Carnon Yard Mine
As you look across the creek you'll see “Bubbling Island”, near the centre. This is the visible reminder of the Carnon Mine, which was the most seaward of three such enterprises in the creek. The man made nature of the island is still evident as the air trapped underground at each low tide can be seen escaping in the form of a torrent of bubbles into the waters of a rapidly rising tide.
"Bubbling Island is a feature of some interest found in the centre of Restronguet Creek.
The Carnon Mine here at Yard Point was started in 1835 by sinking a shaft near the shoreline in the land now held for public amenity by the Parish Council. Tunnels were driven into the creek from the bottom of the shaft to access the tin ground which was to be found in a band of hard mud at the level of the old original creek bed. A forty inch steam engine was installed here at the shaft to drain the workings.
An island was then created in the centre of the creek through which a second narrow twelve inch diameter shaft, made out of boiler plate, was driven and connected with the workings below. A second small pumping engine was installed on the island in order that pumping would keep up with the water infiltrating the workings under the creek.
At its peak in 1838 the enterprise was producing good quantities of fine tin ore and employed 212 persons, however expenses were relatively high and its viability could not withstand a fall in the tin price caused by a general recession in Britain at the time. The mine closed in 1842 having made an overall loss of £16,000.
The area continued as a shipyard, operated initially by the Ferris family and later by John Stephens. Many large schooners were built and launched from this beach, including the Rhoda Mary in 1868. At 150 tons this ship was reputed to be the finest of her era.
Written by Phil Allen