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Wheal Tom Mine - at Deer Park Farm

Wheal Tom Mine - from the Archaeological Assessment by Colin Buck,2008

Within the project study area for Wheal Tom Mine, sited in the former boundary of the Deer Park, there is no documentary or field survey evidence for early mining. However, within the mid 19th century mine sett, it is likely that the wooded valley either side of the stream tributary from Kit Hill, east of the project area, would have been streamed for alluvial tin in the medieval period, and the location where the lode was originally found in the early 19th century.

"In 1850, on the recommendation of a Captain Floyd, a deep adit was being driven here towards a newly discovered tin lode which it was expected to cut at 50 fms. from surface. Near the southern boundary of the sett an old men 's adit was also being cleared in order to sink on a 3 ft. wide lode containing a leader of wolfram, 14 inches thick, 'which can at once be sent to market'. A 50" engine, built and erected by Mr J. E. Mare of Plymouth was set to work in January 1852 but in September of the year when the shaft had reached a depth of 30 fms. it was stated that Floyd 's report had proved entirely misleading and that in the preceding twelve months not a single
discovery had been made. Operations ceased soon afterwards and in 1911 the mine which then formed part of the Kit Hill sett, was said to have been idle for many years."
(Jenkin 1969, 33).

Wheal Tom was managed by Captain Floyd from 1851-2 and Captain William Rowe from 1852-3. It was leased from the Duchy for 21 years, from mid February 1850 at 1/15th dues. It measured 494 X 650 fathoms. One lode found in the adit had a leader of wolfram in the south part, 9" wide. Preliminary work began in February 1850 when a cost book company was formed and men were set to hang a tackle in order to sink on the course of a lode 5 ft wide which had recently been found. In April 1850 a drive was being made eastward on the gossan (copper) lode, and in November of the same year it was reported that 'some highly influential parties' had taken up the sett and were 'about prosecuting it with vigour'.

By December 1850 operations had started in real earnest, buildings were being erected and a lobby was being brought up to cut the Great Tin lode lately sunk in the centre of the sett. The old men's adit at the southern end of the sett was being cleared in order to facilitate sinking on the wolfram lode, which was 3 ft wide and had a leader of solid wolfram 2 ft wide.

In May 1851, a deep adit was being driven on the Great Copper Lode, and an adit was being driven westwards on the Great Tin Lode, which was 3 ft wide and composed of blue capel, iron, wolfram and tin in abundance. Spargo's Shaft was being sunk on the Great Tin Lode. In August £600 was paid for a second hand steam engine and £260 for pumps etc.

By December 1851, the mine was 27 fms. deep and the management had changed. In January 1852 the 50" steam engine was set working, and in February the engine shaft reached a depth of 30 fms. Arrears of calls began to trouble the company in September 1852, and it was suggested that they were largely due from Captain Floyd and his family. This was denied by Floyd, who claimed that he had received his shares free of calls until the shaft had been sunk 50 fms. under the Deep Adit and the lode had been cut. The shares were listed in the Mining Journal until April 1853. The mine sett was later worked as East Holmbush, West Clitters and Deer Park. Approximately £4605 was raised as capital expenditure from the sale of shares (Brookes 1986, Stoke Climsland Parish in CRO).

In later years, West Clitters (1864 - 1865) and Deer Park Mine (1865 - 1869, 1871 - 1875 and 1884 - 1885), at SX 3910 7300, all worked and further developed the eastern end of the same lode that had been started at Wheal Tom (see Fig 4). But it appears that there was no further work on site at Wheal Tom. The date of the engine and mine effects sale is not known.

The cover of the optimistic prospectus for Wheal Tom Mine  

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