On the eastern banks of the Loe Valley sits a lonesome engine house belonging to Wheal Pool.
Mines in this area of the county are ancient, with Wheal Pool being no exception, probably working as early as the 16th century. It was have first been mined opencast, before moving underground towards 1800. Official records begin in 1790 and had its own smelting house and small steam engine.
In 1855 a new lease was granted to work for silver, lead and tin. This included a much larger area, encompassing the muddy flats around the engine house which were said to be rich in tin. Through to the 1870’s, the mine was worked by several companies, including the Loe Pool Stream Works. From 1912-1914 the Helston Valley Tin Company brought more modern processing works to the mine, focusing on the eastern side where concrete remains survive in the bushes.
The mine may have had three engine houses over its life. In 1794 a 30/36″ Hornblower & Winwood compound engine may account for the odd size of the engine house left behind. Around 1800, a 30″ Boulton & Watt may have used the house, followed by a 20″ (or 24″ depending which source is used) pumping engine installed in 1855. During the final working, the mine had installed concrete tanks, Bolase buddles, Wilfey tables, a narrow gauge railway and two steam engines.
The mine had three shafts: Engine/Leed’s Engine, Caermarthen and Shop shafts. While the mine must have produced enough ore to keep it going all that time, there are no recorded outputs.
Access is free to all as it sits alongside a public footpath.