Killifreth Mine, Cornwall

Killifreth Mine, Cornwall

Killifreth Mine is near Chacewater. From 1826 – 1860 Killifreth mine produced copper from shallow workings, it was then bought by another company to mine for tin.

The Great County Adit was driven into most of the copper mines of Gwennap and Kenwyn. A branch of the Adit came into Killifreth from Wheal Busy in the area of Wheal Vor Bounds.

1860's saw Killifreth use steam power for the first time, when the new company upgraded and deepened the mine to 100 fm below the County Adit and obtained an excellent yield. However the fall in tin prices forced the mine to close in 1897. Another contributory factor to Killifreth’s closure was apparently “the breakage of the bob of the main pumping engine”.

Killifreth was always a small mine. It never employed more than 281 men and produced relatively low tonnages of ore.

Killifreth mine carried on relatively active until it closed in 1897 after a dispute between owners and shareholders.

For a few years the mine was used as a training ground for the Truro Mining School.

1911 it reopened to process arsenic was produced by the same company that owned Wheal Busy Mine. During this last reworking that the brick built stack, at the engine house at Hawke's shaft, was doubled in height to create enough draft for the four boilers serving the new 85 inch cylinder engine. However the price of arsenic was as volatile as the price of tin and the new mine failed within a few years.

1927 saw another attempt to reopen Killifreth, which apparently failed because parts of the engine and the wooden headgear at Hawkes Shaft had been vandalised.

Eventually the plant was broken up for scrap during the Second World War.

Gwennap Area Mines.