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Wheal Gorland, St Day, Cornwall, England, UK

This page kindly sponsored by Robert Bowell
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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 50° 14' 30'' North , 5° 10' 58'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 50.24180,-5.18298
GeoHash:G#: gbumf41ze
UK National Grid Reference:SW730429
Other regions containing this locality:Devon and Cornwall metalliferous mining district, England, UK
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate

This famous mine was formerly located in Gwennap parish but is now located within the parish boundaries of St Day. It lies within the Camborne - Redruth - St Day District as defined by H.G. Dines.


Wheal Gorland's first recorded working was in 1792, but the lodes were probably known long before this date. In this working, the lode was showing prospects of being productive, and it was decided to erect an engine in 1795. At this time the lode had been developed to a depth of 40 fathoms. It was decided to sink the shaft a further 20 fathoms. In this working, the shaft was sunk to 100 fathoms, but even at this depth, no regular ore shoots had been found. The ore was inconsistent - sometimes very rich, then nothing - and the mine made a loss between 1792-98. At times in the early working of the mine, the ore was so rich in supergene copper minerals a guard was put on the ore wagons. From 1800 prospects seemed to improve, with production reaching a high in 1827 of 2,959 tons of copper ore.

After this date, a decline set in, and output dropped to 498 tons by 1838. In 1852 the mine was taken over by St. Day United group of mines, but it seems little or no work was done under the new owners. The mine received a brief reworking between 1906-09 when there was a surge in demand for tungsten and tin, which was found mostly at the granite/country rock contact. The last attempt at ore production at Wheal Gorland was in 1976 when the main specimen producing dump was removed to extract the tin ore (which is speculated to have only contained about 2lb of black tin per ton, a sad loss considering the value of the dumps to collectors). Prior to this date, the dump was being actively worked by amateur collectors for specimen material.

Since then there has been a failed attempt by collector/dealers to gain access to the Muttrell lode via Davies shaft. And when Wheal Jane was working (and therefore lowering the local water table by mine pumping), it was possible to gain access all the way down to the County Adit, but again not to the fabled Muttrell lode. It is believed now by local collectors that any access gained into this lode would probably be unrewarding as the ground from Davies shaft towards the Muttrell lode is like a not-quite-soft cheese and the stopes are likely to have collapsed.

Ore production

1792-982,500 tons of copper ore (estimate).
1800-045,907 tons of copper ore
1815-5140,751 tons of copper ore
1906-09164 tons of tungsten ore, 15 tons of tin ore, 18 tons of arsenic.

As of 2017 the site of Wheal Gorland around the former Bawdens Shaft (site of the specimen dump mentioned above) and Old Engine Shaft has now been developed as housing.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

65 valid minerals. 4 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Rock list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram


Geologic TimeRocks, Minerals and Events
ⓘ Major polymetallic mineralization~270 MaCornwall, England, UK
ⓘ 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

Regional Geology

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

Early Carboniferous
323.2 - 358.9 Ma

ID: 3192903
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. [154]

Late Devonian
358.9 - 382.7 Ma

ID: 3135052
Late Devonian claystone

Age: Late Devonian (358.9 - 382.7 Ma)

Lithology: Claystone

Reference: Asch, K. The 1:5M International Geological Map of Europe and Adjacent Areas: Development and Implementation of a GIS-enabled Concept. Geologisches Jahrbuch, SA 3. [147]

Middle Devonian
382.7 - 393.3 Ma

ID: 2035678
Middle Devonian (Undifferentiated)

Age: Middle Devonian (382.7 - 393.3 Ma)

Lithology: Mudstone, siltstone and sandstone

Reference: British Geological Survey. DiGMapGB-625. British Geological Survey ©NERC. [23]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region
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This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Miers, H.A. (1894) Spangolite. Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 10, n° 48, 273-277.
Russell, A. (1911) On the occurrence of phenacite in Cornwall. Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 16, n° 73, 55-62.
Russell, A. (1920) On the occurrence of phenacite and scheelite at Wheal Cock, St. Just, Cornwall. Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 19, n° 88, 19-22. (referring to Russell, 1911).
Rocks & Minerals (1942) 17: 129.
Palache, C., Berman, H., and Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 994.
American Mineralogist (1951) 36: 484.
Kingsbury, A.W.G. (1954) Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, vol. 18, part 4 (for 1952), p. 395.
Kingsbury, A.W.G. and Hartley, J. (1960) Carminite and beudantite from the northern part of the Lake District and from Cornwall. Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 32, n° 249, 423-432. (referring to Kingsbury 1954).
Rocks and Minerals (1985) 60(1): 24.
Lapis (1986) 11(2): 29-32.
Embrey, P.G. and Symes, R.F. (1987) Minerals of Cornwall and Devon. British Museum (Natural History), London, 154 pp.
Le Boutillier, N. G., Shail, R. K., and Jewson, C. (2003) Monazite in polymetallic chlorite-(tourmaline)-quartz-(fluorite)-cassiterite-sulphide lodes and its potential for constraining the chronology of magmatic hydrothermal mineralisation in Cornwall. XXX Journal, xxx-xxx.

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