|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||50° 15' 11'' North , 5° 13' 0'' West|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||50.25333,-5.21694|
|UK National Grid Reference:||SW707443|
|Köppen climate type:||Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate|
At the end of the 17th century the area around Wheal Peevor North Downs was bounded (registered with the Stannary) for tin. The surface outcrops of the known lodes at the time, down to the water table, had payable tin ore (cassiterite). Right across North Downs, from Wheal Peevor in the west to Wheal Rose and Hallenbeagle in the east, copper was searched for from 1700 onwards.
The earliest registered tin bounds found at the location are the Wheal Moor Bounds. The northern part of Wheal Moor Bounds was occupied at the time by a small mine or lode working called Wheal Pevor or Wheal Peevor.
Tin bounds, called Wheal Variah (Vreagh), were being searched for copper in this area by 1701, when Sir John St Aubyn of Clowance leased the small mine there to Gabriel Wayne, a copper entrepreneur from Gloucestershire. Wheal Variah lay a short distance to the north and north-east of Wheal Peevor. The 1701 agreement granted all other copper bearing lodes to Wayne, and these included those at Wheal Peevor and West Wheal Peevor.
As the century progressed the ancient tin bounds being worked for copper were named, and by 1732 alongside Wheal Variah small mines called Wheal Christo, Wheal Widden, Wheal Pendarves and Wheal Moor were being mined for copper and tin. The northern part of Wheal Moor Bounds lay at the western end of North Downs, and as noted above, was occupied by a small tin and copper mine called Wheal Pevor (Peevor).
The Engine Shaft and Footway Shaft at the centre of that 18th century mine lay well to the east-south-east of the present 19th century mine buildings at a distance of some 270 metres 3. The early 18th century saw the shift from copper production to tin production as the mines deepened below the water table and entered the ‘tin zone’.
At Wheal Peevor, although copper was also sought, tin remained important, and continued so throughout its history.
Although occupying a very small surface area, the 18th century mine had an engine, almost certainly a water engine, fed by leats, and was at least 15 fathoms below adit level. The working appears to have been over 60 metres deep by this time, and exploited one predominantly copper ore bearing lode and one tin lode.
By December 1793 the greatest mine drainage scheme of Cornwall - the Great County Adit - was driven into Wheal Peevor, thus providing a much cheaper and efficient method for reducing water in the mine. The County Adit lay at a depth of 48-50 fathoms (87-90 metres) and vastly increased the drained ground available for mining and improved the economy and efficiency of the operation.
In 1818 the mine had been worked to the 56 fathom level, at a depth of 106 fathoms (190 metres). It had a Shallow Adit and the Deep Adit or County Adit. Five lodes were being worked, three tin and two copper lodes. These lodes were intersected and disrupted by four crosscourses and a slide (fault).
In 1819 Richard Thomas reported on his massive survey of all the mines between Chacewater and Camborne. Thomas' comprehensive description of Wheal Peevor, which accompanied his clear and detailed map, shows the mine on its present site, and describes the 18th century Engine Shaft to the east-south-east as Old Wheal Peevor Shaft. At this time Wheal Peevor was struggling and Thomas reported 'very little doing here now'. By 1843, J Y Watson in his Compendium of British Mining (p25) mentions Wheal Peevor, but does not say if it was working. Thomas Spargo in his Mines of Cornwall (1865) does not mention Wheal Peevor, unless it was part of North Downs or Great North Downs Mines.
After a period of idleness Wheal Peevor reopened in 1871/72 and began another very productive period. Between 1872-88 she sold £156,165 worth of black tin and a small quantity of copper ore. Income peaked in 1880 with £31,678 worth of black tin sold. Between 1878-82 the mine sold 2,287 tons of black tin and paid out £27,716 in dividends, after calls of £22,650.
In 1881 Wheal Peevor employed 319 workers, 183 underground and 139 at surface - making it a significant mine for the time. During 1872-93 and 1911-15 Wheal Peevor worked on its own, with West Peevor and with North Downs Mines. When the tin price rose, Wheal Peevor reopened and by 1913 employed 67 workers (20 underground/47 surface) but closed in 1915, due to shortages and costs. In 1938 Mr G A P Moorhead invetigated Peevor, but no working resulted from this trial.
During the 1960s another attempt to explore Peevor and West Peevor was attempted but abandoned when heavy rain storms flooded the workings above County Adit due to the adit's blockage. No significant activity has taken place at Wheal Peevor since 1967.
The site is marked by three prominent engine houses, the central and largest of these is the pumping engine house on Sir Fredericks Engine shaft.
To the east of this lies the old beam winding engine house that hoisted from Sir Fredericks shaft.
The third engine hous lies to the west-north-west of the engine shaft and housed the original beam engine that drove the stamps.
The remains of the dressing floors lie on the slope to the west-south-west of the stamps engine house, with the old calciners and their stack being the most obvious of these remains.
In 2005 the engine houses and other remains were conserved as part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site project.
During the work to make Sir Fredericks Shaft safe the dumps were partially relocated allowing some interesting specimens to be collected.
Unfortunately, despite the recommendations made in the mineralogical watching brief report that the dumps should not be covered to prevent mineral collecting, they have been covered in soil and allowed to become overgrown.
There is now considerably less opportunity to collect on the site than prior to the conservation work.
Regions containing this locality
|Eurasian Plate||Tectonic Plate|
|British Isles||Group of Islands|
|Devon and Cornwall metalliferous mining district, England, UK||Mining District|
|Camborne-Redruth and St Day Mining District, Cornwall, England, UK||Mining District|
Select Mineral List TypeStandard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements
Mineral ListMineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
8 valid minerals.
Detailed Mineral List:
Formula: (Fe2+)WO4 to (Mn2+)WO4
List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification
|Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts|
|Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides|
|Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates|
|Group 9 - Silicates|
|Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.|
|ⓘ||'Wolframite'||-||(Fe2+)WO4 to (Mn2+)WO4|
List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification
|Group 2 - SULFIDES|
|AmXp, with m:p = 1:1|
|AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2|
|Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES|
|Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES|
|Group 52 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups and O,OH,F,H2O|
|Insular SiO4 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in  and/or > coordination|
|Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.|
|ⓘ||'Wolframite'||-||(Fe2+)WO4 to (Mn2+)WO4|
List of minerals for each chemical element
|O||ⓘ Wolframite||(Fe2+)WO4 to (Mn2+)WO4|
|Mn||ⓘ Wolframite||(Fe2+)WO4 to (Mn2+)WO4|
|Fe||ⓘ Wolframite||(Fe2+)WO4 to (Mn2+)WO4|
|W||ⓘ Wolframite||(Fe2+)WO4 to (Mn2+)WO4|
|Geologic Time||Rocks, Minerals and Events|
This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.
Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org
323.2 - 358.9 Ma
|Paleozoic sedimentary rocks|
Age: Mississippian (323.2 - 358.9 Ma)
Lithology: Sedimentary rocks
Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. 
358.9 - 382.7 Ma
|Late Devonian claystone|
382.7 - 393.3 Ma
|Middle Devonian (Undifferentiated)|