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Wherry Mine, Penzance, Mount's Bay District, Cornwall, England, UK
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UK Grid Reference: SW470294
Latitude: 50°6'36"N
Longitude: 5°32'20"W
The Wherry mine was situated 240 yards out to sea at Wherry Town, on the southern edge of Penzance. The shaft was sunk on a mineralized dyke of 'elvan' (quartz-feldspar porphyry) which ran parallel to the shore and exposed only during low tides.

The mine was sunk by Thomas Curtis, a poor 57-year old miner who devoted three years from about 1778 to the effort, working during the summer to build a wooden coffer 25 inches square and 20 feet tall to exclude the water before sinking a shaft. Curtis died in 1791 by which time the mine had begun making a good profit.

During operation a steam engine on land operated pumps by a system of flat rods carried on a trestle bridge to the coffer.

The mine was destroyed in 1798 when an American ship, adrift in a storm, demolished the trestles and coffer, later efforts to re-open the mine failed - the Wherry mine was almost certainly the only mine ever to have been destroyed by a shipwreck!

Mineral List

'Axinite Group'
'Chlorite Group'
'K Feldspar
var: Adularia'

var: Smaltite

var: Pitchblende
'var: Cobaltian Wad'

26 entries listed. 18 valid minerals.

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Sir Arthur Russell (1949) The Wherry Mine, Penzance, Its History and its Mineral Productions. Mineralogical Magazine 28:517-533.

Minerals of Cornwall & Devon, p38-39 (1987).

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