Condurrow Mine in the back a beyond on Troon has been around for a while, although in varying forms. A Higher Condurrow mine was working as far back as 1815, but closed in 1830. It reopened again at some point, producing fairly good amounts of copper and then tin before closing again in 1873. The sett was reworked again from 1880-81 (although output record dates differ) under the name Pendarves United, following its amalgamation with Tryphena Mine, Wheal Nelson, West Condurrow and Tolcarne. It was reworked for the final time between 1906-14 as Condurrow United. The final reworking was fairly unsuccessful as they struggled to make Woolf’s shaft safe to use, with costs mounting.
Woolf’s (or Neame’s) pumping engine house was built in 1906 during the final reworking. This housed a 80-inch engine built by Harvey’s & Co, having originally come first from West Chiverton where it worked from 1869-1882; the engine then went to Garland shaft at Gwennap United from 1899-1905, before finally making its way to Troon. The engine house was originally going to be built on the north side of the shaft, but the ground proved too unstable. It’s boiler house used to stand on the east side and housed four Cornish boilers.
Remains of a horizontal whim and air compressor lie on private land to the east.
Woolf’s shaft reached a final depth of 283-fathoms (518m).
Other shafts part of Great Condurrow include Pryce’s (or Sump/Engine), which had a 36-inch pumping engine by 1850; this shaft reached 330-fathoms (603m). In 1863 there was a a 21-inch whim winding out of the shaft as well.
Another shaft was Hope’s (290-fathom/530m), which had a 18-inch whim that also pulled from Pryce’s, this engine went on to work a crusher as well. Llandower shaft was used to provide access for the CSM students back in the day and reached 130-fathoms (238m). The final two shafts are Smith’s (110-fathom/201m) and Adit (12-fathom/22m).
Several lodes were worked on the sett, including Main, Llandower, Robert’s and South.
Outputs between 1856-65 are recorded as 30,495 tons of 6.75% copper, 2,030 ton of black tin, 6.5 tons of pyrite and 35 tons of arsenic. Outputs for Pendarves United (dated 1854 and 1866-81) are 2,6660 tons of black tin, 575 tons 6% copper and 56 tons of arsenic.
Woolf’s pumping engine house is right on the side of the road and free to access, the site has been consolidated and made safe. The Carn Brea Mining Society own the Pryce’s/Llandower part of the mine and are busy putting it all back together; this section can be seen from the footpath running along it, but the land is private. Other bits and pieces are also on private land.
Barton, D. B. (1965) A Guide to the Mines of West Cornwall. Truro: Worden Limited.
Brown, K. and Acton, B. (2007) Exploring Cornish Mines: Volume Two. 2nd edn. Truro: Landfall Publications.
Cornwall Archaeological Unit (1991) Engine House Assessment: Mineral Tramways Project.
Dines, H. G. (1956) The metalliferous mining regions of south-west England. British Geological Survey.
Nance, D. and Brown, K. (2014) A complete guide to the engine houses of West Cornwall. Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press.