West Caradon Mine, Cornwall
Caradon: grid reference SX262700
Notable minerals: Chalcocite, Chalcopyrite, Cuprite, Copper & Fluor .
West Caradon Mine lies threequarters of a mile from the summit of Caradon Hill on the western slopes. Its nearest neighbours were the highly succesful South Caradon Mine to the east and the less successful Gonamena Mine to the north. The sett includes New West Caradon Mine. To the west of the sett lies Craddock Moor Mine.
The mine worked quite a large number of lodes, listed from north to south these were: Taylor's, gilpin's, Kitford's, Dunstan's, Vivian's North, Menadue, Vivian's South, Main (or Allan's Lode), Clymo's and Jope's Lodes. Menadue Lode was worked from Elliott's and Hallet's Shafts, whilst Allan's Lode was worked from Couch's and Fox's Shafts. In the New West Caradon Mine section the lodes were worked from Marina's Sahft and Rickard's Shaft.
In its chapter entitled 'Gleanings Among Mines and Miners', 'The Railway Register and Record of Public Enterprise for Railways' writes about West Caradon in 1846 stating that:'West Caradon Copper Mine adjoins South Caradon on the opposite side of the valley, and has been at work about four years. The amount subscribed in calls by the shareholders amounted to £5,120. The returns of copper ore from the commencement to April last, have amounted to £89,343 14s. 9d. The cost during the same period for labour has been £43,678 15s. 7d., for materials £27,918 3s. 11d., whilst the profits divided among the shareholders have been £21,440, leaving a balance in hand of £1,426 15s. 4d. There are three steam engines at work, and another in course of erection; the present returns are about 450 tons of ore per month, and the dividends at the rate of £11,520 per annum. The deepest level is 126 fathoms from surface, and between 400 and 500 persons are employed. The mine is looking extremely well. We have to thank Mr. Crouch, the purser, for the above statistics, which, with regard to many mines, are extremely difficult to obtain'.
Thomas Spargo, the mining historian, writes in his book 'The Mines of Cornwall and Devon: Statistics and Observations' in 1865, that West Caradon Mine was '... In the parish of St. Cleer, in the Liskeard district, since it came under the management of Mr. F. Pryor, has pleasingly surprised the company by its large profits, and was for some time regarded as one of the Cornish prizes ; but there has been a great falling off in the value of the mine for some time, and the price of shares have receded from £90 to £19 each. The mine has been working twenty-four years. Number of lodes, nine. Depth from surface, 190 fathoms. Persons employed, 440 (1861). There are two draught engines, of 50 and 30-inch cylinder respectively; one 36-inch stamping and crushing ores, and two each of 24-inch drawing stuff. Secretaries, Messrs. Dunsford and Ranken, London'.
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Other nearby mines and their main ores
Gonamena (approx. 0.0 km; COPPER)
South Caradon (approx. 0.2 km; COPPER)
Caradon Consols (approx. 0.9 km; COPPER)
East Caradon (approx. 1.2 km; COPPER)
Glasgow Caradon Mine (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER)
South Wheal Phoenix (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER)
West Rosedown (approx. 2.0 km; COPPER)
Marke Valley Mine (approx. 2.0 km; COPPER & TIN)
Wheal Jenkin (approx. 2.0 km; TIN & COPPER)
Craddock Moor (approx. 2.1 km; COPPER)