St Just United Mine, Cornwall

St Just United Mine Cornwall

Bosorne Mine is located around the hamlet of Bosorne, about 1 km south of St Just. In 1815, a 1-10th share was advertised in the West Briton. The map of the St Just district in the 1822 paper by Joseph Carne shows a mine called Wheal Vulcan at Bosorne; there are no records of any operations under this name. At some point a mine called Wheal Venton operated in the western Cot Valley, and this was eventually absorbed into the sett.

1824. A letter dating from September, stated that "Bosorn Engine is gon to work" shows that the sett was working then, it was soon put up for sale.

1828 The sale notice shows that the mine had a 36-foot diameter water wheel, the remains of which can still be seen.

1830s The mine was working again

1840s There are no records, probably the mine was closed

1850 A reopening took place in 1850 and in 1851 the mine acquired a 15-inch pumping engine.

1857 The mine closed again. Recorded production from 1824 to 1855 amounted to about 47 tons of tin concentrate.

1858 the sett was worked as Bosorne and Bollowall United, of which there are very few records.

1860s working was mostly confined to above adit, although this was about 50 fathoms below the collar of the engine shaft, called Phillips' after the managing director. On Wheal Venton Lode a 10-fathom level was worked. Little production appears to have taken place.

1862 The workforce in November 1862 totaled 206.

1863 the mine had 80 heads of stamps operating for 16 hours per day, 32 attached to the pumping engine and the rest attached to the whim engine. In 1863 a 24-inch winding engine was erected in a house just north of the pumping engine, to wind over the latter.

1864 Financial problems hit the mine and the purser, William Angwin, had to borrow money from the banks in return for favourable prices for tin, as the banks were also involved in smelting. By this time the mine was employing 263 men, 41 boys and 26 girls.

1864. October 1864 John Carthew, the managing agent, was dismissed and replaced by Captain Richard Pryor of Redruth. Work commenced on deepening the engine shaft although North Lode, nearby, was being worked at the 74 fathom level.

1865. The engine shaft was down to 74 fathom level and North Shaft to the 86.

1865 The mine was being pursued for payment of dues, which had not been paid since 1864. William Angwin had been ordered by the directors to get the bills paid in company script, "payable at as remote dates as possible, in two or three Bills". In April, Bolitho's Bank refused to increase the mine's overdraft and a petition to wind up the company (from Harvey & Co. of Hayle) was heard before the Vice Warden's Court in June and the mine advertised for sale in August. The sett which was held by the Vice warden's Court until sold later that year.

1865 the sett was taken up by the East St Just United Tin Mining Company, which was probably floated on the strength of St Just United, to the north-west. The managing director was Henry L. Phillips, who held the same position at Cape Cornwall Mine and St Just Consols; the managing agent at all three mines was John Carthew.

1865. In August 1865 a 40-inch pumping engine was set to work in a house at the western side of the hamlet of Bosorne.

1866 St Just United Mine closed in August 1866, and was bought at auction by Henry Phillips and John Ward and offered to the shareholders of East St Just United at cost-price. Both mines worked under that name until 1867, when it was changed at a special meeting to the St Just Amalgamated Mining Company (Ltd.). Work appears to have concentrated on the north-western part of the sett, near Priest Cove, where the engine shaft was 110 fathoms deep below adit by 1870 and sinking below the 120 in 1875

1873 St. Just Amalgamated from Kelly's Directory "tin mine is in the parish of St. Just in Penwith, 1 mile from St. Just and 8 from Penzance, which is the nearest railway station and shipping place. The mine is held under lease of 21 years at a royalty of 1-24th. Engine, or mine, shaft is sunk 135 fathoms. North shaft is sunk 95 fathoms. Pryor's shaft is sunk 72 fathoms. The mine is worked and drained by steam power. There are two pumping engines, one of 36-inch cylinder, which also drives 36 stamp heads, and the other of 30-inch cylinder, and two drawing engines each of 24-inch cylinder. The mine is worked for tin. The company is on the Limited Liability principle, and consists of 8,771 shares

Purser Henry Lewis PHILLIPS 23 Broad Street, London. Manager Richard PRIOR Trefula Redruth. Captains Thomas RICHARDS and Nicholas BARTLE "

1875 the mine closed. There was a slump in tin prices due to aquantities of cheap foreign tin on the market.

1879 the price of tin was on the rise, and the sett was taken up by Richard ('Banker') Boyns. Among many others mines he invested in, he was purser of North Levant Mine, which later became Geevor.

Work at this time was centred on Priest Cove, and there was apparently joint working with Cape Cornwall Mine, which was owned by Richard ('Purser') Boyns, manager of Boswedden and brother-in-law of Richard ('Banker') Boyns.

1879 An ore shoot called 'Cream Pot' was discovered at this time and eventually worked to a depth of 165 fathoms below adit. A 30-inch stamping engine was erected just south of the pumping engine at Priest Cove to cope with the extra work. The engine shaft was also renamed after Reverend Sir E. Bayley. However Cream Pot was worked out by early 1886 and in July 1886 the Cape Cornwall section was abandoned and Bayley's Engine Shaft was stripped to the 62 fathom level.

1886 Work now centred on the Bellan, Red Dipper and Minnis Glaze lodes. Tin prices were increasing, but production was not, and a decision to sell the mine was taken in June 1888. The 36-inch pumping engine was advertised for sale and was sold to Trethosa China Clay Works. This engine, originally installed at Wheal Vor in 1865, stayed at Trethosa until 1934 when it was scrapped.

1890 some exploration work was carried out and a new company was formed using an old name: Wheal Bellan. This was situated in the western end of the Cot Valley and was intended to work the lodes of St Just United and Wheal Hermon at depth and out to sea. But very little mining took place here and the site was abandoned after World War II.

Production:

1862-66: 681 tons black tin

St Just United 1880-88: 1,218.6 tons black tin (Burt et al)

St Just Consols, Bellan Part 1894-1902: 70.9 tons black tin (Burt et al)

St Just United Consols 1903-09: 74.4 tons black tin (Burt et al)

East Bosorne Mine commenced operations in about May 1853, possibly because of the re-opening of Bosorne Mine. The company set up to work the mine had a capital of £6000 in £1 shares, of which £2000 was required for the purchase of the sett and for the cost of working up to February 1st 1853. In November 1853 Nicholas Holman, a local engineer, was waiting for specifications for a pumping engine while the foundations for the engine house were completed by December 12th. The mine closed in about May 1854, very suddenly, having produced just under one ton of concentrate valued at £73 19s 6d - not a resounding success.1865 East St. Just United

Trevithick Society

St Just Area Mines, Cornwall