Near the village of Carleen was once a significant mining centre, with some of the greatest tin and copper producer in the county working here. While little remains today, one feature is the 30″ pumping engine and decorative chimney of Wheal Metal and Flow.
The Wheal Metal and Flow mine is one of the babies in the Carleen mining group. While it was no doubt worked as part of larger concerns such as neighbours Wheal Vor and Wheal Metal, as a separate venture, mining started in the 19th century.
Watson’s shaft, the centre of the Metal and Flow sett was first worked as West Wheal Metal, until the mine was restarted as 1885. The function of this mine was primarily to rework the ‘Flow’, or tailings from Wheal Vor and Wheal Metal.
The second hand 30″ rotative engine was installed on Watson’s shaft in the same year, running 34 heads of stamps alongside a waterwheel and pumping from Watson’s shaft to provide water for its dressing floor.
The mine had a relatively short life, coming to an end in 1901 having sold 540 tons of tin.
Access to the mine is available from a public footpath. However, the engine house and its separate chimney have not been made completely safe and the shaft in behind is still open, although full of branches. It’s best to appreciate this engine house from a distance until it’s made safer.