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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Hingston Down Consols (quick info required).
stuey

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Hingston Down Consols (quick info required).
Posted: 25/08/2009 21:14:33
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I've been out and about poking around at Hingston Down although there are 2 sets of workings mentioned on the 6" maps, there is also a third which has been done post-my-maps. I'm looking for info on plantation lode and Little Miss Joan shaft. It's possible that it may now be under an estate.

My old literature from the 80's and more recently contradicts itself. It's either slightly NE of the road junction (main road-HD turning) and under that new estate.

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.517315&lon=-4.244352&z=18.5&r=0&src=msa (GE shows what looks like a shaft)

OR it's in the patch of jungle to the NW of the junction.....

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.518265&lon=-4.249271&z=17.7&r=0&src=msa

or it's up here, which also looks like a hole in the ground.

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.519942&lon=-4.249994&z=19.6&r=0&src=msa

Cheers, Stu
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Alasdair Neill

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Hingston Down Consols (quick info required).
Posted: 27/08/2009 10:11:59
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The c. 1950 OS 1:2500 clearly shows Little Miss Joan etc. Have also a plan of surface workings there done in the 1980's. Underground you would of course need mineral owners permission - almost certainly Duchy of Cornwall. Give me a ring if you want to see any of these.
Hadn't been in the area for a long time so was not aware of any recent development.
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stuey

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Posted: 27/08/2009 12:07:34
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Cheers Ali, it's on the modern 2.5" as well.

I don't do solo trips and so access without one of the "hands in the know" would be very unlikely. I gather that individual access agreements are exceedingly unlikely with the duchy.

Stu
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DougCornwall

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Posted: 29/08/2009 09:30:29
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That location you spot at http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.518265&lon=-4.249271&z=17.7&r=0&src=msa has a shaft vertical (no incline) to about 100', last I know it was still open. There is an engine base adjacent in the gorse in the field. I have a pic of the Mines rescue Group using their crane lorry to haul a small terrier out of the shaft in about 1978.
The woodland just S of the point ref is full of old trial shafts and levels most of which are accessible but not terribly exciting. At the western end of that woodland is the hollow of a large filled shaft. That woodland is known locally as Plantation wood.
The quarry flattened a load of remains in the late 70's, including the magnificient count house. They also filled in the popular local pond further east locally known as greenpond at that time.
Across the road from the workings were, until the early 70's, the kilns and huge chimney of the Hingston Downs brickworks, all demolished by the farmer for the stone. The top of the chimney at one time had an observatory on it and the local old men tell that in the war a German sympathiser was arrested, complete with his telescopes and radio transmitter, watching the warships in distant Plymouth.
Also in the mid 70's there was a planning application to drive a completely new tunnel N from the valley to intersect the Hingston lodes in depth. The application was granted (public meeting and all that stuff) but of course never happened.
The mineral rights owner is indeed the Duchy of Cornwall who actually own the woodland and the fields to the south down to the road and the field with the shaft on it.


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Alasdair Neill

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Posted: 29/08/2009 09:43:44
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The adit driven in the 1970's from Prince of Wales Mine was driven to prove Plantation Lode extension following promising drilling results. I think this was where Jack Trounson reported drilling at an undisclosed location had made an intersection of high grade copper ore. In the end the results of development at the adit were not very promising, although at a shallow depth.
The company responsible was I think a joint venture involving Golden Ram Resources and the then owners of Mount Wellington. Hence the nickname for the adit Golden Ram Adit (don't know if it had an official name).
Like everything in this area, past mining has occasionally proved rich orebodies of no great extent, which allowed a few mines to be profitable usually for no more than a few years (at least in the 19th Century), with many more years of losses and many mines never finding anything worthwhile. Just like most Cornish mining areas really.
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DougCornwall

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Posted: 29/08/2009 09:49:13
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The spot you have marked at http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.517315&lon=-4.244352&z=18.5&r=0&src=msa as far as I know contains no mining works at all and what you can see is the building works of the estate. That estate has a long history and the building bases were all started in the late 60's, the work then stopped. By doing that the builder retained the planning permissions...the state remained like that until sometime in the 80's.. so even old pics show that as waste land but it was all building stuff and nothing to do with mining.

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DougCornwall

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Posted: 29/08/2009 09:56:04
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Golden Ram adit...!!! they really should have had more luck than they did with a name like that...lovely. Do we know how far they managed to drive the level before the money went elswhere?

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stuey

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Posted: 29/08/2009 11:44:24
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Fascinating stuff chaps, thanks. Stu IP: 87.112.85.71
Alasdair Neill

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Posted: 01/09/2009 12:18:33
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Further to the previous post, the adit was driven in -1971-1972, following drilling by International Mine services in the late 1960's. The latter Co apparently also did some underground work at wheal Arthur & Drakewalls (probably just investigating old workings). The adit was also called locally Wheal Courtis, the three Courtis brothers being miners there.

The adit was driven about 100m W of N as a crosscut then about 200m ENE, putting the end about 400m WSW of Little Miss Joan (distances very approximate). It was evidently stopped before the real exploration target was reached. Possibly lack of funds on GRR's side; by doing this work they would gain an interest in the prospect. IMS probanly did nothing further as they were concentrating on Mount Wellington.
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DougCornwall

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Posted: 01/09/2009 13:00:44
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Thats very interesting.
Its likely they may have carried on with planning work there then after the '72 work stopped. The reason I say that is that the planning application meeting that I went to was to have permission to drive up and under the hingston lodes and that was definately not before 1974 although I can't remember the exact date offhand. I remember all the newbies objected even though the tunnel was to have no effect on them, (worried about their houses being damaged by the blasting!!).
The application was passed but I was not aware any work was done. I remember the work at prince of wales so its likely we may be talking about slightly different projects or they were just trying to regularise the work they had done already with the planners.
Its all a bit academic really as the whole mining splurge fizzled out around then anyway.
I also seem to remember around then work just below (about 200yds) Gunny bridge but on the Devon side driving East. Not sure what they were up to there but i remember the lorries and a track going in. Again came to naught.
I think you hit the nail on the head with your overview of cornish mining, theres just not enough consistency in deposits and finance to make it long term viable.
Thank you again for those interesting details

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stuey

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Posted: 01/09/2009 14:14:49
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As a slight aside, the current mineral planning permission is up for discussion quite soon. There are detailed signs on the site.

I gather the quarry accidentally opened up a stope in it's workings a few years ago and then blasted them in. You can see the discolouration of the granite, I'm assuming that these workings are off Morris' Shaft. I've had a peer down all of the shafts, but didn't really like the look of them. Hitchen's Shaft looks like the best bet out of all of them. It has a surprisingly solid S Edge.

I haven't yet had a look at the north workings.

I might have a mooch around there in due course.

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DougCornwall

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Posted: 01/09/2009 15:40:00
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If you picture the track at http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.522638&lon=-4.24125&z=16.7&r=0&src=msa extending west that was very roughly the extent of the quarry in the early 80’s and I can remember driving a tractor along that extended track without falling into the quarry !!
Even then there were some workings from the mine exposed in the quarry S face. Dines mentions no NS drives at shallow levels, so perhaps the remains of old shallow adits or the eastward extension of Main lode maybe?
Dines also says that the mine has no adit which is very unusual for such a high mine. I did spend a fair bit of time poking around the valley to the north trying to prove him wrong but never succeeded.
Today the quarry is at least a hundred yards further south and yes it definitely will have eaten away into some levels from the shallower parts around Hitchins shaft and probably started into the EW stoping on South lode.
I seem to remember that there was another shaft about 100yds NE of Bailey’s, probably Morris’s shaft (?), that will now have been eaten by the quarry I guess or is it still there, it must be right on the edge if it is.
I also seem to remember that the shaft next to the engine house was actually the collar for 2 separate shafts whereas Hitchins is a straight down single shaft. Is Hitchins also right on the edge of the quarry face nowadays?
The quarry has a lot to answer for, it was Amey then,, it flattened a load of surface mining remains over the whole site in about ’80 ish. Just to the east of Baileys house were the bases of the various buildings shown in the old pics, they flattened all those for instance. There was a really lovely count house there which was scruffy but well worth restoring which I even offered to buy from them when I heard they were to knock it down, they were not even slightly interested, they just wanted it gone! It had a big conservatory on the south side with a huge grape vine. That stood at http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.520491&lon=-4.247012&z=16.3&r=0&src=msa. All gone. They should have been ashamed of themselves.

It’s a fascinating trip down memory lane so love to know how you getting on as you explore.


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stuey

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Posted: 01/09/2009 16:43:04
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I haven't had the balls to actually stand on the granite blocks (of the balance bob, perhaps) of Bailey's Shaft and have a look down. I gather it is two shafts with a single collar.

Morris' Shaft is here:-

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.521414&lon=-4.245297&z=19.1&r=0&src=msl

It's been fenced off a treat with chain link about 7ft high. Good job as well as the shaft is merely a hole in the bushes. It appears to have a very good collar, but I didn't want to get too close without being tied off. That tip is interesting to have a rummage through, I assume it was a winding shaft.

I wonder if Hitchen's was the footway. It looks quite cosy.

All the shafts are to rock bottoms. You can get different length rattles from different "angles of chuck" down Bailey's Shaft. I'd say it was between 120 and 150ft to a rock bottom.

The coxpark adit to the North drains the North Workings, I gather and from the flow coming out of it, is pretty extensive. It is run in though and has been since my first set of records about it's exploration in the late 60's.

I read somewhere that Hitchins is an easy rig and is 100ft deep. No detail about what is off there. There are 2 levels off Bailey's leading into a tall, narrow stope, which is possible to traverse.

There seems to be/has been very little interest in what is down there, I can only assume that it isn't a "sporting" trip.

The collar of Bailey's Shaft is particularly nasty.

I wonder when we will see a proper cap job done on the shafts. If everywhere else in Cornwall is to go by, fences are not enough.
IP: 87.113.52.116 Edited: 01/09/2009 16:44:19 by stuey
derrickman

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Posted: 01/09/2009 18:19:40
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I have some brief notes from the mid-70s, of a CSM trip there - probably one of Ron Hooper's investigations, quite likely with John Watton ( the photographer, CSM AV tech at the time, and Tony the mill tech ). John was developing his skills at the time and used a lot of heavy kit, bulbs wires etc, so plenty of sherpas.

I don't remember the descent. It would probably have been by electron ladder.
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Alasdair Neill

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Posted: 02/09/2009 09:54:39
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I understand CSM did a survey of all accessble underground workings in the not too distant past, a copy of which wasw displayed in the quarry office (I think Keith Russ was involved) IP: 62.171.194.20
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Posted: 02/09/2009 10:43:04
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HDC is one of those places which has had a long and sporadic history of being hought of interest without ever quite coming to fruition.

I remember the adit, I was as CSM in 1973 so it was fairly recent gossip at that time
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DougCornwall

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Posted: 02/09/2009 14:19:38
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Picking up on the point that Baileys seems to have a rock bottom rather than water.
The Coxpark adit is supposed to drain only the northern Lower Hingston mine and although theres loads of water from it it never drove far (about 2/3 the distance) enough to drain the main Baileys shaft workings, yet Baileys shaft bottom appears dry.
Was the adit ever extended to reach Bailey's?
Even if the adit had reached Baileys it would have only drained to approx 180' roughly below collar and there still should be water in Baileys bottom and not rock.
For those reasons at that time I had a good look further north to try and find a deeper adit but was never successful. Perhaps the rock bottom of Baileys is actually a blockage and not the bottom.
Has anyone been down it and told the tale?

Ref Little Miss Joan shaft I pretty sure that is the shaft hidden in the gorse on the field edge that you first identified in your first post on here. Its just north of the wood with the engine base adjacent. That would tie in with Dines and that shaft is definately about 100' deep, vertical, as he says. Has dry bottom but dull.
In the wood is a big filled shaft (Old Plantation Shaft?) at the western end with the old workings next to it running E, all open and forming an intermittant gunnis type run, all dry.

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stuey

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Posted: 02/09/2009 14:52:53
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I gather from some old bit of paper I have kicking around that there are (were) 2 levels off Bailey's Shaft (which linked into the same narrow stope-The 20 and 35F levels, the shaft goes on down to over 130F. Morris' Shaft is vertical to the 35F level which corresponds to the noise that I heard. Morris' is the deep one on the sett. Hitchens Shaft has a x-cut to the workings between Bailey's and Morris'.

I'd like to see the plan, as actually getting amongst it would require permission from the quarry to drop Morris' (which wouldn't happen at all). Risking the shaky collar of Bayley's, which is pretty horrendous. Or dropping hitchen's, which I think is blocked before anything interesting.

Miss Joan's Shaft is flooded at 100ft, I gather.

I'd also expect the quarry, which is in the order of 120m below to have drained the workings via the small crosscourses which are present. There could be some serious drops in there to boot.

If anyone was curious about having a proper look, I could probably be persuaded.....quite easily.

I'm wondering whether the quarry will eat back into the workings more, or if they plan to close it in due course.
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DougCornwall

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Posted: 02/09/2009 15:12:20
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If Little Miss Joan shaft is the one I reckon it is its not flooded its dry but it was only about 100ft deep and thats all there was of it. I vaugley remember some levels but was all a bit dull but it was years ago.
If I remember correctly the planning for the quarry to extend was granted (about 20 years ago??) on the condition that they did not break into the skyline when the hill was viewed from the south. That would mean that the southward extent of the quarry as it is today around Bailey's will be the full extent of the southward working and all future work will be to extend the quarry eastwards. To that end they did buy a load of farm land to the east and south east around 15years ago.
If there are notices up for a planning review it may be that they want to alter that original permission or it may be that its just up for a general review. It should be on the Council planning website.


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Posted: 19/11/2015 18:23:05
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Hello Doug, you don't know me, but when I read your post I just had to reply....You mention the demolition of a manor house, that had a large conservatory at the rear with a grape vine...I lived in that house when I was 9 or 10 years old with my family who were market gardeners, the Pengelly Family, I have been searching for a photo of the house without any luck....Do you know of any photos of it that are still around?
Christine.
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