Perranzabuloe Mining District - East Wheal Rose
OS Explorer Map 106: Grid reference SW837554
East Wheal Rose lies threequarters of a mile southeast of St. Newlyn East in Mid Cornwall and was chiefly a lead mine. The mine was bounded to the north by North Wheal Rose, to the northwest by Wheal Acland and to the southwest by Old Shepherds Mine and lies just to the east of the Perran Iron Lode. The mine worked Middleton's Lode and East Lode from a number of shafts: Paddon's, Strong's, Davey's, Bishop's, Parkinson's, Stephens', Gower's, Middleton's, Doctor's, Phillpott's, Purser's, Carbis', Mitchell's Engine, Turner's, Oxnam's, Baynard's, Magor's, Penrose's Engine, Foster's, Robert's, Jubilee and North Shafts.
On Thursday 9th July 1846, a terrible disaster befell East Wheal Rose. A freak thunderstorm with torrential rain occurred at about 1pm in the afternoon. The rain poured down and the lie of the land channelled the water towards Oxnam and Magor Shafts. The water poured down into the mine 'like a sea of water'. Over 200 miners were initially trapped underground by the deluge but as the water rushed in many managed to escape by any means possible. As Thursday wore on there were still 43 people missing. Four miners who had been working at the 50 fathom (600 feet) level were found alive on Friday morning, but 38 others and one at North Wheal Rose were not so lucky and perished.
A contemporary report is recorded in 'The Annual Register of World Events' by Edmund Burke in 1847. He writes:'... Fearful Catastrophe:— Thirty-nine Persons Drowned.
The current engine house over North Shaft was constructed in the winter of 1881 and housed one of the largest pumping engines ever used in Cornwall. A 100-inch beam engine, known as the 'Great Hundred' was purchased to prevent the mine flooding. Initially built in 1854 and installed over Crease's Shaft at Wheal Vor near Helston, the pumping engine was installed at East Wheal Rose and after a few minor mishaps due to the power of the engine, it ran well dewatering the mine successfully.
Now that 'World Heritage' status has been achieved Cornwall in Focus will monitor developments and learn how the mines of the Perranzabuloe District fare within the overall Mining framework.
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