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.
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.
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.
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.
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.