Caradon Mining District

Caradon Mining district Holmans and rules shafts

The Caradon Mining District is loacted in the south-eastern corner of Bodmin Moor.

It is characterised entirely by open, exposed, granite moorland and is a prime example of the boom and bust of the Cornish Mining landscape.>

The exploitation of tin from alluvial and elluvial sources is known to have taken place in the Caradon Area from before the Middle Ages but it was the discovery of a rich lode of copper on the southern flanks of Caradon Hill in 1836 which precipitated an expansive phase of hard-rock mining activity which was change the nature of this part of Bodmin Moor for ever. Mining settlements such as Cheesewring Railway – now known as Minions - and Crow’s Nest were established or greatly expanded in response to the rapidly burgeoning mining industry. South Caradon Mine was quickly joined by West Caradon and other adjacent workings all to a degree taking advantage of the reputation of their neighbour for its high output and profitability.

The landscape has imposing engine houses and also the best-preserved cobbled copper dressing floors of anywhere in the Site. The Area was also served by its own railway, the Liskeard & Caradon, which was established to tranship ore to the south coast port of Looe along with granite from various moorland quarries.    

Tin mining returned to the Area in the form of the short-lived Phoenix United Mine in the early 1900s and the imposing engine house at the Prince of Wales Shaft contained the last large-cylinder Cornish-design pumping engine built (1907).


Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of B Gamble at Cornwall Council

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