Travelling through Cornwall and discovering gaunt
ruins that once housed powerful steam-engines has intrigued and
awakened the curiosity of many visitors. Their brick-topped chimneys
no longer smoking, these engine-houses are strewn throughout
the county, indicating land beneath, which a vast mineral wealth
The largest number of mines was to be found around Redruth and Camborne,
and St Just in the far west. Metals have long been sought
after by Cornishmen, leading to a county-wide industry of more
than two thousand mines; and ending with the closure of the last working mine, South Crofty, near
Camborne in 1998.
Please be careful!
Always consider your personal safety and that of others as
you explore this fascinating but potentially hazardous
environment. DO NOT attempt unauthorised entry into
underground workings. It is exceedingly hazardous.
Botallack Mine, two kilometres north of St Just.
Levant Mine, three kilometres north of St Just.
Geevor Mine, three kilometres north of St Just, at Pendeen. Tin ore was washed from Geevor Mine.
Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, Penzance.
Camborne School of Mines, Pool, near Camborne.
Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro.
Rosevale Mine, near Zennor. A small tin mine which has been refurbished by local mining enthusiasts.
The Mineral Tramways Project, Cowlings Mill, Penhalick,
near Pool. A small exhibition covers the work of this project
which has set out to catalogue and restore some of the mine
buildings and to clear and way-mark the old mineral tramways
East Pool Engines, Pool, near Camborne. The steam-engines are preserved here, maintained by the National Trust.
South Wheal Frances, between Piece and Four Lanes. A well-preserved and comprehensive group of mine buildings can be inspected, with splendid views over the southern part of the Camborne-Redruth area.
Wheal Bassett, Carnkie. Good examples of buildings where the ore was crushed and dressed.
Wheal Coates, St Agnes. A tin lode is exposed in the cliff, although much of it has now been mined away.
Poldark Mine, Wendron, between Redruth and Helston on the
B3297 The shallow workings of Wheal Roots, a mine first worked
in the 1720s, have been developed beneath the leisure complex
in recent times to provide the flavour of Cornish mining
for the more adventurous visitor.
Gwennap Pit, near Redruth. Originally thought to be due to mine collapse, this pit was modified by miners and was a favourite preaching place of John Wesley.