East Pool and Agar Ltd.
Location: Grid Ref. SW674415
Bounded to the north by Wheal Agar, the west by South Crofty Mine and Tincroft and on the south by Carn Brea Mines. The sett lies just east of the village of Pool between Camborne and Redruth on the northern side of the A3047 road. Its two main engine houses have been renovated and are in the ownership of the National Trust. They are located northwest of Carn Brea. The westernmost winding engine house (whim) lies atop Michell's shaft and houses a 36-inch rotative beam engine (above) and is open to the public in season as is the Cornish Mines & Engines Discovery Centre at Taylor's shaft adjacent to the Morrison's supermarket at Pool. Here it is possible to see working models of the mine, a film show and to walk through the flue of the EPAL chimmney and into the pumping engine house over Taylor's shaft.
The tour guides are extremely knowledgeable and explain clearly the workings of the beam engine. The tour takes you around the site before taking you up through the three floors of the engine house with detailed explanations along the way. Returning to the Visitor Centre there is a wide selection of books to satisfy the mining enthusiast.
East Pool began life as 'Poor Old Bal' copper mine in the early 1700's. Its sett was leased from the Basset family and produced enough profit to construct their imposing family home at Tehidy. The mine worked until 1784 as a copper mine and re-opened in 1834 selling 105 tons of copper ore in 1834. The ore was of very high grade commanding a price of £12.304 per ton in 1835 as against the local average of £5.952. The mine continued working now until 1897 when it amalgamated with the nearby Wheal Agar - named after the landowners of Lanhydrock - to become 'East Pool and Agar'. In 1913 the business became a limited company called 'East Pool & Agar Limited'. It's mill and ore dressing plant were located nearby in the Tolvaddon Valley and was fed by small mineral trams. They ran from 1903 until 1934 when they were replaced by an aerial mineral ropeway. The sett used to pump water from the neighbouring South Crofty Mine for which EPAL received payment. A major fall of rock occured underground in 1921 causing parts of the workings to flood. Taylor's shaft was commenced in February 1922 north of the rockfall with its pumping engine cannibalising parts from the old Robartes shaft. It was completed some five and a half years later. The mine was subsequently taken over by South Crofty and finally closed in 1945. The beam engine continued pumping however until September 1954, when all of the pumping for the enlarged South Crofty sett was done by electrical pumps.
'World Heritage' status for this area was granted on 14th July 2006. This should help to provide the necessary funding to improve and interlink all the mineral tramway projects. The majority of the trail is off-road and suitable for walkers, horse riders and cyclists. There are even some parts accessible to wheelchair users.
For those of you with
possibly a little more time to explore, once you've done
bit', why not explore Cornwall's industrial heritage through its Tin and Copper Mines or learn more from my Cornish Bookstore