Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Stray Park Mine

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Although not actually on the Great Flat Lode in its strictest sense, Stray Park Mine, part of Dolcoath Mine since 1871, does lie on the Great Flat Lode Trail - a 7.5 mile circular route taking in the majority of the remaining mining buildings of the general Camborne-Redruth area centred on Carn Brea.

Stray Park Mine lies on the southeastern fringe of Camborne and to the west of Dolcoath. It was first recorded in the late 1700's. Originally a copper mine, Stray Park amalgamated with Wheal Gons at the close of the eighteenth century and an be found in the mining history book as alternatively part of Dolcoath Mine or as a mine in its own right.

1790 Richard Trevithick started work at the age of 19, was at the East Stray Park Mine

1801 or 1802: When a little boy, Mr. John Vivian, later of St. Ives Consols Mine, carried the pay-money to his uncle, Andrew Vivian, for men working Richard Trevithick's new high-pressure whim-engine in Stray Park Mine.

Stray Park's heyday was at the start of the 1830's. It is thought that Camborne Vean Mine (Grid Reference SW652398) was added to the sett around about 1840, and Wheal Francis in 1847 with the fortunes of the mines fluctuating over the next ten or fifteen years. After losses were reported in 1854 and 1855, the decision was taken late in 1856 to separate the three mines once more.

In 1857, the mineral lord John Francis Basset, of Tehidy, was approached for a new lease on Stray Park. The intention being to drive the shafts deeper to search for tin lying below the 140 fathom (840 feet) level. A new 64-inch pumping engine and a 24-inch winding(whim) engine was installed over the main Machine (Engine) shaft. A period of four years was spent refurbishing and draining the shaft before Stray Park actually produced any tin. The tin produced along with the last reserves of copper helped to reduce the debts incurred but not pay them off completely.

The owners decided in 1864 to ask permission to link with the neighbouring Dolcoath Mine at the 215 fathom level. This was agreed, but did not really solve Stray park's cash flow problems. An accident over the winter of 1868 caused the mine to flood.

This was to be the last straw for the owners and the mine was put up for sale in August 1870. The mine was bought by Dolcoath for just under £2,000.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Cornwall in Focus