Wheal Ellen Mine, Cornwall

Wheal Ellen Mine

South Wheal Ellen, Porthtowan Area, worked from 1856 to 1861, producing 2,600 tons of copper, some lead and some zinc. The widespread waste tips and shafts of this mine are scattered on the hillside to the west of the road opposite to Menagissey Farm. Ref.: B. Atkinson: Mining Sites in Cornwall, Vol. 2, Dyllansow Truran (1994)

Tywarnhayle Valley is steep-sided valley takes its rust-coloured appearance from the thousands of tonnes of waste rock from copper mining which was tipped down its sides. An engine house with a castellated chimney stack at Wheal Ellen (1866) survives on the valley floor.This engine house is remarkable for the castellated stack, a rare touch of artistry in what was essentially a purely functional piece of architecture.

1837 April. West Briton Newspaper. On Tuesday last, another inquest was held before the same coroner, at the Chiverton Arms, in the parish of St. Agnes, on the body of John Harris, a miner, who worked in Wheal Ellen mine, St. Agnes. Deceased was employed as a tributer at the bottom of the five fathom level, west of Wheal Bank Shaft; and on Monday evening, about five o'clock, finding the ground above him to be insecure, he proceeded to erect some timber for the purpose of propping it up, when it suddenly gave way, and about two tons weight fell and injured the poor fellow so much that he died before he could
be taken to grass. He was about 39 years of age, and has left a widow and one child. Verdict - accidental death.

Photographs of this engine house published recently on the web show that the upper part of the front wall of the house has collapsed.

St Agnes Area Mines