Just off the A30 is the prominent engine house of West Chiverton Mine, which unlike the majority of mines in Cornwall, this one was a significant lead, silver and zinc producer.

West Chiverton

This mine first started work in 1846 under the name Ventongimps Mine, closing just three years later. It was restarted in 1856 as West Chiverton and was a very successful mine for the next thirty years and by 1871 it was employing 838 people. 

West Chiverton

From 1882 the underground parts of the mine closed, though mining did still occur above ground until 1886. At this point the mine closed, with some minor reworking of its dumps between 1917 and 1922. 

West Chiverton
Shafts
Lodes
Output
Shafts

Hawke’s (140 fathoms/256m), Batter’s (176 fathoms/322m), Glubb (150 fathoms/274m), Burgess (120 fathoms/220m) and Susanna’s (80 fathoms/146m). 

Lodes

North/Elizabeth, Middle and South/William’s.

Output

1847-74
16 tons (16,257 kg) of 6.25% copper.

1859-86
45,100 tons (45,823,716 kg) of 73% lead, 1,221,200 oz (34,620 kg) of silver and 22,000 tons (22,353,032 kg) of 37-50% zinc. 

West Chiverton

Despite only have one and a bit of its engine houses left, it had a fair few over its life. The first may have been a 42″ pumping engine built in 1856 on Hawke’s and later replaced by a larger 80″ engine in 1863. By 1868 there was a second 80″ pumping engine, this one on Batter’s shaft. Designed by Matthew Loam and Sons of Liskeard and made by Harvey’s, this was described as a perfectly finished engine; in 1882 it was bought back by Harvey’s until going to Gwennap United in 1899. In 1907 it moved for a final time to Great Condurrow

In 1868 there was also a 22″ whim engine and two 24″ whim and crushing engines. A 30″ stamps engine with 32 heads of stamps was installed in 1872, with a second 26″ added four years later. The latter was sold to South Condurrow in 1881 where it worked from Marshall’s shaft; the house it was installed into was destroyed as part of an army training exercise in 1952, with only its unique boiler house and some parts of its walls remaining. 

West Chiverton
Access
Parking
References
Access

The engine house sits alongside a public footpath. The house does however have planning permission for house conversion, so it’s always possible this view could be obscured if building work does commence.

Parking

There is no parking for this mine. 

References

Dines, H. G. (1956) The metalliferous mining regions of south-west England. British Geological Survey.

Nance, D., Brown, K. and Clarke, T. (2019) A Complete Guide to the Engine Houses of Mid-Cornwall. Lydney: Lightmoor Press.

Spargo, T. (1864) The Mines of Cornwall and Devon: Statistics and Observations. London: Vincent & Skeen.