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I almost fell into this mine today as I went blundering past it on a little-used path, so I thought I would resurrect my Random Mine of the Day.


This is a particularly mysterious Random Mine, because I can't find it in the Cornwall and Scilly Historic Environment Record.

There are a couple of shafts and an adit recorded quite a way further down the hill near Latcheyplain ford, but nothing at quite this location. I briefly played with the idea that I had rediscovered it, perhaps because the heavy rain had caused a fall that had unblocked it, but I don't think that can be the case really because it has a hosepipe in it. OK, the hosepipe could have washed down from some shaft further up, but I think the likeliest explanation is that the map pin has got misplaced in the HER database and that someone has found the adit a handy way of supplying water to the field nearby.

Although if that is the case, it's a bit odd there isn't a gate over it. Most of the adits are gated to stop tourists wandering into them and being abducted by goblins killed by falling stones. I bravely ventured to the mouth of it, and keeping a wary eye for goblins killer rocks, took a photo.
The adit is probably nearest to Wheal Benny mine, which was recorded as active in 1884, working tin, arsenic and wolfram with the help of a waterwheel. Wheal Benny was blessed with what is termed 'an extensive arsenic labyrinth and flue' as well as 4 buddles for black tin preparation.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
7th Feb, 2016 21:21 (UTC)
Maybe the hosepipe is a ploy by the goblins to entice the unwary in.
8th Feb, 2016 11:54 (UTC)
Poor goblins! No shiny treasure to lure the unwary, they only have an old blue hosepipe!

I must admit, I did have a good think about what I'd do if I heard a faint voice calling for help from within. :-D
8th Feb, 2016 09:42 (UTC)
"an extensive arsenic labyrinth..."

Eek. And also eek! for the finding of mines by falling into them.
8th Feb, 2016 11:58 (UTC)
I don't mind finding adits that way so much, adits being by their nature horizontal. Finding a shaft would be very bad!

It was one of those paths that begins assertively as a track that's clearly been used by a vehicle, slowly dwindles to a still quite confident-looking and well-used path, and then unexpectedly peters out among the ferns. Maybe that was made by goblins too.
8th Feb, 2016 18:32 (UTC)
Blue Serpent, master of disguise? Although what a mine that's already blessed -- ahem -- with arsenic and killer rocks would also want with a serpent beats me.
9th Feb, 2016 09:13 (UTC)
I am still puzzled by Blue Serpent. Surely one would not really run a hosepipe into an arsenic mine to water one's horses? Or maybe they assume that the arsenic is already in the grass to some extent? The horses looked well enough!
8th Feb, 2016 19:28 (UTC)
I'm a big fan of random mine of the day
9th Feb, 2016 09:13 (UTC)
9th Feb, 2016 08:57 (UTC)
Vastly impressed by such informed knowledge and powers of observation about the natural and engineered world. What I would have registered going past is pretty much, 'Hole in ground...uh...pwetty leaves and moss... brainzz..." Well, perhaps not quite so blinkered and zombie-ish. Nearly, though.

So you're producing, like, a random mine database?
9th Feb, 2016 09:33 (UTC)
If I'm honest, I spent years in almost exactly that state! Most of 15 years in the Tamar Valley wandering past the many ivy-covered mine ruins thinking vaguely 'these look like the ruins of Gondor'.

Last year I finally got round to looking up what they were actually for :-D. Now I've got mildly interested in them, and I do occasional Random Mine of the Day posts about the ones I encounter as I wander about the place. I seem to be better at remembering the info I looked up when I write it down!

The whole valley is part of a World Heritage site, so it's not as if looking up the details is hard, most of it is in http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/gateway/ which is an amazing thing. You can search by location or period and find all the stuff that counts as Historic - I love running a search for a random village and finding that someone dug up a Roman brooch there in 1823! The opposite of Eric the Gardener (are you a The Divine Comedy fan? You seem like you might be!)

Edited at 2016-02-09 09:43 (UTC)
9th Feb, 2016 23:10 (UTC)
Sadly no - I've got a pal who's into them, but I could never get my head around them. More of a Pulp/Oasis bod. Checked out the lyrics, though, and feel rather dim and baffled. Is Eric supposed to be a complete solipsist, oblivious to anything barring himself? Or just a really terrible digger who isn't aerating the soil enough to come across anything?
10th Feb, 2016 19:01 (UTC)
Pulp also good...! (well, Oasis too, but I feel Pulp lyrics a bit more meaningful somehow)

As an amateur gardener myself, I always thought Eric the Gardener was about how you think when you are digging that you'll one day turn up some interesting archaeology, but in fact you only ever turn up discarded pots, seed labels and bits of wire: the relics of previous gardeners. :-D

But I learned recently it probably refers to the Hoxne Hoard, the largest hoard of late Roman silver and gold discovered in Britain, which was found by Peter Whatling in 1992. He had lost his hammer and asked his friend Eric, a retired gardener who was an amateur metal detectorist to help look for it...

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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