News and latest update on progress:
John Kennedy offers a generous donation towards the mine funds - March 2019
We wish to express our sincerest gratitude to John Kennedy who has very kindly offered to make donations to the mine. This generous gift is very important for us as it enables us to continue with the on-going maintenance and restoration of the mine.
Two more wagons - December 2018
David Pollard, from Mylor, has very kindly donated two ex-South Crofty 1 ton side-tip wagons to the mine. For the past few years David had carefully conserved these wagons as features in his garden. These wagons will be re-gauged and used with our existing four wagons.
THE BIG DIG - October 2018
We started to clear the large pile of collapsed material beyond the old winze on No.2 Level. This blockage is over 30 metres long and we estimate that there is approximately 450 - 500 tons of material to remove, which will probably take us the next 4 - 5 years. The clearance of this collapse will allow us walk-in access along the entire length of No.2 Level. Part of the way along we expect to encounter a backfilled winze connecting with Deep Adit Level, which we also aim to dig out.
Trevithick Society and Zennor Feast visits to the mine - May 2018
On 12th May we welcomed about 20 members of the Trevithick Soceity to the mine as part of their 2018 AGM and on 15th May we welcomed a visit to the mine as part of this year's Zennor Feast. This event has been held for the past couple of years as part of the village's annual celebrations and we are very pleased at the level of interest that is shown in our project by local residents.
BREAKTHROUGH - February 2018
By the start of February the excavation of the old winze on No.2 Level had reached a depth of almost 80 feet, after the removal of a total of 200 wagon loads of backfill. At this point the roofs of two levels have been found driven along the lode for a short distance east and west of the winze. Both of these have been left partially full of sludge. The lode at this depth is over 1 metre wide and contains tin.
Early in May wooden planking across the full width of the winze was reached at a depth of just under 90 feet. This marks the base of the winze, although a square hole in the centre of the planking appears to be a sump. It has taken 3 years with over 250 tons of muck removed by hand to clear out this winze. In our opinion, this winze was sunk as part of exploration carried out in 1910s to prove the lode in depth with a view to blocking out the ground to the west and east. The lode at the bottom is over 1 metre wide and contains fine cassiterite.
Policy Team from the Eden Project visit the mine - October 2017
Ten staff from the Policy Team at the Eden Project visited the mine as part of an 'Away Day' in Penwith, followed by lunch at The Gurnards Head. There was particular interest in the various types of life that exists underground, including bacteria on the ochre staining, which is relevant to modern-day research into mineral extraction and the environmental clean-up of abandoned mining sites.
Bob Orchard visits the mine - September 2017
Bob Orchard, who spent much of his life actively involved in Cornish mining during the 1970s - 1990s, but now living in New Zealand, made a retrun trip to Cornwall in September. We were delighted to be able to show Bob, and his wife Annette, around the mine. Bob, along with Dominic Hudson, were one of the first people to start clearance work at Rosevale during the early 1970s. This early work was concentrated on clearing No.1 Level and Bob jokingly admitted part responsibility for tipping this material down the main stope and backfilling the winze in No.2 Level that we are currently trying to dig out. It was great to see Bob again and we look forward to his next visit to Cornwall.
Mike celebrates his 82nd birthday - May 2017
Michael Shipp, the sole remaining founder member of the Rosevale Historical Mining Society, celebrates his 82nd birthday. If it hadn't been for Mike's efforts during the 1970s the Rosevale Mine project would never have happened; ever since then he has remained a mainstay member of the group. Having spent most of his career in Cornish mining, working as Mine Surveyor at Geevor Mine and Wheal Jane, he has witnessed major changes in the industry during his lifetime!
Digging out the old winze on No.2 Level - February 2017
Since commencing clearance of the old winze in No.2 Level in May 2015 we have dug down to a depth of 18 metres. We have encountered one of the original timber platforms and ladderway and the barrel of the old windlass. Although this platform is over 100 years old it has been buried and submerged in water and the timber is almost like new. We believe this winze was sunk during the 1910s to investigate the downward extension of the lode, with a view to blocking out the ground as a precursor for stoping. We are now deeper than the bottom of the valley; the question is how much further have we got to go?
The winze is large (approximately 1.5 m x 3.0 m); so far we estimate that we have removed about 180 tons of backfill. There is still no sign of the bottom!
Maisie Marshall produces a short video about the mine - January 2017
Maisie Marshall, a student at Falmouth College of Arts, has produced a 4 minute video about the mine as part of her project entitled 'Hidden Cornwall'.