality was such that for a time the mine received almost double the county average of £6.76 a ton for its produce. As the years passed production progressed from shallow working to deep mining via shafts drained by several adits. Like many other mines of this area Wheal Tolgus worked in very wet ground. The mine was dewatered by two 70-inch pumping engines on Davey's and Horton's shafts with another sited on Pryce's shaft - with a 25 inch cylinder. Some time later it was noticed that even these three pumps couldn't keep up with the ingress of water so a further 50-inch pumping engine was purchased.

By late 1833 the deposits of high grade ore were exhausted and the future for the mine looked bleak. The nearly new 50-inch engine was put up for sale in September 1834 and parts of the sett were abandoned. Things did not improve over the next couple of years so the machinery was put up for sale in Spring 1837. According to the excellent Cornwall's Central Mines: The Northern District by Tom Morrison, over 32,000 tons of copper ore was sold between 1819 and 1844 with overall profits of about £50,000. The northern part of the sett worked as Old Tolgus United between 1856 and 1862.

  • South Wheal Frances

  • Basset Mines

  • Grenville United Mines

  • Dolcoath Mine

  • South Crofty

  • Wheal Uny Mines

  • 'World Heritage' status has been gained for this area aiming to connect the mines of Redruth to the Portreath to Devoran (Coast to Coast) Trail via Tolgus. See The Mineral Tramway Heritage Project for more details.

    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

    West Wheal Tolgus (approx. 1.3 km; ZINC, COPPER & TIN)

    East Wheal Tolgus (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER, TIN & ZINC)

    South Wheal Tolgus (approx. 1.4 km; LEAD, ZINC, COPPER & TIN)

    Great South Tolgus (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & ZINC)

    Treleigh Wood (approx. 1.5 km; TIN & COPPER)

    West Wheal Peevor (approx. 1.8 km)

    North Pool (approx. 1.8 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & ZINC)

    Wheal Union (approx. 1.9 km; TIN)

    East Pool & Agar (approx. 2.1 km; COPPER, TIN & WOLFRAM)

    Wheal Peevor (approx. 2.1 km; COPPER & TIN)

     

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