Mining in Cornwall

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 once lay.

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.

Cornwall overview
Botallack Mine Levant Mine Geevor Mine Royal Geological Society of Cornwall Camborne School of Mines Royal Cornwall Museum Rosevale Mine The Mineral Tramways Project East Pool Engines South Wheal Frances Wheal Bassett Wheal Coates Poldark Mine Gwennap Pit
  1. Botallack Mine
    Botallack Mine, two kilometres north of St Just.
  2. Levant Mine
    Levant Mine, three kilometres north of St Just.
  3. Geevor Mine.
    Geevor Mine, three kilometres north of St Just, at Pendeen. Tin ore was washed from Geevor Mine.
  4. Mineral Collections:
    1. Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, Penzance.
    2. Camborne School of Mines, Pool, near Camborne.
    3. Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro.
  5. Rosevale mines
    Rosevale Mine, near Zennor. A small tin mine which has been refurbished by local mining enthusiasts.
  6. 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 for walking.
  7. East Pool engines
    East Pool Engines, Pool, near Camborne. The steam-engines are preserved here, maintained by the National Trust.
  8. South Wheal Frances
    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.
  9. Wheal Bassett
    Wheal Bassett, Carnkie. Good examples of buildings where the ore was crushed and dressed.
  10. Wheal Coates
    Wheal Coates, St Agnes. A tin lode is exposed in the cliff, although much of it has now been mined away.
  11. 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.
  12. Gwennap Pit
    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.