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28 October 2014
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BBC offers Cornwall a chance to save mine
South Caradon Mine
South Caradon Mine remains

This summer BBC TWO is featuring a call to action in the fight to save our heritage including a Cornish mine.

Also win a year's Family Membership to English Heritage.

SEE ALSO

National Trust houses

English Heritage castles

WEB LINKS
BBC Restoration website
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
MINE FACTS

The importance of South Caradon mine cannot be under-estimated in the history of the local area, and of Cornwall itself.

It is because of Caradon that many of the nearby conurbations exist.

The mine also aided in the evolution of the county's social, financial and transport history.

Campaigns to save historic buildings are gearing up for the new series of Restoration, which starts on Tuesday, July 13th.

Caradon Mine will be featured on BBC2 at 9pm on Sunday 25th July.

Voting will open on Sunday and close on Monday - you can vote for South Caradon Mine for it to go through to the final stage of the competition to win a grant to restore and stabilize it. The public will then be able to visit one of the most important mines in the South West.

Save South Caradon Mine

The lines open at 9pm on Sunday 25th July and close 24 hours later.

Phone BBC Restoration on 09011 33 22 22 on either day.

The calls cost 50p with a minimum of 34p going to The Restoration Fund Charity

Griff Rhys Jones will be returning to present the BBC Two programmes that give viewers the chance to save one of 21 historic buildings at risk in the UK- one of them is South Caradon Mine.

Restoration Audio
Click here to listen to Emma Lloyd's interview with Griff Rhys Jones.
Panoramic View
Click here to see a panoramic view of South Caradon Mine

It'll take around £1.2 million to secure the underground tunnels, engine houses and mine stacks on the site. With far reaching views across Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, South Caradon mine is a sight worth saving.

South Caradon Mine
South Caradon Mine has a rich and important history

The importance of South Caradon mine cannot be under-estimated in the history of the local area, and of Cornwall itself.

It is because of Caradon that many of the nearby conurbations exist. The mine also aided in the evolution of the county's social, financial and transport history.

A Cornish miner called Eynore first began mining for copper in the hill in the 1820's, but he didn't manage to find enough and his backers pulled out. What a mistake!

Within 40 years, South Caradon mine was one of the richest and most productive mines in the South West. It produced in its working lifetime around £2 million.

In no time jobs were created, the local population grew, and roads that had been used for little more than a few farm carts were suddenly busy with traffic carrying coal, machinery and copper.

Unable to cope with the demands put upon them, the roads were soon replaced by a railway that ran to the foot of the mine.

Caradon Mine
The road hundreds of miners once walked down leading to the mine

But along with affluence, the mine also brought problems to the area. Work was tough and many miners died as a result of the dangerous machinery, crushed by falling rocks or falling off ladders due to exhaustion.

There was a housing shortage, small cottages became overcrowded and fever beset the population.

Foreign competition was fierce and in the latter part of the 19th century many workers headed off to the Americas where mining techniques were less labour intensive and ultimately there was more money elsewhere.

Today Caradon Hill is designated an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The mine can be walked around, but the structures are not secure and visitors do so at their own risk.

The site has been neglected for 100 years, with vegetation, decay, vandalism and the collapse of underground workings destroying many of the industrial buildings, including the main engine house. The chimneys are still standing but again, are fragile and unsafe.

The future

With the help of a grant from Restoration, the site would be made safe and opened to the public.

This is your chance to save a vital piece of the South West's heritage and keep this treasured building alive for future generations to enjoy. It really is a matter of life of death…..

Emma LLoyd
Hear Emma LLoyd on BBC Radio Cornwall each weekday evening

You can hear more about Restoration by tuning in to BBC Radio Cornwall with Emma Lloyd every weekday 7-10.

You will be able to see more on Spotlight television BBC1 18.30 over the coming weeks.

Let us know if there's a building in your area that you'd like to save. For more information about Restoration, log on to bbc.co.uk/restoration or for an information pack, call 08700 100 150

Restoration Competition
Now win a year's membership to English Heritage allowing family days out to more than 400 UK historical sites.

 

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