Okel Tor Mine

Okel Tor Mine

Okel Tor Mine was worked under lease from the estate of the Duchy of Cornwall, the site is above a bend of the Tamar and has views of the Tamar valley and Devon beyond.

Okel Tor Mine was worked from: 1840s-1890, producing: Copper, Arsenic, Lead, Pyrite & Tin from shafts.

1873 - Initial exploitation became too costly and machinery sold. The mine was sold in 1874.

1876 - Work started again, with arsenic being the main product.

1878 - 63 people were employed, 33 underground and 30 on the surface.

1882 - At the height of its production, employed 192 people, including children as young as 9. 86 worked underground and 106 on the surface

1887 - The death was recorded of 14-year-old John Spear when "a quantity of ground fell upon him". In that year, the mine employed 62 people underground and 80 on the surface.

Owners

1849(?) - Okel Tor Silver, Lead & Copper Mine Co.
1851 - Okel Tor Mining Co.
1877-80 - H.N.Lay
1881-1886 - Okel Tor Co.Ltd.
1886-7 - Calstock Tin & Arsenic Works Synd.Ltd.

Chief Agents

1859-1860 - Tratton, ? Chief Agent
1861-1863 - Edwards, J. Chief Agent
1864-1865 - Metherell, J. Chief Agent
1866-1868 - Rodda, John Chief Agent
1870 - Gillchrist, Joseph Chief Agent
1871- Collom, B. Chief Agent
1872 - Bailey, J. Chief Agent
1878-1886 - Bulford, Henry Chief Agent
1887 - Bulford, H.T. Chief Agent

1881 census records John Rodda (a widower, aged 50, born in St. Austell) lived at 9 Hatches Green, Calstock with 4 sons and 2 daughters. The birth places of his children indicate that the family had moved between Tavistock (Devon), Calstock, Redruth (Cornwall) and Quebec (Canada). 2 of his sons were also miners.

1881 census records that living at Rose Cottage, Calstock were Henry (Harry) Bulford (37), his wife, Mary Jane, and their 6 young children. Harry had been born in Lewannick, Cornwall.

Managers

1859-1865 - Collom, William B. Manager
1869 - Edwards, John Manager
1873 - Niell, Thomas Manager
1874-1875 - Bennett, H. Manager
1876-1877 - Bennett, John Manager

Secretary

1860-1865 - Channing, W. Secretary
1866-1870 - Collom, William B. Secretary
1872 - Collom, William B. Secretary
1874-1875 - Hawke, R.F. Secretary
1876-1877 - Lay, H.A. Secretary
1878-1881 - Lay, N. Horace Secretary
1883 - Wilson, Felix F. Secretary

At the time of the 1881 Census, William B. Collom (58 years) was living at North Park House, Calstock with his wife, Elizabeth, and 8 children. His occupation was given as a Mining Engineer and 2 of his sons were copper miners.

 

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