East Pool Agar Mine, Cornwall

East Pool Agar Mine

East Pool and Agar Mine is located northwest of Carn Brea beside the main Camborne-Redruth road at Pool. Tin, copper and tungsten have been produced and in the 1870’s uranium was also mined. East Pool Mine does not lie on the Great Flat Lode.

Originally known as Pool Old Bal, the mine was worked for copper from the early 18th century until 1784.

1834, it was restarted under the name East Pool Mine and changed from copper to tin, producing in addition some arsenic and tungsten. Its sett was leased from the Basset family of Tehidy. The mine continued working until it was amalgamated in 1897.

1897 amalgamated with Wheal Agar - named after the landowners of Lanhydrock - to become East Pool and Agar.

1913 the business became a limited company called 'East Pool & Agar Limited'. It's mill and ore dressing plant were located nearby in the Tolvaddon Valley and was fed by small mineral trams from 1903 until 1934 when they were replaced by an aerial mineral ropeway. The sett used to pump water from the neighbouring South Crofty Mine for which EPAL were paid.

1921 A major fall of rock occurred underground causing flooding .

1922 Taylor's shaft was sunk north of the rockfall with its pumping engine using parts of the engine from the old Robartes shaft. The shaft was completed five and a half years later. The mine was later taken over by South Crofty

1945 East Pool and Agar mine finally closed. Its beam engine continued pumping, to prevent the nearby South Crofty mine from becoming flooded, until September 1954, when pumping for the enlarged South Crofty sett was done by electrical pumps.

When the engine was no longer needed to pump out South Crofty in 1954, Grenville Bathe, a wealthy American historian bought the engine and gave it to the Trevithick Society, a group of volunteer enthusiasts for industrial history. The Trevithick Society also owned Michell’s Whim which had been given to them by Treve Holman, one of the directors of Holman Bros who had saved the engine house after a rock collapse in 1921.

The high costs involved in preserving the engine houses led to the National Trust taking over the property in 1967. So today the site has two preserved engine houses. One is on Taylor’s Shaft which has the largest preserved engine in Cornwall and across the road is Michell’s Whim with its winding engine. The letters EPAL, East Pool and Agar Limited, can be seen on the chimney.

The Whim on Michell's shaft was used to hoist men and ore. It is a a 30-inch rotative beam engine and is open to the public in the summer season.

Taylor's shaft adjacent to the Morrison's supermarket at Pool houses a 90 inch engine. There are also working models of the mine, a film show and a walk through the flue of the EPAL chimney.

In 1993 the Trevithick Trust was set up by the Trevithick Society and local authorities in Cornwall to manage various industrial museums in Cornwall. The site was boosted in 1997 when building began on the Industrial Discovery Centre at Taylor’s.

East Pool and Agar: A Cornish Mining Legend
Philip Heffer, J.H. Trounson

Illogan Area Mines, Cornwall