Burra Cornish mining history, episode 1 – The Nobs and the Snobs near Adelaide, South Australia


i’ve been on the trail following the
Cornish mining history of South Australia and i’m now in Burra, which had one of the largest mines in south australia This is Paxton Square which is the gateway to Burra and where I’ll start my tour of Burra’s mining history the discovery of copper in Burra is a story about the Nobs and the Snobs the Nobs, or Princess Royal mining
company, were capitalists and pastoralists and included the owners of the Kapunda mine the Snobs, or the South Australian Mining Association, were a group of Adelaide shopkeepers and merchants underground mining ceased in 1867 due to falling ore prices and that ore-dressing tower over there
was constructed in 1870 so that they could mine using the open cut system Morphett’s Engine House was erected at Morphett’s shaft in 1858 by Cornish stone masons Thomas Painter and Ambrose Harris. An eighty inch diameter beam engine imported from Cornwall and transported
to Burra on a specially constructed jinker a single cornish boiler supplied steam to
the engine and was connected by a flue to the square chimpney. The engine and flywheel mounting blocks and boiler position are pretty
clear the remainder of the building was constructed of timber and galvanized
iron the engine ceased operating in 1877 the Burra Heritage Passport key gives
you access to eight heritage sites such as this one which isa powder magazine. You pick up the key from the Burra Visitor’s Center the powder magazine was used to srore gun powder used for blasting at the Burra mine if you’re looking for a cool place in summer when the temperatures hit 41C, this is the place to come the reason gun powder was stored here was these buildings were designed to remain cool the Burra mine was first worked as an
underground mine to a depth of a hundred and eighty three meters in 1870, it was changed to the open cut method groundwater was a constant problem for
the early miners it has now returned to its original levels which is 50m deep in the pit
the green color of the water changes throughout the year it’s caused by the scattering of light due
to the precipitation of minute crystals

Comments 2

  • Christina, love the cut stone structures from the 19th century! Having cut stone by hand I have a special appreciation for the amount of work and craftsmanship these buildings contain. Really great and informative video. And I love the hat!
    Cheers,
    Paul

  • You sound like you need to get yourself Down Under and come on over for a visit!

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