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This is the largest mine engine house that I think I have seen in the south-west of England, and the remains of its associated mine buildings are quite substantial, too. This is the Grade II-listed Prince of Wales Engine House at the Phoenix United Mine in the Caradon Mining Area on the eastern edge of Bodmin Moor. The mine shaft was some 600 feet deep.
There had been earlier mining on this site throughout the 19th century, and the engine house only dates from 1907, by which time the mine was coming to the end of its life. It closed in 1913. Like other mines in the Caradon Mining Area, this was originally a copper mine, and a special tramway provided a link to Liskeard, where a canal then took the copper ore most of the way to the port at Looe. This canal was eventually replaced by a railway line, which subsequently became known as the Looe Valley line.
When the lode of copper ore became worked out the Phoenix United Mine was subsequently converted to mine tin instead and this new engine house was built. But it was too late. As new mines opened up elsewhere in the world the Cornish mining industry was in decline and the moment had passed.
Uploaded by Barry Richardson on 30 August 2019