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Historic England Research Records

Gunnislake Clitters Calcining Plant

Hob Uid: 1457163
Location :
Cornwall
Cornwall
Calstock
Grid Ref : SX4218207226
Summary : Gunnislake Clitters Calcining Plant was built in 1900 as part of Gunnislake Clitters mine and comprises a Brunton calciner, condenser, flue, scrubber and two chimneys. It also overlies a late nineteenth century dressing floor and calcining plant, which the topography suggests is likely to survive sealed below the later site. This included a condenser and a chimney, which is still extant. The plant was used for the extraction of arsenic from mined ores and is situated just to the south of the River Tamar. The later Brunton calciner retains part of the drive mechanism, which is unusual, as well as a chain-bound chimney. Calciners were structures used to extract arsenic from mined ores by controlled heating. By heating the ore under oxidising conditions the arsenic content could be sublimed off as a vapour, which cooled and condensed to form a white 'soot' or powder. This was deposited in the labyrinth flues. The refined arsenic had a variety of uses such as: metal alloy, clarifying glass, medicinal purposes and to create pigment in paint. A Brunton calciner included a circular hearth that was slowly rotated by steam or water power.The Gunnislake Clitters mine operated from about 1820 to 1889 for almost total production of copper. It re-opened in 1900 as Clitters United Mine, with a new dressing mill (incorporating the calcining plant) using electromagnetic separators to extract tin and wolfram. It closed in 1908, but reopened again from 1916 to 1920 to mine wolfram. In addition to the calcining plant there are surviving engine houses, wheelpits, dumps, office and tramways, some of which are Grade II listed. The whole site is now (2007) contained within the World Heritage Site of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape and is a Scheduled Monument.
More information : Gunnislake Clitters Calcining Plant was built in 1900 and comprises a Brunton calciner, condenser, flue, scrubber and two chimneys. However it also overlies a late nineteenth century dressing floor and calcining plant, which the topography suggests is likely to survive sealed below the later site. This included a condenser and a chimney, which is still extant. The plant was used for the extraction of arsenic from mined ores and is situated just to the south of the River Tamar. The later Brunton calciner retains part of the drive mechanism, which is unusual, as well as a chain-bound chimney. [1]

Calciners were structures used to extract arsenic from mined ores by controlled heating. By heating the ore under oxidising conditions the arsenic content could be sublimed off as a vapour, which cooled and condensed to form a white 'soot' or powder. This was deposited in the labyrinth flues. The refined arsenic had a variety of uses such as: metal alloy, clarifying glass, medicinal purposes and to create pigment in paint. A Brunton calciner included a circular hearth that was slowly rotated by steam or water power. [2]

The Gunnislake Clitters mine operated from about 1820 to 1889 for almost total production of copper. It re-opened in 1900 as Clitters United Mine, with a new dressing mill (incorporating the calcining plant) using electromagnetic separators to extract tin and wolfram, It closed in 1908, but reopened again from 1916 to 1920 to mine wolfram. In addition to the calcining plant there are surviving engine houses, wheelpits, dumps, office and tramways, some of which are Grade II listed. [1]

The whole site is now (2007) contained within the World Heritage Site of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape. [3]

Additional reference (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Industrial Monuments Assessment, Step 3 Reports
Source details : Cranstone, D and Hedley, I. 1995: The Arsenic Industry, Cornwall, Site Assessment Number 24
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 3
Source Number : 2
Source : Monuments Protection Programme industrial monuments, Step 1 reports
Source details : Cranstone, for the Monuments Protection Programme 1993: The Arsenic Industry.
Page(s) : 13-14
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:2500, 2007
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Industrial Monuments Assessment, Step 3 Reports
Source details : Cranstone D. and Hedley I. June 1995, The Tin Industry Step 3 Site Assessments: Cornwall 139
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 58

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Original calcining plant late C19
Monument End Date : 1900
Monument Start Date : 1867
Monument Type : Arsenic Calciner, Dressing Floor, Condensing Flue, Chimney, Copper Mine, Arsenic Works
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Structure
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built 1900
Monument End Date : 1900
Monument Start Date : 1900
Monument Type : Condenser, Flue, Brunton Calciner, Arsenic Calciner, Condensing Flue, Scrubber, Chimney, Tin Mine, Tungsten Mine, Arsenic Works, Dressing Floor
Evidence : Extant Building, Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 60852
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 15545
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 47 SW 110
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 438041
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :