Cornish Mining the Basics

old photo showing 18th century cornish mine in production

Eighteenth century Cornwall was an advanced industrial region.

Cornwall played a key role in the world-wide spread of hard-rock mining skills, and of steam-engine technology.   Cornwall’s mineral wealth has been exploited for thousands of years and this has greatly shaped the landscape in many different ways. 

 

Winding

Click to see a larger version of this imagepostcard of a horse whim at Geevor

A hoist or winder is used to raise and lower men and or materials within a shaft.


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Water Wheels

Click to see a larger version of this imageold photo of a waterwheel  attached to stamps

Waterwheels were used to power machinery from early times.


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Coal Mining

Click to see a larger version of this imagecoal bricks

Metal Mining was not the only mining industry in Britain.


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Cages

Click to see a larger version of this imageMining Cage with men copyright Royal Institution of Cornwall

A rugged type of lift to transport the miners up and down the near vertical shafts.


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Comment left by anglesey caver on 2011-05-30 20:37:10

Where the Cornish used goose quills , in Anglesey the Parys and Mona miners used corn stubble collected after the harvest..

Comment left by Polo on 2011-06-05 22:12:31

Coal mining is very skillful, particularly where the seams mined are trending at 50° to the horizontal or where the seams are heavily faulted. Although the value of the final processed product is significantly different, the values of the coal and metal ores underground in the rock are of a similar amount. A comparison of mine records in the 19th Century does not indicate any major difference in numbers employed at the different mines. A large coal mine has a similar sized underground work force as a large metal mine. In the 20th Century workforces in coal mines were much greater than metal mines as their production dwarfed that of metal mines.

 

Comment left by Shirley from Belgium on 2012-05-24 08:00:00

What a fantastic website, I've learned so much. Hope the kids like my presentation today on the 'Origins of the Cornish Pasty', I have you to thank for the greatest and most interesting part: the miners and their working conditions.

 

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