Corner shaft

Corner was the first shaft to pass on the journey into the mine, so named because it intersected the 'day corner' on the main adit level. This was the first point where light from the entrance could be seen in the winding passage as the men left the mine. Sinking of the shaft commenced in 1862 and reached a depth of 165 fathoms below adit. A considerable amount of copper had been produced in this part of the mine and so for the purpose of winding, a turbine was installed in a small machine house on Cronk e Chule Farm. The water supply to the turbine was the tail of from Lady Isabella and the winding cables ran to the shaft via a small tunnel just below the surface over a series of sheave wheels. The Corner shaft was divided into two compartments, one for a ladder way and one for the kibbles. By 1887 all the machinery has been dismantled and the shaft was boarded off at the 30 fathom level.

Engine Shaft

This shaft started off as a sump on the old river bed in 1820 and had connected with the main adit level at a depth of twenty eight fathoms. The shaft contained the pumps and associated machinery which originally worked from the machine house but later the shaft was widened to accommodate the new pumping gear. At surface, the huge inverted T rocker changes the angle of the flat rods to vertical and a short distance down the shaft is a large vaulted chamber which houses the fend off mechanism, a device for keeping the pump rods in line with the shaft. There are five plunger pumps in the shaft and two underground T rockers for balancing the weight of the rods. The pump rods worked to the 235 fathom level where the angle was changed to work a flat rod linkage to the Welsh shaft. From here, the rods descended to the 295 in the Welsh where the water was raised by a bucket arrangement called the dipper. The shaft was also used for winding and the kibbles were emptied into the trucks at adit level.

Welsh Shaft

Dating from about 1840, Welsh shaft is the third up adit  at 635 meters from the mine entrance and identifiable by the large water pipe at surface. The shaft has a depth of 295 fathoms and was extensively widened in 1881 for the installation of a man engine. Prior to this, access to the lower shaft was by way of ladders from the adit level which could take the men up to an hour to descend but the introduction of the man engine which worked to the 200 fathom level reduced this to about twenty minutes. The shaft was also used for winding and contained the air pipes for the rock drills. The power source for the man engine was the water pressure engine located near to the top of the shaft. There were three inverted T rockers at various levels in the shaft for balance. The largest of these is still accessible at adit level, 200 feet from surface and is almost fifty feet in length.

Dumbell's Shaft

The deepest of all the shafts, Dumbell's reached a depth of 302 fathoms below adit or a total depth of 2200 feet from surface. Like Welsh and Engine shafts, Dumbell's had it's own winding arrangement powered by a water wheel on the hillside opposite the village of Agneash. The wheel was later replaced by a turbine, possibly that of the Cronk e Chule winder. Initially, the shaft had only been sunk below adit and the winding took place via a nearby shaft known a 'Slide'. The complication of sheave wheels made the system very inefficient and so the shaft was raised to surface to improve the winding and run the new compressor pipe. The kibbles raised in the shaft were bigger than those in the Welsh and a miner was unable to handle them at adit. A tipping mechanism was installed on he edge of the shaft which simply flipped the huge bucket over to discharge the ore into the trucks.

The Slide Shaft

The exact location of the shaft is unknown and an attempt to trace trace it in 1983 failed. The collar of the shaft is reputed to be near to that of Dumbell's but the nature of the shaft is more of a diagonal. Not connecting directly with the adit like the other shafts, the slide was joined by a cross cut to the adit which was the route of the earlier winding cable. What appears to be a walled up passage behind a fall of timber could be the connection and will be investigated in the future. A small stream sinks into a depression at surface and a corresponding amount of water reappears at adit level from a fault line in the roof. One fine day, a fluorescent non toxic dye was put into the stream by the mines group whilst a second crew waited underground with an ultraviolet light. The green dye failed to appear and so the Slide shaft remains a mystery for a while longer.

Agneash Shaft

A small shaft by comparison, the Agneash shaft was sunk round about 1850 and went a little below the the 60 fathom level. The shaft, 60 meters north of Dumbell's was used for winding by a water wheel and prior to 1989, was the only modern day access to the northern part of the mine. In 1970, six ore trucks and a kibble were brought to the surface via the shaft by the mines group. The adit extended for a considerable distance beyond Agneash but was lost due to a blockage at the shaft - adit intersect..

North shaft

This shaft was nothing more tan a trial and never connected with adit. Abandoned after trouble with water, the shaft was filled about 1919 and is now only visible as a depression is the ground.


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