North Herodsfoot mine and Herodsfoot mine are one and the same. The original mine started as early as the 1600’s. The main timeframe of deep mining was from the 1840’s to the 1880’s. The mine workings extensively following the vein in a southerly direction as the lode failed to the north. The mineral specimens – bournonite and tetrahedrite were the mines main claim to fame and the renowned mineral dealer Richard Talling made sure he had a supply of specimens to feed an eager market.
The original mine has languished virtually untouched for over a century. I believe even the determined Dick Barstow was unable to gain entry! A farmer with a 12 bore can be quite a deterrent!
The mine buildings still retained their roofs in entirety in 1954; in fact in 1983 the boiler house was near perfect, the Delabole slates only being removed to re-roof the Count House in 1996. Today the extensive dumps are carpeted in leaf mould and trees. Our aim is threefold; firstly to stabilise the mine buildings; secondly to understand the geology and mineralisation and finally to find a way into the old northerly workings.
South-West RS member Richard Humphrey is undertaking this major project to preserve the old mine buildings, access the old mine workings and work through the old mine dumps in the search for long lost specimens of the famous minerals from this classic Cornish site. You can keep up to date with progress at Richard’s web site: North Herodsfoot mine.
To find out more about Herodsfoot, its history and specimens Roy Starkey has written article in The Mineralogical Record: “The Herodsfoot mine, Lanreath, Cornwall, England”, The Mineralogical Record Vol. 43, No. 4, July – August 2012, pages 411-486 http://www.minrec.org.
Article by Richard Humphrey.