' CHAPTER XVI.
THE LISKEARD MINES
FROM Lostwithiel eastward and northward a considerable interval must be passed over before we come to any mines of importance. Six or eight miles to the north-east are the mines of Warleggan and St. Neot (such as Treveddo, Hobbs Mine, Moor Mine, Ambrose Lake, etc.), none of which have had much of a past, although, as they are associated with elvans and are situated near the border of the granite, either in that rock or in the metamorphic aureole of the surrounding killas, the locality would seem to have favourable and encouraging features. Still proceeding eastward, we reach the latitude of Liskeard, once the market centre for a very flourishing group of mines clustering around Caradon Hill and the Cheesewring, and in the parishes of Menheniot, Lanreath, and St. Pinnock. Here are east and west elvans; lodes having the same directions, others coursing some degrees N. of E., others again (metalliferous cross-courses) running north and south.
References to mining matters in this district, except as to the South Caradon Mines, were few before Mr. Kenwood wrote in 1871, although Mr. N. Whitley had published a very instructive mining map so far back as 1845, which had proved very serviceable to Mr. Kenwood.
I. The Caradon group (Plate XI, XVII). - The rocks consist of granite, slate interlaid by hornblendic beds, and elvan intersecting both granite and slate. The slate skirts the granite on the south, south-east, east, and north-east, but besides this there is a tract of slate some 7 furlongs in length by 3^ in breadth which is completely surrounded by granite, i.e. by the granite slope which culminates in the Cheesewring on one side, and by the broad band of granite which extends from Caradon through Shilstone Gate to Knowl on the other. However, there is reason to believe that granite exists at no great depth everywhere beneath this patch of slate. Important lodes have been worked in this district in the Phoenix and West Phoenix, South Caradon, Marke Valley, and many other mines, but at present all are idle except the first-named, which is being very vigorously opened up, with the aid of first-class machinery and abundant capital, under the direction of Mr. Nance Williams.
Phoenix and West Phoenix. - Some of the works here are very ancient, Stow's lode having been wrought, it is said, at least 200 years ago. Some of the lodes cut through the isolated patch of killas ground above mentioned. The ground was anciently " streamed " for tin, and in more recent times the old streamers' floors were found with small heaps of cleaned tin ore ready for the smelting-house lying beneath 4 or 5 feet of peat; indeed, the first parcel of tin bought by Messrs. Bolitho is said to have been thus obtained from this neighbourhood.
The main lode traverses the slate for its whole length, and passes on into the granite at each end, as well as in depth. The course of the lode is from 8° to 15° N. of E., and it underlies to the southward about 3 feet in a fathom. There are several minor lodes to the south of this main lode, within a distance of about 200 fathoms, known as the New lode, the South lode, and the Snuff-box lode. All these underlie to the southward, but being much steeper than the main Phoenix lode, they must fall into it in depth. Still farther south are the Shilstone, the Gracedew, and the Greenhill lodes, running through Dunsley, Wheal Phoenix, and South Phoenix, but very little work has been done on any of these secondary lodes. The country on the south or hanging wall of the Phoenix main lode to a depth of 35 fathoms from the surface is slate, while the foot wall from the adit downwards consists of granite; the vein, like the Great Flat lode and many others, being practically a contact lode near the surface. At a greater depth, however, the lode is altogether in granite. The slate is soft and of a dark blue colour, except near the.... '
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