The earliest known mining at Tankerville was by Walker, Cross & Company from the 1830s, when the mine operated under the name of Oven Pipe. The company’s main activities were at Bog and Pennerley, however, and there was very little investment at this site, other than a crosscut called Oven Pipe Level which had been driven from the Boat Level to work a small pipe vein on Old Lode. Ore was removed from a small shaft by a horse gin and this was probably the one that was later enlarged as Ovenpipe Shaft.
Between 1860-63, Fred Jones & Company worked the mine and they had engaged Captain Arthur Waters as manager.
Heighway Jones of the Bog & Pennerley Company was working several adjacent mines and he realised the potential of Oven Pipe Mine. In 1864, he sold his interest in Pennerley and Myttonsbeach Mines and bought Oven Pipe, where he then concentrated his activities. In 1869 the name of the company was changed to West Tankerville Mining Company. Sinking commenced on Watsons Shaft in 1871 and in 1873 a 32 inch engine of 25 horsepower was installed for winding. The company was wound up in 1879 due to a disagreement over lead sales.
In 1880 Tankerville Great Consols took over working the mine, but due to falling lead prices the mine closed and the company was liquidated 1884.
In 1889-90 the mine was worked by the Earl of Tankerville himself with 4 men on the tips.
In 1891-93 the mine was leased by Shropshire United Mining Co Ltd, they worked the upper levels of Old Lode and the mine tips for lead and barites.
In 1895 a license was granted to S M Ridge to search for minerals but little work was actually done.
In 1921-23 the mine was leased to Shropshire Lead Mines Ltd who worked the dumps for barytes and calcite, the latter being used for pebble dashing.
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