News Release #3 - 20th April 2013
Wheal Sarah, Boscreege
Well my truck may be off the road but I’ve found my lovely lass’s sporty thing can still get me some places – so long as it doesn’t need more than 3” ground clearance! So to Wheal Sarah I’m bound. I seem, in all ways, a little inadequate at the moment; I turn up with a spade and Richard Mann turns up with – A DIGGER! Still, I get up close and personal and that is why I’m sure this flow of water is the adit. Unlike the first digs, where it was heavy mud, a glutinous grey slime, (something I’d expect from a tin treatment area or wheel pit) I am now digging shingle, ground that is soft and loose and would not be out of place in your fish-tank. The water flows through a mix of gravel and stone, all polished from many years of being washed. It has to be the adit, surely? I still don’t think we are at the field’s true edge yet, but are digging through a mound of pushed or dumped material. We have to stay optimistic and keep digging, for a while at least! Fire up the digger and follow that water! It’d be just my luck if some old fella out there remembers filling it all in some five decades ago – but doesn’t want to disappoint the middle aged balding fella strutting across the field with spade in hand and a smile on his face.
Gingers Lane near Carfury
I’m following the length of the culvert to get an exact line of travel from top to bottom – alas, I seem to have a few bulges that didn’t used to be there so preventing me crawling its entire length. I do believe sending a young infant to do the same is somewhat illegal these days! It is proving a fair size in a few places and I am able to crawl into some areas. What has been interesting is finding iron bars driven into the granite boulders to give the culvert stability. It also appears that some were placed vertically to trap debris but until I can get in I can only deduce things from what I can see on photographs. It is certainly a well-planned culvert, and after over two hundred years it is more than able to take on its role again, if kept clear and touched up. Stuart Emmett
News Release #2 - 7th April 2013
Taken a leisurely stroll up onto Mulfra Hill today, gorgeous weather (Saturday 6th April), only thing was the rucksack crammed full of kit, like humping an elephant on your back, used to do this regularly but there comes an age.. still it's all in the cause of history! Met with Damien, the reason was to take a quick look at an, as yet, unexplored shaft, needed to assess whether it was worth a bigger team. We couldn't ask for better weather, stunning views and the sun on your back.
East Ding Dong Mine. Thanks to the past miners, we had one large stone in place as a tie off point, otherwise it would have had to be trusted to bars,and it was up to Damien to ensure all stayed well "up top" whilst I checked out all below. The great news is that the shaft is in good order, nice and stable, a couple of places where an overhang of debris had to be sent to the bottom....lovely sound! Otherwise all OK. The shaft runs on a slight incline, looking at it you can see all the old hitches cut into the stone for the timbers. It is only about 100ft deep, at most, with a couple of levels going off at about the 60ft mark (a level is a tunnel, cut on the horizontal).
One of these levels I now know links with the lower shaft as daylight was seen at its far end; the others need more of a dig around. As to the bottom, it's yet to be explored, that, hopefully, will take place in the next couple of weeks. Why didn't I go to the bottom? Safety. I was the only rope man on site so a quick check was all that was possible. When a shaft is rigged for ropes, it must then be checked for rub points, places where the rope may rub hard on the stone and possible damage occur, this was one of the reasons for my trip.
Do you know one of the finest feelings is when you go underground on a warm day, down into the cool, then later you emerge to that warmth on your face, hands and back.The only thing missing is a nice bottle of beer.....Cornish of course! Stuart Emmett
News Release #1 - 30th March 2013
Here is the first news release of the website. Our first written newsletter, The Four Parishes should be going on sale very soon, telling the tragic story of the baby down the well, located close to Carfury itself. It was one of those unconfirmed stories that was thrown around frequently in conversation until finally we sat down to some serious research, through which the well was later found ( I can't miss an opportunity to go "below decks" ) and re-instated. There are also background articles on East Ding Dong mine, it's administrators and the history of Newmill post office and the particular branch of the Osborne family that ran it. We are hoping it holds a lot of interest for everyone and gives credance to the hours of work spent creating it.. believe me, not all the words uttered in its creation can be found in the English Dictionary.. it was a great blessing to break our new editor/proof reader from his bookmarking - thanks Rob!
Ken is doing a grand job of researching an aircraft which came down during the Second World War near Trythal School. Alas the crew perished due to a fault in the mechanics. We have the site location and may try some metal detecting, with permission of course, when the weather changes for the better.
I have say "hats off" to Pat, her recent "light reading"has been the births, marriages and deaths of Gulval 1598 to 1812, how's that for a relaxing wind down. Most of it concerns Trevaylor Manor; we know it started with the Veale family, when Richard was granted the manor as his earnings when appointed by Elizabeth I as vicar in 1558, but then as time passes, so does the Estate, into the hands of the Fitzgeralds of County Clare, Ireland, then the Malones and enthroned above them all, are the mighty Onslows, Barons of Gloucestershire, owners of Gulval parish! What we do know now is that the last Veale, William, handed it to his nephew, Baron Fitzgerald, and we know the Onslows were seen to be of Rosemorran rather than Trevaylor, but we are still missing the Malone link, which we are sure exists.
This brings us to Trevaylor Manor itself. We have done two visits now and come away with ass many questions as answers. The tunnel in the house - I've seen it, or at least its' stone walled entrance! The story was that its' length went over a mile from the house to the beach and then we heard how it branched off left an right - why? because there are two tunnels! The one I've seen runs from the house to the garden, less than 50metres or so and was most certainly used for the servants, or even slaves to shuttle to and fro unseen. The second tunnel was explored back in the 1980s by a builder when he cut through it when ripping out the upper garden to may way for a new extension. This they explored for 100ft or so before coming back into the light and back to their work. Julian has told me they went about 100ft but wasn't sure when it started to go off left and right. I've been told the extension foundations were put right through blocking the entrance and so to locate it now would only be possible if there was evidence at the surface. Certainly this layout suggests a very early mine sett and so all we can do is walk the ground, study the maps and hope!
I was also shown the room with a well under its' floor, believed to be very early, but alas not exposed for investigation or photographs. This, I thought could be chalked off, until the man with the original information on the well said it wasn't the one he'd seen - so now we have two wells! The first early and of rough build, the second built of brick with steps running into it, but this is also now gone, tarmaced over many moons ago. A second look at the fireplace, particularly this time, into its' hearth was great We are certain this fireplace originated somewhere else and to be honest could even been placed in the house during the 1960s when it was a hippy retreat or that's what I've heard. Lets face it, it is small, not at all grand and does not suit the location in any way. Its' history as a bed head and foot certainly stand up to scrutiny when you study the carved images all relating to rebirth and fertility, all very pagan but also still used in churhes from medieval times. The date 1643 could well be right, there being no obvious reason to doubt it. We were perplexed for a while with the recurring carving of a scallop shell linked with the female images, quite erotic images, but now we know that these were linked with Venus and Aphrodites and the Greek virgin crone myths. I have to say a big thank you to Sue and Abi at Swallowcourt, current owners of Trevaylor, for helping us so much. Stuart Emmett