Late-C19 arsenic grinding building, part of the arsenic refining process.
Reason for Listing
The arsenic grinding building at New Consols Mine is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: an integral part of the late-C19 arsenic working which took place at New Consols Mine, one of the most complete examples non-ferrous metal and arsenic mines in Cornwall;
* Architectural interest: an unusual and rare survival of an arsenic grinding building which, despite the loss of the roof and some internal features, is an important structure which survives well externally;
* Group value: strong group value with the scheduled remains of the New Consols Mine and other nearby listed mine structures, including the row of arsenic calciners and the arsenic chimney.
Industrial mining is understood to have been taking place at Luckett by around the 1760s at which time copper was the principal product. Eastward extensions of the principal ore body, Main Lode, were later exploited with great success at Devon Great Consols, some 3km away, on the eastern bank of the River Tamar. The mine was poly-metallic, producing a range of ores including copper, lead, silver, arsenic and tin in addition to small quantities of gold. Mining at Luckett progressed under a succession of different names throughout the C19 and chronologically these are Great Wheal Martha, New Wheal Martha and New Great Consols. Great Wheal Martha commenced operations before 1844 and continued until 1857 when the New Great Consols Mining Company Ltd was established. In 1867, it amalgamated with the West Great Consols to form the New Consols Tin and Arsenic Works, and in 1874 it changed to the New Great Consols Silver and Arsenic Works Limited, which continued to operate until mounting debts and an associated petition to the Vice-Warden of the Stannary Parliament forced closure in 1877. The mine was abandoned until World War I when waste dumps were briefly reworked. In 1946 a new company, New Consols, refurbished the mine and produced tin and tungsten until it too closed in 1953.
The arsenic grinding building, on the west side of the site, to the south-west of the row of calciners, was built as part of the arsenic refining process, related to the final stages of production of high-grade arsenic. This would have included finely grinding the dried arsenic, and storage. The east elevation has a doorway on the second floor which would have provide external access at this level to an adjacent refining building which now only survives as masonry fragments.
MATERIALS: constructed of stone rubble with brick detailing. Originally the roof was slate; it has been re-roofed with corrugated sheeting.
PLAN: Rectangular plan.
EXTERIOR: two-storeys with a hipped roof. The west elevation has a ground floor doorway, a window with intact window frame and a further window to the second floor. The north elevation has another doorway and three windows, one of which, on the ground floor, is splayed. The east elevation has a doorway on the second floor. The south wall has a single doorway.
INTERIOR: there is a stone central partition wall to the ground floor only. The ceiling and beams have been removed leaving the building open to the roof. To the south-west corner is a horizontal wrought-iron steam boiler surrounded by an outer brick casing. This may be original and used to dry arsenic prior to grinding. The roof timbers have been replaced recently with new rafters and battens.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.