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. 

 

Man Engines

Click to see a larger version of this imageMining Man engine copyright the Royal Institution of Cornwall

A man engine is almost like a moving ladder. 


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Tin

Click to see a larger version of this imageold photo of cornish mining at Geevor

 

Tin production in the Devon and Cornwall dates from antiquity.


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Underground Exploration: Hard Rock

Click to see a larger version of this imageearly miner in underground level

By the mid-15th century, as alluvial works were running out, the value of tin was increasing and technology was improving, so miners started to follow the tin lodes underground.


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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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