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St Ives Wheal Allen Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: TIN & COPPER

St Ives: grid reference SW498399


St Ives Wheal Allen lies on the north of the B3306 St Ives to St Just road and is best seen from the vantage point of Rosewall Hill. The sett lies between Folly Farm and Hellesveor and is indicated by a solitary mine chimney. This tin mine dates from at least 1730 and is named after the Allen family who worked the site. The early history of the mine is not recorded but it is known to have been at work in 1828 under the name of Wheal Folly. The main period of development and production however began in mid-1860. The mine developed along Roderick's and Carbona (otherwise known as South) Lodes, working from Louisa's Shaft, New (Roderick's) Engine Shaft, Highburrow Shaft and Giesler's Flat Rod Shaft.

Lone Chimney at Wheal Allen, from Rosewall Hill

A new pumping engine was installed on Roderick's Engine Shaft and the old workings cleared with a view to accessing the ore bodies found in the mine's near neighbours St Ives Consols and Rosewall Hill. This was not to be. The lodes, when discovered were small and of poor quality and the development costs put the company firmly in the red. A fall in the tin price sealed the fate of St Ives Wheal Allen. Never pprofitable, the mine closed in 1868. Production figures were: 2 tons of copper (1862 to 1868) and just over 125 tons of tin worth about £6,800.

Thomas Spargo gives us a brief insight into St Ives Wheal Allen in his book of 1865 entitled 'The mines of Cornwall and Devon; Statistics and Observations', where he reports 'St Ives Wheal Allen, in the Parish of St. Ives, Cornwall, in 900 shares. Purser, Mr. T. W. Robinson, Penzance. Manager, Captain John Nancarrow, St. Ives. Landowners, Earl of Mornington and Duke of Cleveland. Dues, l-18th. Adit, 18 fathoms deep. Bottom of mine, 58 fathoms under adit. The rock is granite. Pumping- engine, 30-inch. Stamping-engine, 18-inch. 55 men, 8 females, and 7 boys employed.

Mineral Sold In 1864: 23 tons, 10 cwt., 3 qrs., 9 lbs. of black tin for £1,368 16/- 1d

The Company commenced in December, 1860, and their prospects are good. The mine adjoins the western side of St. Ives Consols, whose former riches are patent to the world'
.

For more information on production dates and so on please see Roger Burt's excellent book Cornish Mines: Metalliferous and Associated Minerals, 1845-1913 (Mineral Statistics of the United Kingdom, 1845-1913) or what is widely regarded as the mining enthusiasts bible by H G Dines - The Metalliferous Mining Region of South-West England: Vols I & II (Economic Memoirs).

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

Goole Pellas (approx. 0.5 km; TIN)

St. Ives Consols (approx. 0.9 km; TIN & COPPER)

Rosewall Hill & Ransom United (approx. 1.2 km; TIN)

Tyringham Consols (approx. 1.3 km)

Georgia Consols (approx. 1.3 km; TIN)

Wheal Trenwith (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER, TIN &: URANIUM)

Trelyon Consols (approx. 2.5 km; TIN & COPPER)

Giew Mine (approx. 3.0 km; TIN)

Wheal Providence (approx. 3.0 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Reeth (Reeth Consols) (approx. 3.0 km; TIN)

 

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