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Home > Mines, Quarries & Sites > Wheal Trewavas Copper Mine > Photographs Of Trewavas > Trewavas Engine Shaft, Old South Lode

Trewavas Engine Shaft, Old South Lode

Note the very obvious gaping hole; this is why the mine flooded, not so much the rumour of the shareholders dinner and the visit from ‘Old Neptune’.

There is mystery here though: in an otherwise very technologically advanced mind, with precipitous engineering that’s lasted 150yrs perched on the edge of the Cornish cliffs, how could this be allowed to happen? The rumour goes that, during the 1830s and 1840s the Duchy of Cornwall was starting to try to claim mineral rights beneath the foreshore (this culminated in the 1857 act being passed); the miners, savvy types, designed the mine with deliberate inundation in mind if a successful challenge were ever to be made. This was in 1845, invoked surreptitiously, and the mine deliberately flooded as we find it today.

Deliberate flooding? It sounds mad but would explain why every successive reworking of the mine focused exclusively on the inland sections only. One can only speculate at the end of the day.

This photograph is by Karl Marx and was uploaded April 6th 2020. © Karl Marx please do not copy or distribute without prior express permission.

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