WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – DESCENT

Landsend

A Tin Mine, Pendeen, Cornwall

My contribution to this weeks Photo Challenge ( http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/descent/ )

Several centuries ago before the Health and Safety Executive was ever conceived as a requirement, let alone a necessity, Cornish Tin Miners were driving shafts down into the rock in search of this important ore. At these Tin Mines at Pendeen, on the northern coast of Cornwall just north of Lands End, these shafts not only went down deep into the rock, but once deep enough, out under the seabed chasing the elusive seems of ore.

You have to admire the bravery and the strength of the miners, no modern day machines just hard labour and the weak light from a candle mounted by wax onto their hats. As is often the way many, thousands of miners laboured over the years, many loosing, if not their lives then certainly their health, to created a great wealth for a few very demanding Mine Owners.

Nor were they safe on returning to the surface as some of the chimneys on the horizon above Pendeen Mine are those of the Arsenic Works that I am told spewed out its poisonous gases into the Cornish air.

Today it is a Mining Museum well worth a visit but spare a thought for the generations of Cornish Tin Miners that were brave and strong enough to descend below ground.

2nd November
(C) David Oakes 2014

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