Mining Chimneys - Who Made them?

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 12:29
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Hi Everyone

Seeing we can not have Doug's Sunday History any more, here is a bit of history that some may or may not be aware of.

Two posts below, Eugene asked what the symbol was on the EO Topo maps. There were a number of replies and he now knows that it is to do my our mining history, as shown with a screen shot of the historic town of Burra, less than a 30 minute drive from our home here in Clare.



With the discovery of copper back in 1845, this saved the new Colony of South Australia from financial ruin.

Miners came from thousands of kilometres away to make a living from this new discovery, and two unique styles of chimneys were built and can still be seen today.

Many or most people will never take any notice of them, and this applies not just to Burra, but other important mining areas around Australia.

The round Chimneys that were built were unique to the Cornish Stonemasons and the square Chimneys were unique to the Welsh Stonemasons.

So next time you visit an old mining site, impress yours friends and tell them who made those unique chimneys.


Cheers


Stephen




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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 15:47

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 15:47
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G'day Stephen,

Being a 4th generation South Australian, I well knew of the cultural heritage of the chimneys in the 'Copper Triangle' area of SA.

But I was not aware of the significance of square versus round chimneys.
Ya' learn somethin' new every day. Thanks Stephen.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 17:20

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 17:20
Hi Allan

It is not just the Copper Triangle. For me, and for some stupid reason I did not include the image, but will now, is the intact ruins at Nuccaleena in the Flinders Ranges.

The ruins there are unreal and to think that the mine life there was around 2 years. I always think how did they get their supplies into this remote region, and set about to building all the infrastructure.

I bet it is nice and warm up your way, not like the frosts every morning down here.....lol.


Cheers to to and Roz.


Stephen

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 17:41

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 17:41
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Yep Stephen, 14min 24max today. Bit hard to take these winter temps!

Cheers
(Hello Fiona)

Al
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 18:25

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 18:25
Top photo's Stephen. Something rings a bell about the Powder Magazine on site being the first in South Australia / Australia. Any thoughts.
Cheers,Dave.
PS. Think I prefer the Welsh construction. Looks a bit more professional. :)
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 20:02

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 20:02
Hi Dave

Yes indeed the Burra Powder Magazine is Australia's oldest mining building ever built and was completed in November 1847.

Thanks for your reply.

Cheers



Stephen



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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 21:20

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 21:20
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There's no doubt about you Stephen.
Mention a feature and you will promptly put up a photo of it.

I wish my photos were as extensive and as well catalogued.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 21:51

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 21:51
Hi Allan

I bet your photo library is very well organised. It was when I put this post up, I knew where to put my hand straigh on the images I needed.

As for your weather, it sound just perfect, and half your luck.

Cheers


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Reply By: DiggZ - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 16:05

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 16:05
Did a welshman start the top one. ;)
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 17:23

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 17:23
Hi DiggZ

That is a very good question, and one that I can not answer.

The ones up the Flinders ( see my reply to Allan ) and the ones at Moonta all have a round base, so it does make you wonder.



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Reply By: Member - Andrew L1 (SA) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 18:05

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 18:05


Mount Rose copper mine up in the northern Flinders
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 20:03

Sunday, Jun 18, 2017 at 20:03
Hi Andrew

Cheers for that image, and by all accounts, the Welsh were busy up that way.


Cheers


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Reply By: Genny - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 01:35

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 01:35
Old copper smelter chimneys exist at Glassford Creek, near Many Peaks. I guess they were Welsh .. :)

Glassford Creek
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 14:27

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 14:27
Hi Genny


Thanks for that and from I have found, the square chimneys were unique for the Welsh Stonemasons.

Thanks your your time to include that very interesting link.


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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 04:41

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 04:41
Stephen, now you have to tell us who designed the Mt Morgan stack which is octagonal. Was it a collaboration between the welsh and the cornish.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 09:26

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 09:26
No Eagle, it was built by the Octogenarians. LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 14:33

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 14:33
Hi Eagle

The only information I could find out about Mount Morgan is that they started mining in 1882 and the Welsh stonemason were active in the construction of facilities in the area.

I hope this helps


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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 15:20

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 15:20
Stephen, if you ever get the chance have a look through Mt Morgan as it is an upside down Lark Quarry, dinosaur prints are visible in the roof where they mined fire clay. I don't know if the guides can take you in anymore as I did here the department of mines closed the cavin due to a couple of rock falls.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:12

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:12
Hi Eagle

The site looks unreal when I read about it at lunchtime on dear mr Google.


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:28

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:28
Hi Eagle

That old mine site at Mount Morgan got me thinking, as I was sure I had seen that type of chimney or stack before, so I started looking through my photos.

Have a look at the two styles that they used at Chillagoe Site up in Queensland.


Cheers


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Reply By: Member - TonyV - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 13:12

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 13:12
Strange that something I was told many years ago as a west country boy in the UK clicks the old memory button into rewind...

In the 70's I went to do some HVAC work in a mine and asked an old fella why the stacks were round, as the area I came from Gloucester had a mixture of round an square.

He told me:

Round stacks building labour cost more than twice as much to build as square chimneys per 1000 bricks.
Square stacks are cheap to build, but because the way that smoke swirls in the chimney, a square chimney must be higher to get the draw to get the coal fire hot.

There was an abundance of coal in Wales so inefficient stacks made little operating cost difference.

Square chimneys also are less suited to high wing areas.

Cornwall, unlike Wales had to ship its coal from Derby or Wales for smelting, that became costly, so the more efficient round 'Cornish' round chimney were built and they could be shorter and stronger in coastal areas where there is high winds. Have you ever seen a square light house?

I didn't ask why the forge and office was square, but out of respect I left it, I did also find out that the Tin Miners also built stacks to vent the mines, there was no gas like coal but good fresh air cooled the mine and got rid of much of the dust.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 14:00

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 14:00
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........."Have you ever seen a square light house?"........

Err, yes Tony. Cape Borda lighthouse, Flinders Chase, Kangaroo Island.
Admittedly, not very tall, but square.

But what you said made sense.
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Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 15:43

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 15:43
Allan, maybe built by the Welsh...

His rhetorical question regarding light houses was in reality quite well founded. No such thing as Google in the 70's.

There is many, many square light houses, but few tall ones.

Ironically there was a 75mtr tall square light house only about 60 miles east of where we stood talkin at Gribben or Gribbin Head.

Like my late father many UK country folk, except for WWII, never travelled much, so I doubt he knew it was even there, which is a little sad.




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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 17:10

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 17:10
And if we were to forget about the 'cost' even way back then schoolboy physics told them a Circle is stronger than a Square .....
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:10

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:10
Hi Tony

Thanks for that very interesting reply and those images look great.

One thing that is strange was the value per 1,000 bricks.

Like that great image from Cornwall of the old mine site, the chimneys that I have seen in Burra, Moonta and the Flinders Rangers do not consist of bricks, but local stone that was quarried on site and then hand cut to shape, so the cost of bricks would have nothing to do with the cost of production.

I marvel at the sheer beauty of the work of those stonemason and it was a real art for sure.

Thanks for your reply.



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Reply By: cruza25 - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 17:16

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 17:16
In Cornwall they are called Stacks not chimneys.

A mine usually had 3 stacks, pumping, hauling and stamping.

Chimneys are on houses .

The round shape is more efficient that's why the Cornish used it because they had no coal of their own and had to transport it all in.

In Wales they had lots of coal so just built square ones as they were cheaper to build.

Cheers
Mike
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:14

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:14
Hi Mike

Thanks for your reply.


Cheers


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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:12

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:12
Thanks Stephen, you might end up getting a new job!






Took these photos about 2 years ago. Mt Mulligan is the site of a 1921 mine disaster when 75 miners lost their lives in a coal dust explosion. Sombre sort of place these days but well worth a visit if you're in the area.

The mine started in 1913, was worked until 1921, then re-opened in 1923, and worked by the State Government till 1957.

Looks like the Cornish built this stack?

Bob




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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:19

Monday, Jun 19, 2017 at 20:19
Hi Bob

Thanks for that and thanks for your reply.

Old mining site are always of interest to me and have spent many hours looking through some old sites.



Cheers



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