The MUD walking group usually has an annual outing to a place of interest which reinforces the learning of what we see when we are out walking. This year we visited the King Edward Mine Museum at Troon in deepest Cornwall.
In 1897 the Camborne School of Mines took over the abandoned eastern part of the South Condurrow Mine and this became a school working the Great Flat Lode down to 400 feet from surface. Surface buildings were erected including a complete modern full-scale tin dressing plant, survey office, workshops, and lecture rooms. Much of the underground workings ceased in 1921 and by 1974 the school was transferred to a new Campus at Pool. The mill complex was no longer needed and it became a store. Much of the machinery left in the mill (where the tin ore was processed) is amongst the last of its kind in the world.
In 1987 a group was formed with a view to turning the mill complex into a museum a team of volunteers, who have spent in excess of 10,000 hours and many millions of pounds on the project. The museum reopened in May this year and has been largely returned to a working condition. It is the oldest complete mining site left in Cornwall with the buildings all Grade II* listed.
Our guided visit started in the Victorian classroom (pictured above) and was led by a very knowledgeable ex-miner who explained and demonstrated the complexities of the stamping machines, the buddles and the shaking tables.
Many of the MUD walks have visited old mines on Dartmoor and the surrounding areas (including recently Hexworthy & Ringleshuttes mines), and we have seen the remains of such equipment, so it was good to get an insight into how they would have looked in their heyday.