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Camborne School of Mines

King Edward Mine compressed air receiver by Ainsley CocksCamborne School of Mines began life in 1896, at a time when the mining industry saw the need for well instructed mineworkers with both theoretical and practical skills to improve the efficiency of the mining process.

Many unsuccessful attempts had previously been made to establish such a school. However, by the end of the 19th century, three full-time mining schools had been established in the prominent mining areas of the day; Redruth, Penzance and Camborne.

The School of Metalliferous Mining

King Edward Mine had been acquired by 1897 for practical training in underground and surface work.

Founded in 1888, by 1890 Camborne was the largest of the three schools. Mr Pendarves, a local mineral owner was able to report that the school had:

“…a total of 189 students, and the whole of the other mining schools of Cornwall could not come up to anything like that, if they were all put together.”

By the early 1900s, it had been decided to amalgamate the three existing schools under one name: the School of Metalliferous Mining. At the time of the amalgamation, the Camborne School had several facilities at its disposal including classrooms, offices, chemical and metallurgical laboratories, and a geological museum plus lecture rooms.

King Edward Mine had been acquired by 1897 for practical training in both underground and surface work. Many of the facilities had been paid for in part by local mineral owners such as the Bassets and the Pendarves. This patronage by respected local families continued up to the 20th century. Mining engineers and surveyors who learnt their trade in Cornwall were to be found worldwide.

Find out more about the history and current activities of Camborne School of Mines on their website.