East Wheal Rose

East Wheal Rose Mine

East Wheal Rose Engine House

East Wheal Rose mine is located just outside the village of St Newlyn East in a natural depression surrounded by hills. The mine was operating at capacity during the 1840s when in excess of 1,200 men women and children were employed there.

The mine's main produce was lead ore extracted from the killas rock of the East and Middleton’s Lodes. Smaller quantities of silver and zinc were also mined. There were in the region of twenty shafts at East Wheal Rose with the deepest reaching down 150 fathoms (900 ft).

East Wheal Rose

The particularly impressive engine house that remains was erected in 1882 to house what was the most powerful pump engine in Cornwall. The 100-inch pumping engine had been made in 1853 by Harvey and Co. for the Wheal Vor mine but was set to work at East Wheal Rose in 1844.
Another unusual feature of the engine house is the 120ft (36m) chimney stack stands some distance away. This is possibly due to the softness of the ground.

Sadly, East Wheal Rose is perhaps best known as the site of the worst mining disaster in Cornish history. On July 9th 1846 a freak downpour lasting around an hour sent water cascading down the valley from the surrounding hills. Despite the best efforts of the mine workers to divert the flow the mine soon began to flood. The waters reached the 50 fathom (300ft) level and when all had been accounted for 39 men and boys were dead.

East Wheal Rose continued production until 1886. Today it is part of the Lappa Valley Steam Railway complex and the engine house and mine stack are preserved.