Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,144 pages of information and 233,396 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Wheal Virgin

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Duchy Records state that in 1799 the Wheal Virgin mine was "raising tin fast," and was owned by a company called Gill and Co, its agent was Captain Henry Banter. In 1836 a licence was granted to three men from Tavistock, Henry Prenton, Francis Prout, and John White to search for minerals on a tract of land known as Wheal Virgin. The licence was to run for twelve months at the cost of a 1/18 share or dues. The bounds for the mine were set as being;

The Consolidated Mines (colloquially known as Consols) were formed in 1780 and comprised the eighteenth century mines of Wheal Virgin, West Wheal Virgin, Wheal Girl, Wheal Maid, Wheal Fortune and Carharrack Mine. The seven Newcomen engines were replaced by five Boulton and Watt engines, later increased to seven. Like United, between 1792-98 Consols realised a profit of over £200,000 on a capital of less than £20,000. The falling price of copper on the world market combined with the rising cost of running the Newcomen engines conspired to close both mines in around 1805.

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