Newspaper report "On Tuesday, January 10th, 1893, nineteen men and a lad were drowned in the Cargodna part of Wheal Owles Mine, St. Just, Cornwall, by a pare of the forty miners having, it is believed, blasted and tapped the accumulated and connected water in the abandoned workings of Wheal Drea (in Wheal Owles sett) and East Boscean; the pool of water now extending a mile and a half from St. Just Churchtown to thirty fathoms under the Atlantic ocean. This was the most terrible mining accident in Cornwall since the waterspout, or tremendous waterfall, which burst over East and North Wheal Rose Mine, in the Newlyn East district, on the 9th of July, 1846, when fifty-three men were drowned and others injured by the flood carrying a portion of a burrow, or waste-heap, into the shaft. "
"The Cornishman " newspaper of Thursday January 12, 1893 reported ".......... 19 men and a boy died in the watery darkness of Wheal Owles, at St Just in Penwith. A terrible roar was heard by the 40 men and boys working deep underground at Wheal Owles mine........................."
On the morning of Tuesday January 10 the miners had broken
through into the workings of the flooded neighbouring Wheal Drea. As the torrent
rushed into Wheal Owles it pushed the air before it, creating a great wind which
blew out all the lights, plunging the terrified miners into absolute darkness.
Those working on the upper levels narrowly escaped with their lives. Nineteen
men and a boy were never seen again.Their remains are still entombed in the
There is a memorial to the men who died "at grass "nearby.
The report in " The Cornishman" of 10 Jan 1993,when a centenary service was held at Chapel St. Methodist Church, St
Wheal Edward workings were linked to Wheal Drea and Wheal Owles.
Today in the Wheal Drea dumps in the Kenidjack Valley, amethyst and nail-head
siderite is fairly easy to find.
Trevithick Society, Wheal Drea
St Just Area Mines