'Botallack Copper and Tin Mine at St Just in Cornwall', 1869.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

'Botallack Copper and Tin Mine at St Just in Cornwall', 1869.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


View of the famous mine which was 'worked under the sea for more than half a mile', the shaft being 250 fathoms beneath the sea. Botallack Mine on the coast at Penwith near Penzance, the main shipping centre in the area, was worked almost continuously from 1721 to 1895. Though the mine was formally established in 1836, metal ores exposed in coastal cliffs had attracted attention from an early date. The method of their discovery is revealed in a report from the Mining Journal which notes that: 'some of those amphibious creatures who obtain their livelihood by fishing in the summer and mining in the winter..observed from their boats the lodes in the cliffs...'. Illustration from 'Underground life, or, Mines and miners' by Louis Simonin (1830-1886), published in London in 1869.

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