King Edward Mine (KEM), Troon, Nr Camborne, Cornwall
Count House and Carpenters' WorkshopWhat is the Workspace Project at King Edward Mine (KEM)? Originally developed as South Condurrow Tin Mine, the mine site was abandoned in c.1890. In 1897, the mine with its buildings was taken over by the Camborne School of Mines. Renamed King Edward in 1902 in deference to the then King, it operated as a world renowned teaching facility until 2005. Today KEM, one of the oldest complete mining sites in Cornwall, is run by a dedicated team of Trustees and volunteers who manage the whole site and run a section of it as a museum. Cornwall Council, who own the site, became involved to support the sensitive repair and conversion of two buildings to become light industrial workspaces. Known as the Workspace Project, this is the first in a series of on-going rejuvenation at KEM. The two buildings in this first phase are The Carpenters’ Workshop (c.1903) and The Count House Complex (c.1870). Both are Grade II* listed and the Count House Complex was identified on the At Risk register. Carpenters’ Workshop opened to tenants in May 2015 and the Count House opened in stages from September 2015. What is the aim of The Workspace Project? The project aimed for the repair and adaptation of two existing buildings to create nine light industrial/office workspaces. The final cost of the project is yet to be determined but will be in the region of £2 million, funded by a major ERDF grant and Cornwall Council. Who benefits from the workspaces? The workspaces were created from a need to preserve the existing buildings and rejuvenate the King Edward site as well as providing for a demand in light industrial/office spaces for local businesses. There are five tenants currently in occupation. All have moved from existing facilities/spare bedrooms for the spacious and attractive location at Troon. New Work, Old Work? The volume of existing fabric repair, particularly in the Count House, is unknown to the lay visitor but it was the care in the standard of repair that provides a large amount of satisfaction. Much of the granite stone and mortar had degraded. Cracks and voids were evident everywhere. Local granite was sourced locally where on site supplies were unavailable. The Count House complex roof was mainly modern replacement asbestos sheeting from the mid 20th century. This was removed and replaced with reclaimed traditional scantle slate, complete with authentic lichen, sourced from nearby! The Carpenters’ was generally sound and the new work was mainly in the thermal upgrade and decorative aspect. The form of both buildings has been retained as evidenced in this existing photo from 1925 below, and compared with a recent photo.
|The buildings original use and its modern division from left to right are as follows:
|The buildings’ use and their modern division from left to right are as follows: