East Pool Mine is one of the engineering jewels of the World Heritage Site and has just been expanded through the recent acquisition of the mine’s original Miners’ Dry.
Owned and cared for by the National Trust since 1967, East Pool Mine has the distinction of being the only metalliferous mine within the World Heritage Site to retain Cornish vertical-cylinder pumping and winding engines in their original houses.
The imposing Grade II* Listed pumping engine at Taylor’s Shaft, its associated boiler house, Grade II* Listed chimney and related features, are also collectively a Scheduled Monument. The recent donation of the Miners’ Dry, or change house - generously gifted to the National Trust by former owners Alan and Christine Smith - enhances the collective heritage value of a site already acknowledged as having national and international importance.
The companion engine to that at Taylor’s Shaft is the nearby 30 inch steam winder at Michell’s Shaft, also Listed Grade II* and a Scheduled Monument, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of both the Michell’s and Taylor’s Shaft sites - along with Richard Trevithick’s Cottage at Penponds - being gifted to the National Trust by what is now the Trevithick Society.
A celebratory hand-over event was held in the Miners’ Dry on Friday 7th July with Cornish themed music kindly provided by popular singing troupe Proper Job.
Ian Marsh, National Trust General Manager for West Cornwall, said: "I am really proud to have accepted the gift of the Miners' Dry from Christine and her late husband. It is a very generous act and continues the legacy left by the Trevithick Society who gifted East Pool Mine to the National Trust in 1967, 50 years ago this year.
In marking the occasion, Christine Smith said: "I am delighted to make this gift to the National Trust and to see the Miners' Dry take its rightful place in the industrial heritage of the area. I look forward to seeing the building restored and reunited with the mine it once served."
Kingsley Rickard, Vice Chairman of the Trevithick Society, added: "We’re delighted that this acquisition will now bring all the old buildings of the last development of East Pool Mine under a single ownership again."
Commenting on the gift Julian German, Chair of the World Heritage Site Partnership Board, said that: “The National Trust are to be warmly congratulated for the acquisition of the Miners’ Dry, which will, no doubt, do much to enhance the experience of residents and visitors in this part of the World Heritage Site.”
Below: The former Miners’ Dry at East Pool Mine with (from left to right) Ian Marsh, National Trust General Manager for West Cornwall, Kingsley Rickard, Vice Chairman of the Trevithick Society, and former owner Christine Smith, at the event to mark its hand-over on 7th July; Proper Job were on hand to provide a welcome musical dimension to the day
Bottom: Donor Christine Smith with her daughter Roz Merriman and grandsons Jack and Alex