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The Knockers

knocker shape in the rock underground

Hammer and Crack! Hammer and Crack!

In many old established mining areas throughout the world, there is a long tradition of mine spirits, in Cornwall these were known as the Knockers. There are also other names for these mine spirits; Knackers, Buccas, and Spriggans. The Knockers were thought to be small pixie like creatures. They inhabited the deepest parts of the mine, and it was belived they could be heard knocking and working their own lodes in the darkness.

The Knockers were thought to be benevolent, knocking at the richest of the lodes and showing themselves only to those that they favoured.

You need to treat Knockers with respect, whistling could offend them, as could intentionally spying on their work.  Many miners left small offerings of food or tallow to appease them.

Can you find any Knockers in Wheal Mexico?

 

Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of the Geevor Archive

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Comment left by James Pendragon on 2013-04-12 15:18:25

I come from an old Cornish family, and I remember my dad telling me about Knockers. Naturally i asked him who or what they were. He said "Well, believe it or not, any hard rock miner will tell you the same thing. You start chopping at the seam and the seam knocks back. The miners believe them to be spirits that inhabit the rock as if the rock itself has a conciousness. Make of that what you will!I know it sounds crazy, but there you are!

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