Iconic South Crofty headframe restoration to start soon

Restoration of the iconic headframe at the South Crofty tin mine and the two Engine Houses at Chapple’s Shaft are due to begin within the next two weeks.

The refurbishment and conservation work marks the start of the wider regeneration project across the South Crofty site.

The project to refurbish the New Cooks Kitchen headframe on Dudnance Lane, Pool, and the two Grade II Listed engine houses at Chapple’s Shaft is being carried out as part of the agreement with mine owners Western United Mines.

Cornwall council says it is being done to "enable new development and regeneration to go ahead in the area".

CORMAC Contracting Ltd and specialist subcontractors have been appointed to erect scaffolding around the headframe, which is in a poor state of repair. Refurbishment including grit blasting, repainting and replacement of some steelwork will then be carried out. The engine houses will also be re-pointed, and the masonry made safe, using traditional conservation skills and materials.

Work, led by staff from Cornwall Council’s Economic Development and Historic Environment Services is due to be completed by July 2013.

Local Cornwall Councillor Kym Willoughby said: “These works secure the future of several of our iconic landmarks and further the work already accomplished within the last four years to improve the gateway into Pool. 

Alan Shoesmith, chief executive of Western United Mines, said: "I am very pleased that this restoration work is about to start. The retention of the landmark iconic New Cooks Kitchen headframe is simply essential and we are delighted to be collaborating with Cornwall Council in its conservation. The commencement of this work is another significant step in the steady progress of both local regeneration and mine operations."

• The headframe is not a Listed building but is recorded as a building of local interest on the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Record.

• It was built in the 1950s and modified in the 1970s. It is no longer used for winding men or materials up from the mine shaft.

• It has a unique shape because it’s formed from two winders operating skips or cages in the same shaft, with a lifting frame on top in order to winch the sheave wheels into place.

• The Pumping and Winding Engine Houses at Chapple’s Shaft are Grade II Listed buildings and are within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

• The Pumping Engine and its detached chimney were built in 1838 and equipped with a 50” cylinder. The Winder House was built in 1865 with a 26” cylinder.

• Cornwall Council has signed an agreement to lease, which includes 60 year lease on the headframe and engine houses and responsibility for their maintenance.

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