A bleak day at South Crofty

Retired Miner at mine closure - South Crofty

“Cornish lads are fishermen and Cornish lads are miners too,  but when the fish and tin are gone, what are the Cornish boys to do?”

This ‘graffiti’ was written along the exterior wall of South Crofty not long after it closed down in 1998.  South Crofty was one of Cornwall’s oldest and largest mines which opened in the 1590’s. For several decades, up until 1860s copper was the only ore mined at South Crofty in shallow workings (down to approx 80 metres) The mine was dependent on copper until its reserves were exhausted and in 1873 after much financial investment in new machinery the mine was operating  significantly deeper (approx 480 metres) where only tin was found.

Mining provided a great deal of employment in Cornwall and South Crofty in particular was the main employer for many men in the Camborne and Redruth area. Sadly with tin being imported at a cheaper price than UK mines could supply the tin many mines closed down around the county and South Crofty was the last to close in 1998.

As a student I managed to get into the mine shortly before it closed down and took some pictures both underground and on the surface. I would have been one of the last non workers to have gone underground and for this I was very grateful of the experience. I have some more images I will share at a later date on the miners but for now please enjoy this gritty black ane white.

On a positive note South Crofty became operational again in 2007 with plans to extract further tin, copper and zinc.

To read more about the company who made South Crofty a viable mine again please click here.

4 Responses to “A bleak day at South Crofty”

  1. 1 John Trevithan February 27, 2019 at 12:15 PM

    Does anyone know where this photo is originally from? Newspaper etc

    • 2 marklordphoto February 27, 2019 at 5:02 PM

      Hi John, I took this image whilst studying photography at Falmouth. It was never published. Kind regards, Mark

      • 3 John Trevithan March 5, 2019 at 10:04 AM

        Dear Mark,
        Thanks for the reply! I’m currently writing a dissertation and would love to use it! (With full crediting of course) I don’t suppose that would be ok? It wouldn’t be distributed for profit etc,
        I look forward to your reply,

      • 4 marklordphoto March 5, 2019 at 11:14 AM

        Hi John, yes of course, I’d be delighted for you to use it with a credit to Mark Lord Photography. I only have the version online as it was scanned a long time ago and unsure which backup its on. Feel free to right click and save it down. Wishing you all the best with your dissertation. Mark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Twitter Updates

%d bloggers like this: