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Mining in St Minver

Pentire Glaze mines, St Minver 

There were mines producing lead here for around 400 years, with the production finally stopping in 1857. 

On 19th September, 1845, this entry appeared in the Burials Register for St Minver

Edward Tremain of Church Town, aged 59 years, was buried by John Ellis, Curate.  Killed at Pentire Glaze Mine.


In the West Briton Newspaper on Friday 13 FEBRUARY 1846,
SAMUEL & JOHN HARRIS v. HENRY POWELL STEPHENS - MR. STOKES applied on petition for an injunction in this case, to restrain the sale and removal of the materials of Pentyre lead mine, in the parish of St. Minver. The petition stated that Samuel and John Harris were creditors, for working the mine in question, to the amount of GBP 45.15s. Last Saturday the men were discharged, and the petitioners were told by the captain, MR. WILLIAM BISHOP, that the purser, MR. STEPHENS, was expected down in a few days to sell all the materials, there being now a small quantity of ore, with an engine, &c. The petitioners further stated that within twenty-one days the captain said there would be nothing left on the spot; and that their debts were consequently in danger of being lost. Mr. Stokes also presented a petition from other creditors, alleging the same facts; and the Vice Warden granted the injunction.


This notice appeared in The West Briton newspaper (Dated 19 June 1857):

Mr Tippet is instructed to sell by Public Auction in the coming month of July (the precise days will appear in future advertisements at Pentire Glaze Mine, St Minver, near Wadebridge, the whole of the valuable Materials thereon comprising a 60 inch cylinder pumping engine, 7 feet stroke in the shaft, equal beam with boiler 110 tons.  A 24-inch Cylinder horizontal high pressure Winding and Crushing Engine with Boiler about 10 tons.  Also a good Crusher, 123 heads of Stamps and Machine for Drawing Work (nearly new).  An excellent 10 feet water wheel, 2 feet abreast, with 9 stamp heads attached.


Pentireglaze lead mine and car park, view across the Camel towards Stepper Point Pentireglaze lead mine


Porthilly Mine, St Minver also produced lead.  It closed not long after 1862.


Visit http://www.mindat.org/lsearch.php?from=nsearch&loc=st+minver for further detailed information about minerals found in the St Minver area.




Extract from The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times, London, 19 Sept 1874, issue 680

Mr Thomas Cock, draper, &c, Rock, St Minver had a narrow escape from death on Saturday last.  Whilst superintending the removal of the woodwork of a mine shaft the ground, chiefly sand, gave way, burying him up to the chin, and despite all the efforts made it was six of seven hours from the time of the accident until he was dug out and brought to the surface, men having to be lowered and suspended by ropes to extricate him.

[OPC note: likely to have been at Porthilly mine as it is close to Rock.]




Extract from The History of Cornwall by Fortescue Hitchins, Samuel Drew, pub 1824, page 596


"Although antimony has never yet been embodied as a real metal, it is uniformly thought to contain the radical principles of one, and to hold a middle station. between gold and silver. This is inferred from the texture and weight of its ore. In the parishes of St. Austell, St. Minver, St. Stephens, St. Kew, and Endellion, some specimens have been found ; but in no mine in Cornwall has it been an object of primary pursuit; and in many it is probable that large quantities are thrown away. In its ore it is hard, brittle, and heavy, closely grained in its texture, and exhibiting to the eye long shining filaments. To facilitate the fusion of other metals, and to refine gold to its utmost purity, the chemists have found it to be of
essential service. It is much used by letter-founders and opticians; it hardens pewter, and bell-founders use it for the same purpose, and for rendering their metal more sonorous. In 1774 and two following years, about ninety tons were raised n the parish of Endellion, and about twenty-five tons near Saltash ; but at present little is raised in any part of the county."

Observations on the West of England Mining Region

By Joseph Henry Collins

Page 338
Borlase says that antimony was worked in St. Stephens, St. Austell, and St. Minver in 1758.


Bal Maidens Victorious, West Briton Newspaper, 5 Feb 1819

The country people in the neighbourhood of Padstow have been rather busily employed, for some time, in securing the part of the cargo of a vessel lately wrecked on their coast.  On Wednesday evening last, a box of figs, part of this cargo, was discovered on St Minver Commons which gave rise to a serious affray between a party of damsels who were on the lookout for secreted plunder, and some bal maidens who were returning from a mine.  The contest lasted for two hours in the course of which some of the combatants were reduced to a state of approaching nudity in the end the bail maidens were victorious and carried off the prize. 



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Page created August 2006, updated June 2010