Trewevas Mine at Rinsey is the Botallack of the south coast. Delicately perched on the cliff edge (and hanging off in parts) are the remains of two engine houses belonging to a short lived but fairly successful mine.
Opening in 1834, this handsome devil mined predominantly copper with a little copper on the side, working around five lodes. Following some false reports about the mine flooding in 1844, the mine captains reported that the mine was in a sad state of affairs in 1846, with the mine closing that year. The closing of the mine was a tad suspicious, with some financial irregularities called into question.
The houses were bought by the National Trust in 2008 and consolidated a year later.
This beauty was creatively named Old Engine pumping engine, which pumped out of Old Engine shaft. Built in 1834, it had a slot like opening in the back to allow the beam and cylinder to be installed down the hill behind; this would have housed a small engine, although the size wasn’t recorded. It’s boiler house would have sat on the south side, and its chimney is up the hill behind.
Behind Old Engine house is the remains of the capstan plat which was used to move heavy items down the shaft and would have been wound by hand.
Old Engine shaft was sunk onto South, or Old, lode and reached the 45-fathom (82m) level. This is actually two shafts in one, with the closest one belonging to the whim.
This stack may have belonged to one of the two whim engine houses (maybe the west one?)
The west whim housed a 16.5-inch engine while the East whim, which hauled out of New Engine shaft, held a 18-inch engine.
New Engine pumping engine house was built in 1838 to house a 45-inch Harvey & Co engine. This pumped out of New Engine (or Roger’s) shaft, before being sold in 1844 along with the 16.5-inch whim. The boiler house would have stood between the engine house and its chimney.
This engine pumped down to North lode, with the other lodes on the sett being Middle, Way Sowan and Nimble Cutter, as well as a Great Tin lode.
In 1844, another engine house was built in Diagonal shaft, housing a 70-inch engine, although now nothing remains. This shaft had reached the 96-fathom (175m) level.
The whole sett is easy to access along the coast path. Both engine houses have been consolidated, but the shafts are still open and in a bad state. The shafts are both fenced off and shouldn’t be approached without wings.
Brown, K. and Acton, B. (2007) Exploring Cornish Mines: Volume Two. 2nd edn. Truro: Landfall Publications.
Nance, D. and Brown, K. (2014) A complete guide to the engine houses of West Cornwall. Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press.
Wheal Prosper and Wheal Trewevas Mine (no date) Mining in Cornwall Database. Available at: http://www.cornwallinfocus.co.uk/mining/prosper.php (Accessed: 24 February 2018).