Sunday, 30 May 2010

Botallack- the most photographed engine houses in Cornwall

My favourite picture in my office is the one on the left, by the Cornish artist Nick Talbott, showing the Boscawen Incline in the heyday of the Botallack Mines.  These mines, close to Land's End, and 40 miles from Falmouth, worked tin and copper deposits in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. A large number of independent enterprises combined under the name of Botallack- many by the end of the 18th century, some others not until the start of the 20th.

This is a beautiful part of Cornwall's Atlantic Coast, and a must for those interested in mining archaeology. The two Crown Mines engine houses (left), clinging precariously to the cliff face are just two of many on this stretch of coast, which also includes the headgear of Geevor tin mine, which closed in 1990. In the photograph can be seen the pumping house (left), and the winding house, which brought ore up the Boscawen Incline.

Spend some time exploring this area, as, apart from the evocative engine houses, you will also find remains of dressing floors, and the remains of a Brunton Calciner and arsenic labyrinths, used to remove arsenic from cassiterite concentrates.

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