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Author Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
ferret

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 17/01/2009 19:59:43
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(click image to open full size image in new window)


i looked with interest the resent pics like the one above from Wheal Sterran on the north Cornish coast. I've not been in this particular adit myself though have looked over the area, my main reservation is that its right below Former Chemical Defence Establishment (CDE) Nancecuke! used during the post war period for research and development into nerve gas agents and latter for pesticides, one wonders what chemical nasties are still larking here despite the government "all clear"
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Cornish Pixie

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 17/01/2009 20:07:51
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You'd be OK going into Wheal Sterran deep adit - it's not near the former Nancekuke Germ Warfare Station unlike Sally Bottom Adit that has been gated by a jittery MOD who deny dumping chemicals down the shafts on the site but are widely known to have done so. Poeple I know who have been up the left tunnel in the adit recall seeing shattered glass test tubes and other laboratory stuff that had come down a shaft.

This is likely a dog left shaft used as a dump that caused enough concern to lead to the gating of both adit tunnels (it slits just inside the entrance) in 2007, coincidentally after a lot of concerns had been raised in the local press with MPs even involved to find out 'the truth' of what is dumped on the site (now RAF Portreath). Unsurprisngly, the records of what were dumped are found to be 'incomplete'. I never got up the adit, the buggers gated it before I had the chance! Cursing

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ferret

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 18/01/2009 01:43:45
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hmm it dos look to be an interesting explore - is access vir clibing round from th enearby cove or scrambling down the cliff though?
nice pics by the way!
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Cornish Pixie

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 18/01/2009 11:40:54
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You could abseil down the cliff I guess, but as there's a footpath along the top of the cliff, I wouldn't recommend this! We went down the cliff path that leads onto a ledge of rock on the opposite side of the cove to the adit entrance. You can't miss the adit because of the streak of ochre coming out of it. I seem to remember that there are a couple of bolts in the rock onto which you can attach a length of rope long enough to drop safetly down onto a ledge just above water level (4 metres should do it). You can then walk across the tops of the rocks to the shelf of rock opposite and climb up. There is some rope to help you in this, although it didn't look too good! The trick is to come at the adit portal from the side and drop down into it by means of a short length of old ladder. You'll then see the tram rails sticking out the front.


It's definitely worth a trip, but should only be attempted at low tide and on a calm day as the cove is subject to tidal swell as soon as the wind picks up. My mate and I were nearly cut off by the tide as the wind got up while we were inside the mine! Oh My God


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stuey

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 18/01/2009 12:00:08
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I've got a plan of this which shows a potential through trip from the adit at the back of seal hole.... there is the adit for west towan which is about 10 o clock if you stand looking out to sea with Sally Adit behind you.

The cove was called Sally's Bottom due to the bottom shaft of Wheal Sally being there. They were plugged by carnon along with the cage jobs on Wheal tye and Kite's shaft...

W Towan adit is partially in the roof of a massive cave...
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Cornish Pixie

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 18/01/2009 13:41:17
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The adit in the sea cave is the old Wheal Tye Deep Adit, known to have pre-dated 1804. It's pretty difficult to get at and like Sterran Deep Adit, is tide dependent. At the last working (1927, under the name Sally Bottoms) the Wheal Sterran, Wheal Tye and Wheal Sally setts were investigated. Work centred on Vivian's Shaft. A cross cut adit seems to have been driven from near sea level across both Wheal Tye and Wheal Sterran lodes to the west. Is this the adit you mean? I'd love to check this out when I'm next over. Thumb Up

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stuey

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 18/01/2009 14:51:37
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Off the top of my head, the sterran adit goes to a crossroads, the left branch goes towards Wheal Tye, it has come down when they capped the shaft..... There are 2 shafts quite close together. The seal hole adit, complete with seals goes to a kink with a rise off it which goes to a footway shaft. According to the plan, there is an enormous bit of stoping between there and the blocked shaft. I was in a rush at the time (tide) and didn't see the connection between the stope at the back of SHA and the shaft. It's not that extensive....

I would like to look around Wheal Sally... I gather there is some interesting stuff, which involves a bit of fence jumping. I also gather from somewhere or other that the adit was extensive. I can't say I've also spoken to anyone who knows about the W Towan adit. Dines says there is a stub to Kite's shaft but doesn't say what goes where.

It's a case of going to see. I think it's all a bit pokey, a bit orange and a bit of a mission to get to....
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ferret

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 18/01/2009 15:15:48
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stuey wrote:

I think it's all a bit pokey, a bit orange and a bit of a mission to get to....
sounds like just the sort of place to be investigated by a ferret with a camera Thumb Up
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Cornish Pixie

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 18/01/2009 23:28:31
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Inside Wheal Sterran Deep Adit you eventually come to a junction. The left tunnel goes towards Vivian's Shaft which is collapsed, and has some splendid stulls and timberwork holding back cemented deads. The right tunnel goes into some flooded stopes (you have to be careful as there are just boards over and everything is covered in a couple of feet of ochre. At the junction is an upturned wagon. Ahead the adit goes for quite some distance.

Kite's Shaft has a bat castle on and was treated in the Derelict Landgrant Scheme by Kerrier in 1994. The air coming up it smelt none too special when I was last there. Some great archaeology was destroyed during the works, particularly at Caroline's Shaft (or West Wheal Towan Shaft) on Wheal Tye, where a balance bob chamber that connected to flat rods and some ancient shallow workings were uncovered. Apparently, the shaft vented really well suggesting that it connected with significant underground workings or a shalow adit.

Sally Bottom adit, just around the headland, has been gated by the MOD as a safety precaution to prevent people from being exposed to 'nasties' they never dumped on site!! But there must be other adits and workings to get into around there as there are a lot of early references to mining setts and adits driven in the Nancekuke area in the C18th and early C19th. Wink

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royfellows

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 10:29:09
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While I have the Cornish explorers together............

Can anyone post a description of the Great Wheal Charlotte adit from engine shaft. This is about 20 feet up the cliff face, on the western side of the ravine.

As is fairly well known, I dug out the deep adit to the east driven from just above high tide and it was open for about 12 months. This was a few years ago.

I tried to gain the adit from engine shaft will some extending ladders, but they started slipping when I was half way up and being on my own wisely decided to call it a day.

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ferret

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 11:28:36
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fraid i've not been there meself Confused IP: 77.96.153.87
Cornish Pixie

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 11:44:33
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I had enough trouble finding the entrance to East Wheal Charlotte a couple of years ago! I recall fumbling round clutching a grubby bit of map with directions on as dusk set in, but only managed to fall down in the furze and get prickles in unmentionable places Laugh

Have never reckied this adit entrance, but would be interested to hear from anyone who has.

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sougher

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 13:32:12
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From Cornish Pixie's posting 19/01/2009 I have discovered a mining term used in Cornwall which is not familiar or defined in Derbyshire leadmining glossaries - "stulls". I've looked for a definition in the archives on the Mining-History website and gather that a "stull" is a wooden prop, which t'owd man would have called a "stemple". One learns such a lot from this website, please correct me if I have the wrong definition. IP: 86.146.42.135
Cornish Pixie

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 14:09:00
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Stull is indeed a Cornish term for what you call a stemple! I like to tease my partner (who's from'up north') about 'correct' mining terms, like whether it's a horse gin, or as we'd call it, a horse whim (correctly pronounced whem)!! Wooden staging in a shaft I term 'planchun' which is what my grandfather used to call it (he worked at Tresavean and Mount Wellington Mine in the 1820s). The list goes on!

On a more serious note, it's interesting that different mining regions had a particular mining glossary. Some time ago I put together a list of terms that were being used in the Spanish Americas and western US as the international mining economy expanded. This shows elements of Cornish terms (some of which are believed to be derived from German words introduced to Cornwall during the Mines Royal period), terms from elsewhere in Europe, as well as those used during colonial times in Latin America. This evolved into a type of global mining glossary by the late nineteenth century that is still used today.

Maybe with quite a few foreign mines added to the database, non-British mining terms might in future be included to the AditNow glossary?

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carnkie

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 14:56:25
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On this subject whilst uploading a number of archive photos from coal mines in the US. a number show the Tipple. Not being that knowlegeable about the history of coal mining in Britain was the term used here?

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Gwyn

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 15:01:27
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Please, can you add stull to the Aditnow dictionary?
Another word of interest is stulm- an adit or small drain shaft.
Both words might be related to the German, stollen?
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carnkie

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 15:27:37
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A couple more (don't know if they are used elsewhere). The latter I rather like.

Lost-Slovan-----Either beginning or tail of an adit.
Learys-----------Emptiness. Old men's workings.

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stuey

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 16:21:50
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royfellows wrote:

While I have the Cornish explorers together............

Can anyone post a description of the Great Wheal Charlotte adit from engine shaft. This is about 20 feet up the cliff face, on the western side of the ravine.

As is fairly well known, I dug out the deep adit to the east driven from just above high tide and it was open for about 12 months. This was a few years ago.

I tried to gain the adit from engine shaft will some extending ladders, but they started slipping when I was half way up and being on my own wisely decided to call it a day.


My mate Simon has been in there. Legend has it, it goes to a shaft and that's it. The other side sounds very interesting, feel free to elaborate hugely about what was in there.
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royfellows

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 19/01/2009 18:00:12
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stuey wrote:

royfellows wrote:

While I have the Cornish explorers together............

Can anyone post a description of the Great Wheal Charlotte adit from engine shaft. This is about 20 feet up the cliff face, on the western side of the ravine.

As is fairly well known, I dug out the deep adit to the east driven from just above high tide and it was open for about 12 months. This was a few years ago.

I tried to gain the adit from engine shaft will some extending ladders, but they started slipping when I was half way up and being on my own wisely decided to call it a day.


My mate Simon has been in there. Legend has it, it goes to a shaft and that's it. The other side sounds very interesting, feel free to elaborate hugely about what was in there.


Hi Stuey
I have just uploaded the document, it should be top of the new docs on the home page

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'There's a lot of activity for a disused mine!' - Bond in 'A view to a kill'
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Roy Morton

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Wheal Sterran Tin Mine - Cornwall (photos)
Posted: 20/01/2009 12:52:50
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Hi CP. We must have met, but don't recognise the 'Nom de plume'
ref the East Charlotte adit. The adit used to open onto the stream in the valley but colllapsed, or was deliberately blocked, I believe around the 1950's. It's a short trip but the remains are very interesting. The inclined plane railway is of particular interest and was powered along with the pumps, from a common engine at surface. The pumps had to be turned off when the skip road was being used as the following picture of the 'Knocker Board' suggest.



(click image to open full size image in new window)

I was certain you guys made it into the mine after a long search; If you didn't I'll take you in on your next visit to Cornwall.
Best wishes, Roy






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IP: 81.153.213.49 Edited: 20/01/2009 12:53:53 by Roy Morton
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