Queen of Beauty Mine Pump Quadrants

212 Bella Street And Waiokaraka Road, Thames

  • Queen of Beauty Mine Pump Quadrants, Thames.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: J Douglas. Date: 10/07/2018.
  • Queen of Beauty Mine Pump Quadranrs, Thames.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: J Douglas. Date: 10/07/2018.
  • Queen of Beauty Mine Pump Quadranrs, Thames. Image included in Field Record Form Collection.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Paul Mahoney. Date: 1/01/1990.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 4682 Date Entered 15th February 1990

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Thames-Coromandel District

Region

Waikato Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DPS 26040 (SA24B/1081), South Auckland Land District

Summaryopen/close

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

The principal mines at Thames were all near the beach at Grahamstown and the workings extended far below sea-level. Consequently, dewatering of the mine was a major problem requiring constant pumping. A Big Pump installed in the Imperial Crown Mine in 1871 was able to dewater a number of mines. Due to reducing gold returns and the cost of financing the pumping, the operation was closed down in 1879, but was refinanced and restarted in 1880. In 1885 the combined capacity of the Big Pump and a smaller pump in the Queen of Beauty mine proved inadequate to cope with the flow of water. The Queen of Beauty pump failed in a spectacular accident. Gold production over a large area was severely curtailed. In 1895 the Thames-Hauraki Goldfields Company acquired the Queen of Beauty Mine. With the assistance of a government subsidy it enlarged the mine shaft and installed the new Big Pump. The quadrants surviving at the mine site were part of this massive machine. This pump continued to dewater the Grahamstown area of the Thames goldfield until 1913, when the workings at the 305 metre (1000 foot) level broke into a fault and water, too great for the pump to handle, flooded the workings. The whole of this part of the Thames goldfield then closed down.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

The quadrant together with the adjacent boiler and engine room, are the only surviving evidence of the huge pumps which were employed to dewater the Grahamstown area of the Thames goldfield, making possible the mining of the rich quartz veins which underlay the flat on which Thames now stands.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY:

The quadrants of the new Big Pump at the Queen of Beauty mine are a spectacular reminder of the scale of the machinery used to power the pumps used to facilitate the working of the deep quartz goldmining at the turn of the century. The pump had a capacity to 11ft 3000 gallons a minute from a depth of 610 metres (2000 feet). It was claimed to have been the largest pump in the Southern Hemisphere at that time.

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Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

The two quadrants, still standing in their vertical position on the concrete mountings are 3.7 metres (12 feet) in height. Each quadrant consists of a number of steel or iron elements, riveted together. They were driven by an engine powered by 10 steam boilers. The horizontal thrust of the engine was converted by the quadrants into a vertical force on to the pump rods which ran down the shaft to the pump 305 metres (1000 feet) underground. The quadrants have a large crank pin at each of their three angles. The lower outer pivot provided the point about which the quadrants moved, the lower inner pivot provided the linkage to the pump rods, while the upper pivots provided the linkage which, through connecting rods, transferred the power of the engine to both quadrants, and synchronised their movement. The quadrants moved through an angle of 36 degrees.

MODIFICATIONS:The quadrants have been stripped of all associated machinery, linkages and power source.

Notable Features

The massive size of the quadrants

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1898 -

Construction Details

Steel or iron members riveted together; concrete foundations.

Completion Date

17th October 1989

Information Sources

Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (AJHR)

Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives

Mines Department Reports 1875-1913.

Thornton, 1982

Geoffrey G. Thornton, New Zealand's Industrial Heritage, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, 1982

Stott, 1983

R Stott, Prices of Thames, Wellington, 1983

Vennell, 1968

C W Vennell, Men of Metal: The Story of A. & G. Price Ltd, Auckland & Thames, Auckland, 1968

Kelly, 1968

W A Kelly. Thames: The First Hundred Years, Thames, 1968

Isdale, 1967

A Isdale, History of the River Thames, New Zealand, Thames Borough Council, 1967

Other Information

A copy of this report is available from the NZHPT Northern Region office

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.