West Wheal Basset Stamps

The West Wheal Basset stamps sit on the side on Carn Brea in the village of Carnkie. The complex was built in 1875 in an attempt to keep up with the stamping and dressing needs of West Wheal Basset Mine (written about here).

The 40-inch stamps engine built by Tuckingmill Foundry, worked 80 heads of stamps, 32 on one side and 48 on the other. It has a separate stack behind the house, its boiler house would have sat between them.

The stamps engine also drew water from the shaft at its rear, although the West Wheal Basset engine provided some water from 1896. Two tramways also served the mine, one coming from West Wheal Basset and South Wheal Frances, and another coming up the hill from Lyle’s shaft.

The vanner house would have contained Frue vanners, shaking tables that separated black tin from other materials. These were driven by a smaller steam engine which sat in the projecting section of the front wall.

The site also contains two Brunton calciners with a separate calciner stack along with both concave and convex buddles. The complex did however extend past the walls still standing today, with further buddles to the west, remains of settling tanks and various frames to the east and west. Five ponds used to sit above the engine house.

Access
The whole complex is free to visit and is on a public footpath that goes all the way around the base of Carn Brea. The closest car park is the Wheal Basset car park in Carnkie.

References

Brown, K. and Acton, B. (2007) Exploring Cornish Mines: Volume One. 4th edn. Truro: Landfall.

Nance, D. and Brown, K. (2014) A complete guide to the engine houses of West Cornwall. Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press.