Ore Processing Sites

New Consols Arsenic Works

At New Consols, near Luckett in East Cornwall, this still roofed example survives, the small vertical boiler which supplied a steam engine for grinding the arsenic still standing in one corner. Astonishingly, this building erected in the 1870s has no statutory protection, despite being the best-preserved arsenic grinding house in Britain.

Surviving cast iron firehole door in one of the line of ten 1860s Brunton Calciners. Much ironwork on these has survived the 1937 scrapping, although the combustion chambers have been broken open from above to extract the driveshafts.

The vertical boiler in the arsenic grinding house. This may have been retained in 1937 for agricultural purposes and is interesting as it appears to have started life as a portable unit, of a type often seen in 19th century mining supplies catalogues. The maker is unknown, but it probably dates from the 1860s-70s.

Sockets for beams which supported the arsenic grinding mill, with a further hole above for a drive shaft. Although the machinery and its supports have been removed, enough remains to work out how it was arranged in the building.

The south-west corner of the building, with the vertical boiler. This would have supplied steam to a small horizontal or vertical steam engine which drove the grinding plant via shafts or belts.

The New Consols arsenic mill is unusual for the survival of its roof structure. With tiebeam and queenpost trusses, this is a typical design for spanning wide spaces. The extensive use of imported, machine-sawn pine is typical of mining boom structures in the Tamar Valley.

South end wall of arsenic grinding mill with scar of first floor structure and ceiling to first floor rooms. When in use, the building would have been sealed to prevent the arsenic dust from escaping into the atmosphere. The whitewash helped to seal the wall faces too, in addition to improving interior visibility.

South end of mill, exterior. The general appearance of the building is the same as others on the mine site dating from the late 1860s to early 1870s, with long and short brick quoins and jambs, probably from Westlake's Bealswood Brickworks. Remains of window and door frames survive, showing them to have been two-light casements, though insufficient detail survives to tell whether they were glazed or shuttered. The lime bonded flush-pointed masonry is typical of the Valley's industrial buildings, which never used any other form of pointing, regardless of the opinions of so-called conservation 'experts', who have consistently repointed local industrial buildings the wrong way.