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Report - Carn brea adit system. Cornwall, December 2009

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Pasty, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Pasty

    Pasty 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Dec 3, 2007
    Likes Received:
    a brief history:

    Carn Brea and Tincroft Mines merged eventually to form part of the enlarged sett of South Crofty. They lay just to the north and northwest of the granite hill of Carn Brea overlooking the Camborne-Redruth area.
    Carn Brea mine was one of the largest setts in this part of Cornwall. The mine was on the lower slopes of the hill and was bounded to the east by Carn Brea Village and the sett of Wheal Union and Wheal Uny, Redruth. To the north lay the setts of East Pool, Wheal Agar and Tehidy.

    Both tin and copper ore were reported to occur to a depth of 200m, dominant lode fillings below this depth consist of finely divided chlorite with grains of cassiterite and arsenopyrite.
    The lode passes from killas to granite at 210m in the east and 150m in the west. Lodes in the Tincroft area were closed early in the 20th century (Dines, 1956).

    The Trip:
    This place was explained to us in detail by a ex miner, it was maintained as access and drainage as it used to link up with more modern workings somewhere up the line.

    The adit in question was of great length and allowed access to a large area of workings that have now been capped.
    This adit access is beleived to be the only way in or out and although we were told where it was, took us ages to locate.

    This has to be one of the most tortourous trips into a mine i have ever done, well over a mile walking in back breaking tunnels, waist to chest high water, against a strong flow is enough to put anyone off.

    Eventually it led to some good stuff, i would love to know where abouts on the surface we were under but the changes of direction and distances were very hard to follow, i would imagine we were somewhere toward the base of carn brea.

    The way down into the adit system

    The way in is via that short tunnel to the left, its waist high water and you have to bend down a lot to fit!

    This is a good example of what the first mile or so is like, and yes its pretty cold too.

    Finally gets a little shallower...

    We came across several shafts, this one in particular was capped but still had its pumping gear. Notice how wet it was by the water pouring down
    the same pump gear from the other side of the shaft, the shaft continued downward but everything below is flooded

    finally up into dry workings

    looking up into a stope

    big stope, when those timbers decide to give way, make sure your standing some place else!!!

    wooden walkway over a hole, it was a short drop to water and the timbers were in good condition

    The water in this section was pouring in through a seam in the tunnel wall, it was under quite a lot of pressure

    A launder channeling water over some stope areas

    Awsome colours from the mineral deposits

    This is the bottom of another capped shaft, a manway shaft this time, the ladders have all collapsed over time to this heap at the bottom.

    We called it a day at this point, and headed back, a good trip but hard going.
    #1 Pasty, Feb 22, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010

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  2. J4M35_UK

    28DL Full Member

    Dec 12, 2009
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    You guys are hardcore, I like that :thumb
  3. Rude Dog

    Rude Dog Guest

    Pasty, you forgot to mention that South Crofty are now back in business and development across the town is well underway. This adit was maintained in order to cut pumping costs. Although not a part of the present mine, the adit is a part of their drainage system and thus attracts the usual elfansafety bullshit that would get them excited about people looking for the entrance. The crofty blokes take a dim view of people going up their headgears/in their workings as they have enough crap on their plates from the RDA, county council, EU, etc, etc, etc.

    Please stay out of South Crofty property.

    Not to bang on too much, but there are access issues in Cornwall, there is a bloody good reason that stuff is kept off the radar as the authorities are getting increasingly worried about undangerous-dangerous things like mineshafts. They are looking for an excuse to extend their allready huge capping programme.

    I'm totally pro-stuff on the interweb, but when you have the police looking at this and speaking to the numbskulls at County Hall, they'll be ordering some more concrete.

    Again, Crofty are doing bloody well to keep the mining flag flying in Kern.

    Please don't attempt any repeat trips. I'd hate to see someone come unglued as if there is a rescue situation, the hand wringers will cover the whole of Cornwall in a big concrete slab.

    Proper job.
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