Category Archives: Tin mining history

Fountain, Feeding and Engine Houses

Our copper fountain has been installed at last. It is in the last patch of the garden to be sorted and I have all the ferns and shade lovers ready to plant around it. I love the sound of the trickling water.  We put the pebbles into each cup to enhance the trickle sound.

Fountain trickles

We walked up the back around The Great Flat Lode tonight and were amused by the cows eating in tandem and the calf having a good feed. We are so lucky to be able to walk out of the front door and into such spaces.

Calf having supper

Munching grass in unison

Along the trail is Wheal Uny and another engine house. From one angle they looked very like the ones Dad had sketched many years ago (see yesterday’s post)  but aren’t quite right. The mast would have gone up much later and the bushes have grown but we think we have to keep looking.

Engine houses up on the Flat Lode Trail – the ones Dad sketched?


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Weekly Photo Challenge – Frame 2

I was amused to catch a mother catching her son framed in a window of Wheal Coates, an old engine house on the cliffs at Chapel Porth, Cornwall.

At Wheal Coates, Cornwall

At Wheal Coates, Cornwall

For others in this Challenge, click here.


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Wheal Amelia, Butterfly and A Magpie

Cornwall is scattered with old engine houses, relics of the days when tin and copper were mined here. This one I saw today used to be called Wheal Amelia but as you will see from the plaque there is more to its history than that.

Wheal Amelia

Wheal Amelia


An unusual butterfly landed on the shed roof today. It turns out to be a Wall Brown, Lasiommata Megera.

 Wall Brown Lasiommata megera

Wall Brown
Lasiommata megera

A Magpie landed on our beautiful sculpture, Fledgling, by Richard Holliday, to wait for its turn at the feeders.DSCN4676


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Baby Bird, Kindness and Romance

Only a short walk today and only a quick view of this little bird which we think is a Robin as he had a bright breast that we saw only briefly as he hopped off under the hedge.DSCN4049

These words came my way the other day. Kindness must be the most important quality of any human being. When I first told my parents that I had fallen in love, their first question was, “Is he kind?” Ah, kindness

For those of you  with romance in your hearts and those of you who have been following my posts about the marvellous Man Engine, the following is a true story.  The instigator of the whole fantastical adventure with a mission to tell everyone of the history of Cornish mining chose the end of last event to propose to his girlfriend and the Man Engine went down on one knee! Isn’t that just perfect?! This photo was taken by Mike Newman.

A proposal of marriage



The Garden Year, Carrots and A Village Marker

All around the scanning department at our hospital are beautifully crafted verses from The Garden Year. June is etched into glass and couldn’t be photographed but here is October – and the whole poem.

The Garden Year

Sara Coleridge

January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.

February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.

March brings breezes, loud and shrill,
To stir the dancing daffodil.

April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.

May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.

June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hands with posies.

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots, and gillyflowers.

August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.

Warm September brings the fruit;
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

Fresh October brings the pheasant;
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

Dull November brings the blast;
Then the leaves are whirling fast.

Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.



2   I called in at The Old  Market Chacewater,  on our way home from Truro. It is a delight, a treasure trove of beautiful vegetables, delicious bread and pastries – I bought a Pain-au-raisin and a Chocolate Croissant as well as the gorgeous carrots.

Multi-coloured carrots

Multi-coloured carrots

3 Singing tonight  was, as always, so good for the soul and lifted my spirits – a boost that I brought home to share with the lovely Mr S.  The village that we sing in has put an eye-catching little treat on the roadside as one enters the village.

A delight to see

A representation of the iconic engine houses that are all over this part of Cornwall


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John Harris, Tregellas Tapestries, and Seed Heads

1   We were in the Cornish Studies Library in Redruth today to see the exhibition about John Harris, Cornish Miner and Poet. It was fascinating to read about his life and his works.

John Harris

John Harris


2   When in the library, I always love looking at The Tregellas tapestries. I wrote about some of the others (there are 58 beautiful pieces in total) here. Here are three more. Click on any photo for more detail.


3   Walking back up from town, (which I did with ease today, three months on from my Total Hip Replacement – my diary can be found here), I noticed a couple of beautiful seed heads.


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Weekly Photo Challenge – Wall

Here are walls rather than a wall – walls left by the Tin Mining Industry that was such an important part of Cornwall’s history. These are the relics of the workings at South Wheal Frances  – not quite as the brief described but still, walls with stories and history.You could find out more here if you are interested.

For other interesting interpretations of this week’s Photo Challenge, click here.

I have just picked up this message which you may find interesting. Wheal Frances is on The Great Flat Lode Trail.

Someone has messaged me asking what ‘The Great Flat Lode’ is all about, so I thought I’d post an explanation to all.

The Great Flat Lode is a tin rich seam which cuts across the upland area south of Redruth and Camborne. Despite its name its not very flat and dips into the ground at about 45deg. However, all terms are relative, most other seams dip at 70-90deg,

Many mines were sunk where the Great Flat Lode is found near the ground surface. Many of these mines were linked to each other with ‘tramways’ most of these used horse drawn skips on rails which were used to carry coal from the coast (mainly Portreath, Hayle and Devoran), to the mines and to carry the tin and copper ore from the mine to the processing areas and/or to the coast for export.

Today the routes of those old tramways have been converted to the ‘Mineral Tramways Trail’ which provides mainly level, traffic-free access to one of Cornwall’s historic mining regions. There are over 37 miles (60km), of paths including the circular Great Flat Lode and the coast-to-coast Portreath-Devoran Tramway. The trails connect to other routes established including The Cornish Way and the South West Coastal Footpath.


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