St. Austell Mining District - Par Consols Mine
OS Explorer Map 106: Grid reference SX058530
Par Consols Mine lies about just southwest of St. Blazey and about half a mile west of Par, in the Par Section of the St. Austell Mining District. The sett lies just north of the A3082, Par Moor Road and is bounded to the west by Penny's Lane and the east by Biscovey Road.
The mine can be thought of as having two distinct sections. The western section centred around Puckey's Shaft worked Puckey's Lode and South Lode from Puckey's, Puckey's North, Puckey's South, Rashleigh's and Edgcumbe's Shafts. The southeastern section centered around Underlay Shaft worked eight lodes including North Lode, Branch Lode, Main Lode, Treffry's Lode and Treffry's South Lode, as well as a number of unnamed lodes. Shafts on these ore bodies were: Underlay, Meredith's, Treffry's North and Treffry's South Shafts.
Overshadowed by its near neighbour Fowey Consols, Par Consols was still an important copper producer in its own right. Mining commenced here in mid-1835, with the first copper ore raised at the end of 1840. By May 1844, the mine had raised and sold over 17,300 tons of copper ore worth in excess of £131,000. the Mine owners repaying a dividend of £31,950 to its investors. At this time, Par Consols employed over 700 people.
Some sections of the ore at Par Consols was of a very high grade indeed, with specimens of 25% and 28.5% copper on record. The overall average of 9.1% grade comparing favourably with the average of 7.8% for Fowey Consols. Although relatively shallow, at only 210 fathoms in the southeastern section, Par Consols worked the shafts with an array of pumping and winding engines. There were 50-inch and 24-inch pumping engines over Treffry's and Edgcumbe's Shafts. Carthew's Shaft had a combination 13-inch and 24-inch winding engine. West's had a 38-inch and a 22-inch double stamps engine, with a further 30-inch grinding engine, an 18-inch steam winder and a 14-inch engine on the incline.
Thomas Spargo, the mining historian, writes in his book 'The Mines of Cornwall and Devon: Statistics and Observations' in 1865, that Par Consols was '... in the parish of St. Blazey, Cornwall, in 6,400 shares. Purser, Major Davies, R.M., Fowey. Manager, Captain Francis Puckey, St. Blazey. Landowners, Lord Mount Edgcumbe, Carthew, Rogers, Robartes, Rashleigh, and Duke of Cornwall. Dues, 1-16th. Depth of adit, 28 fathoms; depth below it, 225 fathoms. Rock, clay-slate. 300 men, 80 females, and 100 boys employed. Pumping-engines, 80, 80, 72, 70, and 32-inches. Stamping-engines, 24, and 30 and 20 (combined). Winding- engines, 26, 26, 22, 22, and 12-inches. Sawing-engine, 10-inch. Crushing-engine, 22-inch.
Dividends worth £75,698 were repaid to the adventurers (investors) by the end of 1845. Although there was no dividend paid in 1846, a further £3,072 was returned in 1847. Between 1848 and 1850 dividends worth £44,800 were repaid making a total of £149,120 by December 1853, based on sales of over 80,000 tons of copper ore and 3,785 tons of black tin. In the years between 1856 and 1859 Par Consols also raised 990 tons of zinc ore and 3,713 tons of pyrite. Overall, Par Consols produced 122,689 tons of copper ore between 1841 and 1869. The mine closed and the company was wound up in 1870.
Now that 'World Heritage' status has been achieved Cornwall in Focus will monitor developments and learn how the mines of the St. Austell District fare within the overall Mining framework.
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