The Mines of Redruth - Wheal Briggan
OS Explorer Map 104: Grid reference SW713446
Wheal Briggan, otherwise known as Great Briggan, lies on the northeastern edge of Redruth in Mid-West Cornwall. Its sett lay to due east of Lamborne Manor and to the southeast of Briggan Farm, with its eastern boundary part of the Coast to Coast Trail Great Briggan was an old mine and was bounded on the south by Great North Downs, on the west by Wheal Peevor, on the northwest by Wheal Plenty and on the northeast by Wheal Rose.
It was chiefly a copper mine producing some tin. Briggan worked four lodes: Main Lode, New Briggan Lode, North Treskerby Lode and Trevennen Lode. Like its neighbour Great North Downs, the mine extracted the ore from a great number of shafts. Main Lode was worked from Western Shaft, Western Whim Shaft, Shop Shaft, Engine Shaft, Cross Shaft, Bawden Shaft, Scammell's Shaft Highburrow Shaft and Ennor's Shaft.
The mining historian Thomas Spargo gives us a little insight into the state of the mine in the mid 1860's as he reports in his book 'Statistics and Observations on the Mines of Cornwall and Devon' (1865) that '... Great Briggan, in Redruth, Cornwall, in 5,000 shares. Secretary, Mr. E. King, London. Chief Clerk, Mr. Isaac Thomas, Tuckingmill. Manager, Captain John Tredinnick, Scorrier. Landowners, Sir John Lubbock and the Rev. H. M. St. Aubyn. Dues, 1-18th. Adit, 42 fathoms deep; depth under it, 72 fathoms. Pumping-engines, 70-inch and 56-inch respectively. Winding- engine, 24-inch. 65 men, 12 females and 2 boys employed. Rock, clay,slate.
For more information on production dates and so on please see Roger Burt's excellent book Cornish Mines: Metalliferous and Associated Minerals, 1845-1913 (Mineral Statistics of the United Kingdom, 1845-1913).
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