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Pennance Mine, Cornwall


Principal ores: COPPER & TIN

Gwennap: grid reference SW713406

Notable minerals: Chlorite, Chalcopyrite & Erubescite.

Pennance Mine lies in the Gwennap Mining District and is situated on the southern slopes of Carn Marth, due south of the converted quarry that is now 'Carn Marth Open Air Theatre'. Formerly known as Wheal Amelia, the area was worked by tinners as early as the 17th century. De La Beche refers to it as a copper producer in his book 'Report on the Geology of Cornwall ...' of 1839, as does Robert Hunt in his report the 'Mineral Statistics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain' in 1857. The mine continued to extract copper until about 1873 - it raised 147 tons of medium grade copper ore in its final year of production. Pennance will always however be classed as a small mine, the tin sold between 1870 and 1872 coming mainly from tinstuff rather than the more usual black tin. The slump in the price of copper in 1866 and the opening of new tin fields overseas sounded the death knell for Pennance Consols and it closed in 1874. Between 1880 and 1881 the sett was reworked under the name of East Buller.

Pennance Consols

The Manager at the mine was John Richards between 1862 and 1871 and S. Tredinnick between 1872 and 1875. The restored engine house, formerly housing a 50-inch pumping engine, on Baronet's Engine Shaft lies beside the hamlet of Pennance, itself an area of the village of Lanner about a mile southeast of Redruth. Its nearest neighbours were Wheal Buller, Wheal Beauchamp and Clijah & Wentworth Mine.

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 'Pennance, in Gwennap, Cornwall. Pursers, Messrs. Williams, Soorrier. Manager, Captain John Richards, Trefula, near St. Day. Landowners, Messrs. Clinton, Buller, and others. Adit 75 fathoms deep (the Gwennap adit). No workings under. 3 men and 3 boys employed. No machinery, except a whim. No returns for 1864. Rock, granite.
They have been driving the adit about 30 years regularly, on the lode which crosses Tingtang mine, but have met with very little metallic mineral. This is a remarkable instance of perseverance in mining on a small scale. The present adit end is not far from Wheal Beauchamp.

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).

There is a wealth of information on the mines and miners of Cornwall available. Why not explore Cornwall's industrial heritage through the Bookstore?

Other nearby mines and their main ores

United Mines (Clifford Amalgamated) (approx. 0.4 km; COPPER & TIN)

Penstruthal (approx. 0.9 km; COPPER & TIN)

Cathedral Mine (approx. 1.0 km; COPPER)

Wheal Bucketts (approx. 1.2 km; COPPER)

West Wheal Damsel (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Trefusis (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Buller (approx. 1.4 km; COPPER & TIN)

Wheal Sparnon (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER, COBALT & GOLD)

Tresavean & Tretharrup (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER & TIN)

Trethellan (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER)


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