The Carn Brea area near Redruth was the most important of the mining districts in Cornwall. The copper and tin produced gave rise to great wealth and the area was the home of many pioneers of deep level mining. Copper in the eighteenth century, followed by tin in the nineteenth, drove the construction of some of the deepest mines in the world.
To get men and materials into and ore and water out of these deep mines was a huge challenge. It catalysed the development and installation of truly immense steam engines. Preserved at East Pool Mine are two of the biggest engines, both still within their original engine houses. They were originally powered by high-pressure steam boilers introduced by local hero Richard Trevithick. The pumping engine for Taylor’s shaft has a massive 52 ton beam.
Thee 1887 winding engine for Mitchell’s shaft can still be seen in operation, sadly these days powered by electricity. The site is opened by the National Trust, and is protected by being a scheduled monument as well as being part of the Cornish World Heritage Mining Landscape. The site also contains a museum with films, models and displays.