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Home > Mines, Quarries & Sites > Carnkie Tin Mine

Carnkie (Carnkie Bal) Tin Mine (United Kingdom)


Data courtesy of Roy Fellows and Roy Morton

By the 15th. Century Carnkie was one of many ‘bals’ being exploited by groups of miners in Penwith-Kerrier, financed by the local gentry and wealthy merchants. (Buckley
2005: 48). This finance was essential because shafts were having to be sunk deeper and
deeper to locate viable lodes - 72 feet reached in 1472 - and the ever increasing problem of water ingress was becoming acute and ways had to be found to combat this.
Fortunately the next couple of centuries saw the beginning of inventions and innovations that were to become a feature of Cornish mining ever after.
In fact during the 17th century many new mine engines were invented, mainly water driven, also the horse-whim for hoisting ore up deep mine shafts, and in 1698-9 the Carnkie adventurers entered into an agreement with a John Tomson of Phillack to erect a
multi-wheel water engine at a cost of £500 in order to drain the “deep bottoms”. By this time the mine had probably reached a considerable depth. Power to drive the machine was supplied by the water of ‘Lethe Filtricke’ and an adit called “Whealjow”, the construction of the necessary leats to bring it on the mine being undertaken by a subcontractor, Richard Buggens of St. Keverne. (Jenkins 1965: X: 6). It is interesting to note the names of some of the adventurers at the time. They included Francis Basset, Sir John St. Aubyn, Hugh Tonkin, Benjamin Buller, Thomas Worth, Thomas Glynn, Reginald Angove and Richard Remfry. By this time tin worth about £100,000 had been extracted from the mine. A quite considerable sum.
By this time water-power for the engine was obtained from the Penventon adit near what was much later to become, after 1851, the South Basset mine. The leat can clearly be seen on the 1737 Doidge Map. At the time the land immediately to the north of Carnkie Bal was known as Burnithon and became Carnkie not long after this. On the subject of leats, two important ones can been seen on the 1819 Richard Thomas map of the Camborne-Chacewater mining district. As Hamilton Jenkins explains (1927: 109) they both brought water at different levels from Selligan (Carnkie) to mines around the foot of Carn Brea. The upper one went as far as Wheal Druid, where it worked a water-pressure engine that had originally been erected by Trevithick and the lower one, after passing by, or through, the mines of Barncoose,
Tregajorran, Wheal Fanny, Wheal Providence, and Tin Croft, Wheal Providence, joined the water coming down the Entral Valley in supplying Cook’s Kitchen Mine.
Walter Reed was now the largest shareholder and he also became manager of the mine. An examination of the mine’s Cost-Books for 1771-80 (CRO TEM,60,61) in which he figures prominently, shows the sale of white tin to be worth £492 pounds
between 1773-78 but by now the bal was reaching the end of the line and the end of the era was fast approaching. Shortly after this the mine was abandoned and the site was later to become the Wheal
Basset mine. During the century there were other mines in the area such as Wheal Mark, Wheal Ram, Wheal Carn, Wheal Rock, Wheal Peathy, Old Metal Work and “The
Washells Called the Piece”.(Morrison 1983: 295). On the northern slopes of Carnkie Hill there was a mine called Wheal Tinner that can be seen on the 1819 Thomas Map.

Buckley, A., The Story of Mining in Cornwall, Cornwall Editions Limited, Fowey, 2005.
Jenkin Hamilton, A.K., The Cornish Miner, Butler & Tanner Lt, Frome, 1927, republished 1948.
Jenkin Hamilton, A.K., The Mines & Miners of Cornwall X, Worden Ltd, Marazion, 1964.
Morrison, T.A. Cornwall’s Central Mines; The Southern District 1810-1895, Alison Hodge, Penzance, 1983.


Photos of Carnkie Tin Mine

Historic Photographs Of Carnkye (Carnkie)
Historic Photographs Of Carnkye (Carnkie) (1 photo)
Last updated May 7th 2013 by Roy Morton
Photographs Of Carnkye (Carnkie)
Photographs Of Carnkye (Carnkie) (0 photos)
Last updated May 7th 2013 by Roy Morton

Google Earth Map of Carnkie Tin Mine

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Documents for Carnkie Tin Mine

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Major Mining Region

Carnkie Tin Mine belongs to the Camborne and Redruth region.

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