Wheal Edward

Cornwall Information & Accommodation Guide

Wheal Edward is situated on the cliffs at Botallack within a few metres of the engine engine house of West Wheal Owles and on the western boundary of the Wheal Owles sett.

It worked copper and tin lodes from an incline shaft which extended out under the sea. The work was hard as the bedrock here is greenstone which is extremely hard.

From 1821 to 1856 Wheal Edward sold 955 tons of copper ore for £8858; subsequently, in 1859, sold 784 tons for £2683, also several tons of black tin.

The engine house was built circa. 1870 and contained a rotating beam engine which drove the Wheal Edward stamps. In the 1880s, it operated 32 heads to crush the ore. The engine also hoisted from Wheal Edward incline shaft and the skip shaft at Cargodna. In the area adjacent to the engine house is a convex buddle with a diameter of 50 metres and the remains of the tin dressing floors. They are overgrown now but you can still view them especially during the winter when the vegetation is low.

Interest in Wheal Edward continued due to its rare uranium minerals. Pitchblende, with a high radium content, was sent from here to Madame Curie in France. In the 1950s, with the advent of nuclear research, further interest was shown in Wheal Edward’s pitchblende.

Wheal Edward yielded many minerals including:

Cassiterite (Tin);

Copper minerals including Chalcocite, Chalcopyrite, Chrysocolla, Connellite, Copper, Cuprite, Langite, Malachite, Mixite, Tenorite, Torbernite, Vandenbrandeite, Zeunerite

Aragonite, Autunite, Bismuthinite, Bismutite, Calcite, Compreignacite, Dravite, Erythrite, Fluorapatite, Goethite, Metasaléeite, Metatorbernite, Metavoltine, Metazeunerite, Phenakite, Quartz, Chalcedony, Jasper, Smoky Quartz, Saléeite, Schorl, Siderite, Uraninite, Pitchblende, Uranophane, Uranopilite, Vivianite, Zippeite

In 1893 after the disaster at West Wheal Owles, Wheal Edward was closed as its workings were linked to West Wheal Owles and the flooded Wheal Drea.

Wheal Edward was acquired by Geevor Tin Mines plc.

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