One of the major hazards to miners is flooding but while other mine owners were instaling steam powered pumps such as would eventually be installed in Wheal Betsy, the rest of mines in Mary Tavy were turning a potential hazard to its own advantage. With as many as seventeen water wheels with two measuring over 50ft (16metres) in diameter and up to 10ft (3metres) wide. It was such an efficient use of water that even when the Owners of Wheal Betsy installed a Steam engine in 1868 it was unable to improve on the water power it was to help as the mine got deeper. It closed only 9 years later. 100 years later the engine house (seen on the home page) was given to The National Trust and restored.
For more information about water power and Bullers Wheel at Mary Tavy take this link to Gerry Sargent’s information packed website.
The Buller family once owned all the land on which Mary Tavy now stands and the Mary Tavy Inn was originally ‘The Buller’s Arms’.
Water power is still important to Mary Tavy in the 21st century.
View over the Count House yard with the Reading Rooms in the center of the photo & Brentor on the horizon. The white track on the left is Cars Lane. The track off to the left leads to the Count House mine offices (see below), now Glebe Cottage.
The Count House in 1963 – George Cutland