Wheal Grey Mine, Cornwall

Wheal Grey Mine, Cornwall

This tin mine, located close to the Wheal Grey China Clay Pit, worked a tin-bearing lode until the early 1870's. A few spoil heaps and the engine house still remain.

The first discovery of china clay in Cornwall was made by William Cookworthy at Tregonning Hill in 1746. The area that was subsequently worked was called either Wheal Grey or Tresowes. The pit was worked spasmodically and has not been worked since the early 1920's. The china clay was exported from Porthleven. After the war, sand was extracted at the site until 1965. The pit is now flooded and used for recreational angling.

Wheal Grey, was described by Joseph Collins as 'a large tin vein in pot granite', and is SE of Germoe church. 5 lodes were exploited for tin to a maximum depth of 65 fathoms below adit.

Workings for tin here are mentioned in the Callenick Smelting-house books in 1715. he mine appears to have closed, and to have been re-opened in 1810.

1836 the mine employed 130 people and had a 60-inch pumping engine.

1848 worked again ceased and the machinery, which now included 53-inch and 40-inch pumping engines, was put up for sale.

1868 some of the mine was incorporated into Great Work Mine. But this section was abandoned in 1873, just before the mining ceased there.

1875 Wheal Grey was acquired by William Argall of Breage to work the china clay.

1878 kilns were been constructed for the manufacture of bricks to use some of the waste produced by the pit.

1893, together with the Tresowes and Tregonning Hill works, Wheal Grey was leased to John Miners Holman of Camborne, Frank Harvey of Hayle and F. W. Thomas, manager of Dolcoath Mine at Camborne. The three setts then worked as the Tregonning Clay and Brick Works.

1903. By now called the Wheal Grey China Clay Works, the site was bought by John Lovering & Co. of St Austell.

1932, following the formation of English Clays, Lovering, Pochin, Ltd., this pit, along with the Balleswidden and Leswidden near St Just and Baker's Pit near Towednack, was closed.


Wheal Grey


Wendron Mining District