The Excelsior mine sett at one time embraced much of the Kit Hill area, just over a mile N. E. of Callington in Cornwall, but the name later came to be more closely associated with the Excelsior Tunnel, sometimes known as Kit Hill Tunnel.

The tunnel was driven S. S. W. from an entrance in Deerpark Wood with the intention of intersecting the North Engine Shaft of Kit Hill Mine (situated near the stack at the summit of the hill) at a point 660 feet below the surface. This would have drained the mine around the shaft and the 3/4 mile long tunnel may have cut through a number of undiscovered tin and copper lodes that were believed to exist beneath Kit Hill.

Miners began driving the 8'X 8' tunnel in about 1880 but a shortage of funds led to the abandonment of the tunnel a few years later when it was only half way to North Engine Shaft. Work was recommenced on a smaller scale in the late 1930's under the auspices of a local chemist and tin miner Captain George Moor. An air compressor for working rock drills was installed near the entrance, with an air line to the working face 2100 feet in, while there were hand-operated fans and their associated trunking to provide fresh air and to clear smoke from the tunnel after blasting. A single line tram road ran the length of the tunnel.

 

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