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New Consols Mine: surface, buried and underground remains, Luckett

A Scheduled Monument in Stokeclimsland, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5393 / 50°32'21"N

Longitude: -4.2776 / 4°16'39"W

OS Eastings: 238703.215893

OS Northings: 73539.436537

OS Grid: SX387735

Mapcode National: GBR NP.HC37

Mapcode Global: FRA 17XM.Z6W

Entry Name: New Consols Mine: surface, buried and underground remains, Luckett

Scheduled Date: 25 March 2013

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1409595

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Stokeclimsland

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Stoke Climsland

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Summary

New Consols is a C19 to mid-C20 poly-metallic mine producing a range of ores including copper, lead, silver, arsenic and tin in addition to small quantities of gold. The site is split in two by a main road with mining, including the Philips Shaft engine house, concentrated to the north and a substantial dressing floor, laid out around a river valley which runs east to west, and associated structures to the south.

Source: Historic England

Details

New Consols Mine is a large mining complex the scheduling of which is split into two separate areas of protection. The northern area is focused around the Philips Shaft and includes surface remains and buried feature relating to the mine’s ore source. It is centred at grid reference SX3873073797 and covers an area of approximately 4830 metres squared. The southern site consists of the dressing floor, and includes a wide range of surface and buried remains related to the dressing process. It is centred at grid reference SX3868573503 and measures up to approximately 560m in length and 210m wide.

The northern area is the location of Philips Shaft and was the ore source for New Consols. The engine house (listed at Grade II) is the most prominent feature in this landscape. It dates from 1859 when the 50-inch engine was relocated to the site from Wheal Venton at St Ives. This engine was replaced in 1867 by an elderly 80-inch, formerly of Holmbush Mine, Callington, which necessitated extensive modification of the house; the walls were heightened, the width of the building increased and the bob wall thickened to allow the beam to be located nearer to the shaft. The house retains some if its timber roof structure but all machinery has been removed. The boiler chimney is integral to the south-west corner of the engine house; the boiler house itself is no longer extant but is shown on Ordnance Survey maps circa 1880 to have abutted the southern elevation of the engine house. Towards the south is a timber-framed and corrugated iron-clad mine office building, accessed via steps from the track way leading to the shaft upslope. The legend ’Mine Office’ is discernable under a porch attached to the southern elevation. Narrow-gauge tram rails are in situ to the immediate south of the shaft which linked the shaft collar to the site of the ore bin and primary crushing plant originally situated on the high ground above the road to Treovis Mill. The C20 concrete block ore bin and lorry loading point are located at the south end of this area, next to the road. Ore was initially taken from the bin to the 1946 dressing floors, circa 450m to the south, by lorries, but this practice was superseded by an aerial ropeway system in 1949. A waste dump is extant a few metres south-west of the engine house which appears to date from the C20 reworking.

The area to the south of the main road contains the remains of the dressing floor and includes a complex series of features which largely date from the mid-C19 through to the mid-C20 and reflect the wide variety of ore extraction processes which took place on this site over time. Towards the northern end of this part of the site is a stream that runs in a stone-built culvert; the dressing floors were sited to either side of the stream and were adapted and extended during different phases of activity. The mine's main drainage adit is also thought to have its portal along this length of culvert though this could not be confirmed. An open portal is visible in the hillside, however, circa 30m to the north-west of a crusher engine house and is most likely to be associated with the mid-C20 reworking of the sett. Extensive mine waste dumping took place in the area bordering the valley stream and these dumps were themselves the focus of brief reworking during the First World War. A further adit portal, also possibly C20, is located circa 70m south-east of the crusher engine house.

A rectangular roofless structure on the southern edge of the unclassified, east to west running, main road is a miner’s dry and is recorded on both the 1880 and 1907 Ordnance Survey mapping; originally single-storey, its walls have largely been reduced in height. East of the miner’s dry and to the north of the stream is a Cornish engine house (listed at Grade II), built in 1871, which contained a 28 inch engine that powered the copper crushers; the crusher houses themselves which are no longer extant were located on either side. The engine originally installed is unusual in that it survived on site for some 60 years after it last worked, only being scrapped in 1938. A rendered C20 concrete block explosives magazine survives circa 80m south-west of the crusher engine house, adjacent to the remains of two C19 calciners.

The 1880 Ordnance Survey mapping depicts a tramway which originally linked the crushers to a calciner building circa 45m to the south-west and a battery of Cornish stamps, circa 150m to the south. The Cornish stamps battery originally supplied a yard containing twelve buddles. Both the associated engine house and its chimney were demolished in 1968. Some walling survives of the engine house as does the capped collar of the shaft; the iron fishplates of the original timber pump rod are visible, extending through the rail sleeper capping. To the north of the stamp yard lies the remains of a circa 1920s wheelpit and tailrace.

To the west of the stamp yard are the remains of various structures which were installed in the late C19 to facilitate the extraction of arsenic from the tin and copper ore. The included a row of calciners, of which the surviving structures include tin (Reverberatory), and water-powered Brunton rotary calciners, built for the extraction of arsenic (listed at Grade II). The arsenic flues and labryrinths were connected to the calciners and terminated at a discharge chimney (listed at Grade II). Water to power the rotating hearths of the calciners was provided by a leat which entered the site to their immediate west. The rectangular two-storey roofed stone building immediately south of the Brunton calciners was used as an arsenic grinder.

The period 1946 to 1953 saw the last reworking of the mine, and for this a new dressing floor complex was constructed further to the south utilising twenty heads of Californian stamps understood to have been acquired from Prince of Wales Mine, Harrowbarrow - these being subsequently replaced by ball mills. A large concrete block treatment mill building was constructed to house this equipment and one high wall and substantial machine bases are extant, the latter to support the stamps batteries/ball mills and shaking tables employed. Water for the mill was provided by a leat and purpose-built reservoir, the latter no longer extant, with water from this being pumped upslope to the new complex. A substantial gulley connects the eastern end of the leat channel with an open shaft, the latter presumably dating from the C19; it is shown on the 1880 Ordnance Survey mapping. These features together are thought to have formed a spillway, improvised to return unused water to the valley stream via underground levels and an adit portal at approximately SX3881273659, within the river's southern bank.

EXCLUSIONS

All of the listed buildings are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground them beneath is included. All modern fencing, safety barriers, gates, gate fittings, waymarkers and the vehicular access blocking rocks, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. The Nissen Hut and timber-framed shelter building attached to the north side of the Philips Engine house are also excluded, although again the ground beneath is included.

The boundary stone wall to Pengarret, which is attached to the concrete ore bin to the south of the Philips Engine house, is not included in the scheduling.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The C19 to mid-C20 New Consols Mine is scheduled for the following principal reasons: 

* Survival: a site with an unusually complete set of structures and features that relate both to the dressing floor and the ore source which make an important contribution to our overall understanding of the working of the mine over various phases of occupation;
* Rarity: a good example of both common and rare mining features reflecting the development of the industry over time; 
* Diversity: the site retains a diverse range of features representing the complete extraction process;
* Documentary Evidence: the site has been subjected to detailed historic analysis and a number of historic maps and surveys exist which document the development of the various phases of this mine works;
* Potential: the diverse range of components represented at New Consols have the potential to explain the development of the mine working and its chronological range, as well as contribute to the understanding of the historical and technological development of copper, tin and arsenic mining in the Cornwall and West Devon Mining industry;
* Group Value: the scheduled remains of the New Consols site have strong group value with the associated listed mine buildings within the scheduled area and, further afield an arsenic chimney to the south.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Buck C, Draft: New Conosls Mine, Lucket, Cornwall, Archaeological Assessment, Cornwall Council Report 2011R023, 2010,
Scheduling Documentation: Folder SM 32991,

Source: Historic England

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