SOUTH WHEAL FRANCES MINE RUINS CORNWALL
Poignant abandoned and overgrown roofless mining building ruins at South Wheal Frances, part of the Basset group of mines on the edge of the imposing granite outcrop of Carn Brea near Redruth and Camborne in Cornwall, UK.
Mining began in the area in the early 1720s primarily extracting copper ore then tin ore. The main Marriott's shaft drops vertically for 900 ft then continues at an angle until over 1,500ft and enabled mining to depths of 6,000 ft.
The mineral rich Great Flat Lode was discovered here in 1872-74. By the early 20th century thousands of men, women and children were employed by the mine. A slump in prices after the First World War caused the mine to close in 1918.
The mine is named after mineral lord and peeress, Lady Frances Basset. E C Marriot was lady Basset's agent. Previously known as South Frances United in 1892 until it merged with Basset mines in 1895.
Today, South Wheal Frances comprises a group of buildings centred on Marriott's shaft. Remaining buildings include the Boiler House, Compressor House, the Miner's Dry, Smithy, pumping engine house and winder house as well as the bases of the ore bins.
The boiler house once contained six Lancashire boilers to power the pumping engine, winder, compressor, crusher, and capstan. The winding house next to Marriott's shaft contained a horizontal cross-compound engine made by Holman's of Camborne, with 23- and 43-inch cylinders either side of its conical winding drum.
The buildings are listed and protected as scheduled monuments and are also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Mining Landscape of Cornwall and West Devon no. 1215.
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