Friday, March 31, 2017

Thames (NZ): Golden Crown Battery

Do you ever get confused about where all the mines and batteries were located on the Thames Goldfield? One of the most confusing areas for me is around the present Goldmine Experience area. The area north of Burke Street to Kuranui Bay has changed so much geographically, its hard to make sense of old photographs. Anyway a new gem in the Sir George Grey Collections at Auckland Libraries has solved one of these location dilemmas - and a plan received from Tom, shows the exact location.

The Golden Crown Battery.
Have you seen the heritage sign at the western border of the Goldmine Experience?
'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7--A8718'
The above photograph is of the Golden Crown Battery and Mine site, to the east of Golden Crown aka Owen Street. Referenced as being taken 1870-1879. The hill to the top right is the Waiotahi Spur, the area where the WWI Peace Memorial is located.   The view to the right is looking down Owen Street to the right, the Golden Crown Battery can be seen lower right. Far lower right is the intersection of Haven and Golden Crown Street, which on later maps is a continuation of Owen Street.
The photograph below is a close-up of the area, and the Golden Crown Battery is to the left of the wording "Golden Crown Street."
ABOVE: Part of the NZ Survey Dept IV Thames Map 1897. Golden Crown Battery site marked far right, opposite Haven Street intersect, and running south along Owen Street.
BELOW: Google earth view of the area today. 
In Downey's book, the figures from the Golden Crown Claim are:
Tons of Quartz: 32,483; Yield of Bullion: 91,760; Value of Bullion: 248,896 Pounds.
Source: Gold-Mines of the Hauraki District, by J F Downey, 1935.