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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Alasdair Neill

Joined: 10/12/2008

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 10/01/2015 09:31:45
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Just wondering what the evidence for this NOT being Turnavore shaft was.
Probably not long after the photo was taken runs obliterated the hanging timberwork, but features around the shaft in the photo could still be seen. Some of the timberwork appears to be old telegraph poles which would date it as c.1938. A survey positioned it in roughly the right place for Turnavore. The workings were roughly surveyed by Allen Buckley & a geologist from South Crofty for South West Water who were considering using the shaft as part of the St. Agnes sewageworks scheme.
Are there any photos of the adjoining stopes, which appear to be on an impressive carbona-type feature?

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royfellows

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 10/01/2015 11:23:36
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Interesting.
I now consider that previous comments I have made which were based on guesswork and gut feeling should be disregarded.

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Imageo

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 10/01/2015 12:32:21
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From memory it was a gurt big hole and one that was never going to be illuminated by my instamatic flash so I never tried. Carbona ? Not sure. I got the feeling that it was the junction of a couple of lodes but it's all a bit hazy now. The late 1970s are getting decidedly hazy.

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I'm a Geo 'There's a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness.'
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Tony Blair

Joined: 23/07/2012

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 10/01/2015 17:54:02
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MRO-13046 sheet 4/6 shows the section of Turnavore Shaft. The detail is focussed at the bottom of the shaft (where the works were taking place). "Adit to St Agnes Beach" is marked on" and there is a higher level. There are no notes about higher workings intersected, which would have been present. This would also have been true for the workings being discussed.

If you look at Bob Acton's "Exploring Cornish Mines", there is a photo from the last working showing the E/H being used as a dry and the headgear quite a considerable way from the shaft. So much so, it might suggest that the bit of the shaft in use was the old skipway and the pump and ladder section were disused. So, in light of that, it's possible that what we see underground in the form or relatively limited timberwork may not represent the true size of the shaft.

There is another plan in circulation done by another popular surveyor (and mining professional) which shows the position of "open shaft" (Primrose Shaft). Knowing the position of all 3 points, T Shaft, Adit Portal and P shaft, it was possible to layer the plan onto Google Earth (which is what I did) and it really really didn't fit. (I wanted to show the extent of the old Trevaunance Adit to some weirdy beardies useing GE rather than a map). So, it either shows that:-

- GE is warped and the rough survey is OK.
- GE is pretty OK and the survey is shyte.
- Both are rubbish
- Both are quite accurate and turnavore shaft is not the one in the stoping. (It really was WAY OUT)

Before making any assumption, I'd like to stretch it onto an accurate map using GIS. Since I haven't done this, the above is conjecture.

However, it's possible that our man did a hell of a rough pace and compass survey and it's not as good as it could be.

For the record, I think the Polberro section of the adit is still accessible. I recall it going off as a branch which was about 4ft higher than the main adit. We got into some big stoping which stank of diesel.

I would err on the shaft not being T Shaft. However, the people who remember it in the stope may remember the size.

I have a feeling trounson reported it in his "Furture Mines" as being huge. Something like 8ft by 12 inside timbers. It was a big old hole.

I'm not sure how it's capped. Oddly enough, when I happened upon the bat castle thing, I noted how far away from the engine house it was. I wondered if they had put the vent pipe in the balance bob. It would be an interesting one to drop.

My opinion is that Turnavore shaft is through there somewhere, rather than being closer to one of the other adits.
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Imageo

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 12/01/2015 04:54:59
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Using GE, if you rotate the plan that I uploaded (because my N direction is obviously miles out) and scale it roughly then the shaft along the Pink/Friendly branch ends up pretty close to Wheal Friendly pump shaft but the other workings go nowhere near Turnavore shaft. The one in the picture would be well east of Turnavore.

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Tony Blair

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 12/01/2015 11:53:38
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Your plan and the one in circulation by another local chap are almost identical. His has a bit more detail of the side branches.

Primrose Shaft is without doubt the open shaft and that is here:-

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.317447&lon=-5.204577&z=18.6&r=0&src=msl

I haven't done an overlay with that yet.
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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 13/01/2015 00:54:30
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Thanks Tony, yes that makes a lot of sense. Pity that stretch of adit is now inaccessible. There were a lot of branches I wasn't game to have a look in at the time.

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I'm a Geo 'There's a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness.'
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Alasdair Neill

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 27/02/2015 09:29:33
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Survey added to Polberro section which shows assumed location of Turnavore Shaft. This is a rough copy of old pace/compass survey, drawn at 1:2500 so it can be overlaid on OS map at that scale (approximately)

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/documents/POLBERRO-Mine/Polberro-sketch-2500-adit-survey.pdf
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Tony Blair

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 27/02/2015 17:04:52
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I've had another look at things and I think it's Turnavore Shaft. IP: 109.149.187.69
derrickhand

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 28/02/2015 06:49:48
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I'm not going to offer any opinion on which shaft is which but I DO clearly remember the hanging timbering, which was accessible when I was at CSM in the 70s

It was generally referred to as Turnavore Shaft although Bird simply credits it as "in Polberro Mine, St Agnes" in Yesterdays Golcondas



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royfellows

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 20/11/2020 12:19:40
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Apologies for reopening an old thread, but I am attempting to gather and collate into a paper all of the available information on the Polberro adit system.

I have reopened this thread as it contains some very relevant postings.

I have various pieces of historical information, some from the 1970s, plus my own write up and a piece from the now defunct West Cumbria Mine Research group. It appears that the stopes at the far end of the Polberro branch were collapsing over the years and therefore over a period explorers would meet a different scenario. Up to the 1970s the adit, which was mostly in timber down there were it passed under the stopes, was subject to caving in. I have had sight of an account by quite intrepd explorers in the 1970s, who at some personal risk, got to the far end of the workings. My own explorations and those of West Cumbria found a far different scenario.

What I am after is any odd tit bits of information of memories that can add to the picture, or more accurately, jigsaw.
I think that its very important to record everything otherwise it will become lost.

I have uploaded a couple of photographs that I have of that time, please read the descriptions.

To start the ball rolling, this is the last explorations that I have, early 1990s up to when the adit collapsed in April 1993.

West Cumbria Mine Research Group. Journal written June 1991

Within 7M of entering the adit, we were on our hands and knees, crawling through water with
only 0.5 M of head room. The next Interesting object to greet us was 3-4 M of incredibly deteriorated wooden setts holding up tons of deads.
What I have noticed with interest In Cornwall is the fact that the old miners quite often used rock
wedges as stemples to hold up deads and keep rock faces apart “stulls” as the Cornish corrected me.

At the third cross-cut we passed a winze on our left, and turned left. After approximately 30M I saw a large flooded shaft, some 6M In diameter. Noticing all the floating debris I assumed it was still open to surface. We turned our maintenance free lamps off and saw daylight filtering down. The "pool' was again a gorgeous bluegreen and very clear. Later I learned that this was the Turnavore Shaft, God knows how much further it went down the level we were on.
(Wrong, Primrose Shaft)
Moving further Into the mine we came to another large shaft (but no daylight could be seen this time). This I presumed to be the second engine house shaft.
At this point we decided to turn back and take the right fork knowing there to be some large sloping. Doing so, we moved along this level some 170 M In a low, narrow adit. We eventually came to either a left or right turn, we chose right. The rest of the trip underground was spent exploring some of the largest stopes I have ever seen. Comparable In size with some of the closeheads at Honister.
Again, there was absolutely no sign of any tin, but copper secondaries abounded. We obtained two lovely pieces of rock with enysite coatings 4mm thick, solid and almost crystalline. The only item that could be termed as an artefact was an old chain ladder. Its weight was the obvious reason why no one had taken it. I won't go into any detail about these stopes except to say, they have to be seen to be believed.
Towards the end of the stoping I discovered a small, stone-lined shaft, similar to those seen at Smallcleugh (beyond Bogg). I belayed a 30ft ladder and descended, closely followed by Karen. The way outbye was fallen in, but Inbye was another warren of places to go. We explored for another hour or so, but had to give in to time.
Given the time this could prove to be an extremely interesting mine to explore but when

My own write up

My first visit was in 1988 and it was somewhat regular until 1993. I had been in there over the Easter but returning on the May holiday I was dismayed to find that the level was blocked by a substantial fall about 70 metres in. So this was in April 1993.
My greatest regret is that I never photographed the place to death, I understand that there are some who know a way in, requiring some advanced SRT skills, but I will attempt a description based on my memories.
Inside the portal there was a wet low roof section, but could be easily passed on ones knees with just bottom wet gear. At about 70 metres was a timbered section, mainly supporting muddy ground on the left and utilising cross beams at roof height and also floor height which had to be stepped over. This was the scene of the big run in of 1993.
Further in, the level divided at a Y junction. Left takes one past a series of branch workings, the second on the left having a fairly recent ‘ore dressing’ plant consisting of a fish basket and filters etc, story of this unknown. And then a place where the level passes a shaft on the right where daylight enters, this was the other side of a sort of ‘wall’ and was of course flooded having a lot of floating debris. I understand this to be Primrose Shaft. The main level eventually ends at a fall, which I had started digging through. Before this, it passed a branch to a flooded shaft, which I had attempted to cross in a rubber boat which managed to capsize with me in it! A second attempt was done in a full wet suit with a buoyancy aid. I was intrigued by the continuation of the level which was obviously on a vein, being a high drivage with timbering in the roof. Gaining the level I was disappointed to find that it didn’t go far, but cannot remember whether it was blocked by a fall or just reached a forehead. I think the latter. I did manage a photograph looking outbye towards the shaft. On later visits someone had put a plank over it.
Back at the Y junction , right hand passage eventually reached a stope, , I think is the stope pictured in Dickie Birds photograph from the 1970s, but the remains of shaft timbering had now completely fallen. On the left hand side looking inbye it was possible to squeeze into ascending workings with a lot of packwork. This was up dip of the lode which in this area was very flat, and dipping to the north. I managed to get up to quite a height here and must have been close to surface. These working were a veritable maze of flat stope workings with the roof being the hanging wall and supported by a lot of packwall pillars with various routes between them. Back down in the stope the continuation of the adit level was blocked by a fall. However, climbing the rubble slope at the end of the stope one could gain a chamber with a circular stone lined orepass, similar to as seen in the north Pennines. About 1992 I carried in a scaffold tube and bridged the top to form a belay. The winze was descended, about 20 feet, to the continuation of the adit. This could be explored for a short distance, to a point where I was crawling flat-out under loose timber and rock, and further exploration became really too dangerous. Just before this, there was a climb up on the left, which gave me a fine view across a huge (very loose) stope, with three tiers of working platforms soaring above beyond the range of my then Oldham bulb caplamp. My ‘hole’ was overhung with rocks and boulders, and forward of the point down in the adit where I turned back, timbers were hanging from the roof and material had poured down from the holes created partially blocking the level. I had decided that if I continued further it would very likely be the end of me, it was really that bad.

From the above it can be seen that either there was a dramatic deterioation between the two visits, or the west Cumbria writer was somewhat confused with the workings inbye and outbye of the orepass.

Any comment appreciated.

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IP: 88.108.153.187 Edited: 20/11/2020 12:21:05 by royfellows
lozz

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Intersection of shaft in adit 1974 (photo)
Posted: 20/11/2020 14:08:23
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Large stopes were not unusual for down here, if the pillars were of good stuff they'd take them out as well, when that was done where I once worked a no road barrier would be erected.

Biggest one I ever saw was down a gold mine, looking over the edge of the advance tunnel for the long hole drilling I saw the headlights of the diesel frontend loaders as little torch lights way down below (gulp) All gone now just a big pit (Google dome mine pit)

Lozz.
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