Hobbs Hill tin mine, openwork and lodeback tinwork 530m east and 160m north east of Chyseger Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021410

Date first listed: 19-Jan-2011


Ordnance survey map of Hobbs Hill tin mine, openwork and lodeback tinwork 530m east and 160m north east of Chyseger Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Neot

National Grid Reference: SX 18452 69377


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Hobbs Hill tin mine, openwork and lodeback tinwork 530m east and 160m north east of Chyseger Farm survive very well and together they contain a wide variety of information concerning the character of early mining technology. The comprehensive range of surviving structures and buildings associated with the mine provide a clear insight into the character of a small water-powered C19 tin mine. The dressing floors are intact and will contain important information concerning the efficiency and character of the processes employed. The openwork is unusually late in date, is impressive in character and has a series of well preserved stopes. The survival of a small hydro-electric power station built to serve the final period of working is almost certainly unique and certainly enhances the significance of an already important complex. The lodeback tinwork at Hobbs Hill was the first of its type to be recognised and archaeologically recorded in detail. Of particular significance is the contemporary relationship between a leat and the deepest pit which suggests that a wheel once rotated above the pit. This wheel could have been used to either power lifting or pumping machinery. Wheels of this type are known from C16 German literature, but this is the only instance in the South West of England where archaeological evidence has been found to support their use in a C16 tinwork.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a C19 and early-C20 water powered tin mine and openwork, together with an early post-medieval lodeback tinwork situated on the east and south-facing slopes of Hobbs Hill, overlooking the valley of the St Neot River or River Loveny. The C19 Hobbs Hill tin mine was established in 1844 and by 1846 an adit, together with a 36 fathom deep shaft, had been excavated. Adverse geological conditions meant that the mine was abandoned in 1849 and it is not known whether any tin was produced. Many of the surviving buildings and structures date to this abortive operation. The substantial adit complete with dumps and associated shaft survive to the south and south west of the processing floors and other mine buildings. The stamping machinery, associated wheelpits, dressing floor and various ancillary buildings are situated on terraces cut into the steep east-facing slope and are reached by a series of trackways. The stamps were powered by water wheels situated over 40m to the north with the power being transferred using flat rods. The surviving stamps probably date to the later C19 period of working, but are likely to be on the site of the original machinery. The dressing floor is situated immediately downslope of the stamps and includes at least three circular buddles and several bases upon which timber dressing apparatus once sat. Scattered around the edges of the dressing floors are a series of drystone built structures which represent the site of buildings associated with the mine. The mine re-opened in 1872, but this time a mineralised elvan dyke north of the processing area was exploited using an opencast quarry known as an openwork. There are at least seven separate stopes (or steps) within this openwork, each represented by a steep cliff. Between 1872 and 1874 a total of 15 tons of black tin was produced. The stamps, dressing floors and many of the buildings would have been refurbished during this extraction period and the settling pit adjacent to the earlier adit may have been built at this time. A small building situated some 80m north of the openwork adjacent to the mine leat probably represents the remains of the magazine house in which explosives used in the openwork were stored. The final phase of activity at the mine was in the early part of the C20 when a total of 13 miners were employed by Kingsway Syndicate Ltd. The small hydro-electric power station built next to the Loveny River probably dates to this period. Water was carried to the turbine in a pipe from a small triangular concrete reservoir. The line of this pipeline can still be traced where it cut through a dump from the earlier openwork and was carried on a raised platform and finally where it was supported above the ground on stone built piers. Electricity from the power station would have been used to power crushing and dressing machinery. West of the later mine are the remains of a much earlier lodeback tinwork which may be identified as Hobbys Worke which was in existence by at least 1516. A series of pits excavated onto the back of a lode represent the remains of early shallow shaft mining. Further lines of smaller holes are the remains of prospecting pits. Two small rectangular buildings, one of which is excavated within an earlier pit represent tinners' shelters. Of particular significance is the survival of a contemporary leat carrying water towards the deepest lodeback pit. The height of the leat relative to the pit strongly suggests that a wheel similar in character to those depicted in 16th century German engravings existed at this site. It is therefore possible that pumping and or lifting machinery may have been employed at this tinwork. Low rubble walls surviving within the monument represent the remains of a probable prehistoric field system and a large leat leading between the C19 openwork and the lodeback tinwork was originally cut in 1846 to carry water from West Colliford to Wheal Friendship on Goonzion Downs.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 36033

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Gerrard, S, The Early British Tin Industry, (2000), 85
Cornwall HES, National Mapping Programme - Cornwall,
Fieldwork at Hobbs Hill, Gerrard, S., (1983)
Gerrard, S., Hobbs Hill Mine, 1986, Unpublished plan held by Cornwall HES

End of official listing