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  • Writer's pictureSteeple Woods

Mine workings at Trelyon Consols

Main features of the mine

​Trelyon Consols includes a series of mine shafts: New Shaft (to 80 fathoms below adit), Parry’s Shaft (to 30 fathoms), Lawry’s Shaft (to 50 fathoms), Flat Rod Shaft, Daniel’s Shaft, Whip Shaft, America Shaft and the adit mouth on the coast. The ground had been stoped from surface to adit to the east and west of Lawry’s Shaft over a length of 70 fathoms, (this almost certainly taking the form of gunnising and other surface workings).

Engine or Lawry’s Shaft was one of the more significant during the operation of the mine during the 19"‘ century, being at least 140m deep and is likely to have been served by both pumping and winding equipment.

There was a beam engine house on the site driving 16 heads of stamps as well as powering flat rods to pumps on two shafts. The chimney was set on the south-westem corner of the engine house, whilst the boiler house extended to its rear. Downslope from the stamps, the pulp was passed to three settling strips, then to a pair of sub-triangular ponds, into a further set of parallel settling tanks, then via a series of radiating channels into two further sets of parallel settling tanks. To the south was a large “L” shaped structure, marked as “Floors”, and probably consisting of open-fronted sheds facing onto a surfaced yard. Such an arrangement was common on copper dressing floors of the period (a similar arrangement existed at Levant Mine), whilst the settling strips and stamps are typical of tin floors. The likelihood is, therefore, that both minerals were being recovered and dressed at the time. The dressing floors also sited a buming house or calciner - shown on the plan as a relatively large rectangular structure at the upper end of the copper dressing floors, having a short flue connecting it to a chimney stack not far upslope.

The stamps engine crank also drove two sets of flat rods (whose runs incorporated angle cranks where changes of direction were required). These would have driven small sets of pumps in Parry’s Shaft and Lawry’s Shaft.

A water wheel (of unknown size) was a little way downslope from the north-westem end of the large pond. This wheel may have provided pumping or winding power to one or more of the shafts, or been a (remote) power source for the dressing floors.

Two horse whims were apparently the only form of winding equipment in use on the mine at that time. These were sited close to the Parry’s Shaft and Lawry’s Shaft. The plans also showed a whim next to Flat Rod Shaft.

There was a large header pond (50m x 15m) at this location since at least the late 1870’s. This mine reservoir was probably constructed shortly after the restarting of Trelyon Consols in 1850. The pond is bounded by a broad earth bank 1.6m high. The pond served a water wheel not far clownslope from the sluice, and the leat was carried through the dressing floors and away to the south-east along Vuggo Lane.

As well as the large rectangular mine reservoir at the south-western end of the Trelyon Consols site, six smaller ponds within the general area of the mine dressing floors. Four of these appear to have been abandoned dressing floor features, one lay immediately upslope from the Account House, the other not far downslope. The functions of this last pair are unclear.


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