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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

Actinolite
Alloclasite
Alunogen
Arsenopyrite
'Axinite Group'
Cassiterite
Chalcocite
Chalcopyrite
'Chlorite Group'
Cobaltite
Epidote
Erythrite
Galena
Graphite
Ilmenite
'K Feldspar
var: Adularia'

Orthoclase
Pyrite
Quartz
Skutterudite
var: Smaltite

Sphalerite
'Tourmaline'
Uraninite
var: Pitchblende
'Wad'
'var: Cobaltian Wad'


26 entries listed. 18 valid minerals.

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References

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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Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
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