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Wheal Drea, Botallack, St Just, Cornwall, England, UKi
Regional Level Types
Wheal DreaMine (Inactive)
BotallackVillage
St JustCivil Parish
CornwallCounty
EnglandConstituent Country
UKCountry

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Key
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):
50° 7' 55'' North , 5° 41' 15'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal):
UK National Grid Reference:
SW365324
Locality type:
Mine (Inactive) - last checked 2019
Köppen climate type:
Nearest Settlements:
PlacePopulationDistance
St Just1,957 (2017)1.1km
Madron626 (2017)8.7km
Penzance19,872 (2017)10.8km
Mousehole697 (2017)11.9km
Marazion1,294 (2017)15.2km


Wheal Drea is an old tin mine that was incorporated into the Wheal Owles group in about 1859, having worked independently for some years during the earlier part of the 19th Century. The engine shaft at Wheal Drea was being deepened during 1871 when it was discovered that it intersected three lodes at the 160 fathom level. Three years later, parts of the Wheal Owles sett were suspended and allowed to fill with water, but work continued in Wheal Drea. It seems probable that it was at Wheal Drea in 1881 that the Champion rock drill was introduced to the Wheal Owles mines, the compressor being powered by an old waterwheel on the Boscean side of the stream. In 1882, the Wheal Drea miners holed into Boscean workings - an indication (had it been realised) that the underground survey was erroneous. In 1884, the Wheal Drea section was abandoned.

Wheal Owles (which Wheal Drea became a part of) is a former mine sat on the cliff path just south of its more famous neighbour Botallack. This particular mine is a rarity in that four engine houses and parts of several others can still be seen today. Some sections of this mine were already at work by 1725, although they were all separate ventures at this point. In 1810 the first engine was erected.
It was not until the 1860s when several of the smaller ventures were added into one sett that Wheal Owles began to produce large quantities of ore. During this period there were eleven engines, twenty nine miles of tunnels with at least another mile being added each year. Over the next two decades even more small mines were added, and in 1870 Cargodna was renamed West Wheal Owles.
The next two decades saw the fortunes of the mine take a real downturn. In 1874 a drop in ore prices led to Wheal Owles, Wheal Boys and Wheal Grouse shutting down and only three engines were left running. Tin prices continued to plummet and more inland sectioned closed, with efforts focused on the West Wheal Owles area. Only the 36” engine on West Wheal Owles was left working in 1884.

In 1893, men was sent to the 65 fathom level of Cargodna shaft to break into what was thought to be richer ground towards Wheal Drea. However, the plans were incorrect and the men broke into the 148 fathoms level of Wheal Drea, releasing all of the backed up water and flooding the workings. The pressure was so great it supposedly blew a crater down near the Kenidjack almshouse. Nineteen men and one boy drowned. Their names are inscribed on a stone by the West Wheal Owles pumping engine house. They were killed because the mine plans were inaccurate and showed 19 fathoms of ground between the blasting position and the abandoned and flooded levels of Wheal Drea. The plans indicated two distinct lodes, Cargodna and Drea, with solid ground between them but in fact the two lodes had run together to become one but the coming together of the lodes had not been picked up by the surveyor because he had not made allowance over many years for the variation in magnetic north. The underground mine workings were never drained again.

The smaller workings that make up Wheal Owles include: Wheal Edward, Wheal Drea, Wheal Grouse, Cargodna, Wheal Boys, Wheal Gendall, Wheal Chase and Lower Boscean.

Lodes included: Wheal Owles, Hanger, Gargotha, Cargodna, Wheal Boys Guide, Wheal Boys Gallen, Wheal Grouse Gallen, Wheal Grouse, Wheal Drea, Wheal Edward Cliff, Corpus Christi, Parkenoweth and Buzza. 

Wheal Drea itself is well known for excellent siderite specimens.

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Gallery Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.


Mineral List


16 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Baryte
Formula: BaSO4
Reference: Golley, P. & Williams, R. (1995): Cornish Mineral Reference Manual. Endsleigh Publications (Truro), 104 pp.
Calcite
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: collected by Richard de Nul
Cassiterite
Formula: SnO2
Reference: collected by Richard de Nul
Chalcocite
Formula: Cu2S
Reference: collected by Richard de Nul
Chalcopyrite
Formula: CuFeS2
Reference: collected by Richard de Nul
Copper
Formula: Cu
Reference: collected by Richard de Nul
Fluorapatite
Formula: Ca5(PO4)3F
Reference: Collection Richard De Nul
Fluorapatite var. Carbonate-rich Fluorapatite
Formula: Ca5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)
Reference: Collection Richard De Nul
Fluorite
Formula: CaF2
Reference: Collection Richard De Nul
Goethite
Formula: α-Fe3+O(OH)
Reference: No reference listed
Hematite
Formula: Fe2O3
Reference: No reference listed
'K Feldspar'
Reference: Collection Richard De Nul
'K Feldspar var. Adularia'
Formula: KAlSi3O8
Reference: Collection Richard De Nul
'Limonite'
Reference: No reference listed
Malachite
Formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Reference: No reference listed
Manganite
Formula: Mn3+O(OH)
Reference: P Haas - collected 2009
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: No reference listed
Quartz var. Amethyst
Formula: SiO2
Reference: P Haas (2007) - collected from the dump
Quartz var. Chalcedony
Formula: SiO2
Reference: No reference listed
Quartz var. Smoky Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: collected by M Perry (St Just)
Rhodochrosite
Formula: MnCO3
Reference: collected by G Moffatt, Pendeen
Siderite
Formula: FeCO3
Reference: Reid, C., Flett, J.S., Wilkinson, B.S.N., Dixon, E.E.L., Pollard, W., and MacAlister, D.A. (1907): The Geology of the Land's End District. HMSO Publications (London), p. 106.
'Tourmaline'
Formula: A(D3)G6(Si6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
Reference: Collection Richard De Nul
Vivianite
Formula: Fe2+3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
Habit: Elongated prismatic
Colour: Green
Reference: Collected by David Clough 8 May 2005; Confirmed by Natural History Museum (London) 8 July 2005; Report published in British Micromount Society Newsletter No. 71 - November 2005; Reid, C., Flett, J.S., Wilkinson, B.S.N., Dixon, E.E.L., Pollard, W., and MacAlister, D.A. (1907): The Geology of the Land's End District. HMSO Publications (London), p. 106.

Gallery:

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 1 - Elements
Copper1.AA.05Cu
Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Chalcocite2.BA.05Cu2S
Chalcopyrite2.CB.10aCuFeS2
Group 3 - Halides
Fluorite3.AB.25CaF2
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Cassiterite4.DB.05SnO2
Goethite4.00.α-Fe3+O(OH)
Hematite4.CB.05Fe2O3
Manganite4.FD.15Mn3+O(OH)
Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
var. Amethyst4.DA.05SiO2
var. Chalcedony4.DA.05SiO2
var. Smoky Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Calcite5.AB.05CaCO3
Malachite5.BA.10Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Rhodochrosite5.AB.05MnCO3
Siderite5.AB.05FeCO3
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Baryte7.AD.35BaSO4
Group 8 - Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
Fluorapatite8.BN.05Ca5(PO4)3F
var. Carbonate-rich Fluorapatite8.BN.05Ca5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)
Vivianite8.CE.40Fe2+3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'K Feldspar'-
'var. Adularia'-KAlSi3O8
'Limonite'-
'Tourmaline'-A(D3)G6(Si6O18)(BO3)3X3Z

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 1 - NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Copper1.1.1.3Cu
Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
Chalcocite2.4.7.1Cu2S
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:1
Chalcopyrite2.9.1.1CuFeS2
Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
A2X3
Hematite4.3.1.2Fe2O3
AX2
Cassiterite4.4.1.5SnO2
Group 6 - HYDROXIDES AND OXIDES CONTAINING HYDROXYL
XO(OH)
Goethite6.1.1.2α-Fe3+O(OH)
Manganite6.1.3.1Mn3+O(OH)
Group 9 - NORMAL HALIDES
AX2
Fluorite9.2.1.1CaF2
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Calcite14.1.1.1CaCO3
Rhodochrosite14.1.1.4MnCO3
Siderite14.1.1.3FeCO3
Group 16a - ANHYDROUS CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
Malachite16a.3.1.1Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Group 28 - ANHYDROUS ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
AXO4
Baryte28.3.1.1BaSO4
Group 40 - HYDRATED NORMAL PHOSPHATES,ARSENATES AND VANADATES
A3(XO4)2·xH2O
Vivianite40.3.6.1Fe2+3(PO4)2 · 8H2O
Group 41 - ANHYDROUS PHOSPHATES, ETC.CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
A5(XO4)3Zq
Fluorapatite41.8.1.1Ca5(PO4)3F
var. Carbonate-rich Fluorapatite41.8.1.4Ca5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
'K Feldspar'-
'var. Adularia'-KAlSi3O8
'Limonite'-
Quartz
var. Amethyst
-SiO2
var. Chalcedony-SiO2
var. Smoky Quartz-SiO2
'Tourmaline'-A(D3)G6(Si6O18)(BO3)3X3Z

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
H MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
H ManganiteMn3+O(OH)
H VivianiteFe32+(PO4)2 · 8H2O
BBoron
B TourmalineA(D3)G6(Si6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
CCarbon
C SideriteFeCO3
C MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
C CalciteCaCO3
C RhodochrositeMnCO3
C Fluorapatite var. Carbonate-rich FluorapatiteCa5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)
OOxygen
O BaryteBaSO4
O Quartz var. Smoky QuartzSiO2
O SideriteFeCO3
O Quartz var. ChalcedonySiO2
O Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
O HematiteFe2O3
O MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
O QuartzSiO2
O CassiteriteSnO2
O CalciteCaCO3
O RhodochrositeMnCO3
O K Feldspar var. AdulariaKAlSi3O8
O TourmalineA(D3)G6(Si6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
O Fluorapatite var. Carbonate-rich FluorapatiteCa5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)
O Quartz var. AmethystSiO2
O ManganiteMn3+O(OH)
O FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
O VivianiteFe32+(PO4)2 · 8H2O
FFluorine
F FluoriteCaF2
F Fluorapatite var. Carbonate-rich FluorapatiteCa5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)
F FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
AlAluminium
Al K Feldspar var. AdulariaKAlSi3O8
SiSilicon
Si Quartz var. Smoky QuartzSiO2
Si Quartz var. ChalcedonySiO2
Si QuartzSiO2
Si K Feldspar var. AdulariaKAlSi3O8
Si TourmalineA(D3)G6(Si6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
Si Quartz var. AmethystSiO2
PPhosphorus
P Fluorapatite var. Carbonate-rich FluorapatiteCa5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)
P FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
P VivianiteFe32+(PO4)2 · 8H2O
SSulfur
S BaryteBaSO4
S ChalcociteCu2S
S ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
KPotassium
K K Feldspar var. AdulariaKAlSi3O8
CaCalcium
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca FluoriteCaF2
Ca Fluorapatite var. Carbonate-rich FluorapatiteCa5(PO4,CO3)3(F,O)
Ca FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
MnManganese
Mn RhodochrositeMnCO3
Mn ManganiteMn3+O(OH)
FeIron
Fe SideriteFeCO3
Fe Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
Fe HematiteFe2O3
Fe ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Fe VivianiteFe32+(PO4)2 · 8H2O
CuCopper
Cu MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
Cu CopperCu
Cu ChalcociteCu2S
Cu ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
SnTin
Sn CassiteriteSnO2
BaBarium
Ba BaryteBaSO4

Geochronology

Geologic TimeRocks, Minerals and Events
Phanerozoic
 Paleozoic
  Permian
   Guadalupian
ⓘ Major polymetallic mineralization~270 MaCornwall, England, UK
   Cisuralian
ⓘ Porphyry dikes intruded (latest age)~275 MaCornwall, England, UK
ⓘ Greisenization (latest age)~280 MaCornwall, England, UK
ⓘ Porphyry dikes intruded (earliest age)~280 MaCornwall, England, UK
ⓘ Formation of metallized pegmatites~285 MaCornwall, England, UK
ⓘ Greisenization (earliest age)~285 MaCornwall, England, UK
ⓘ Emplacement of major plutons~295 MaCornwall, England, UK

External Links

Explore Cornwall - Walks, Mines and Houses & Gardens of Cornwall:
https://explorecornwall.org/wheal-owles/

National Trust Heritage Records - Wheal Drea:
https://heritagerecords.nationaltrust.org.uk/HBSMR/MonRecord.aspx?uid=MNA107230

Penwith local history group - Wheal Owles disaster:
http://www.penwithlocalhistorygroup.co.uk/on-this-day/?id=10

Other Regions, Features and Areas containing this locality

British IslesGroup of Islands
Eurasian PlateTectonic Plate
UK

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