A must-see is Geevor Tin Mine. Explore the magnificent mining machinery, go underground into nineteenth century Wheal Mexico mine (optional), and get interactive in the Hard Rock Museum (with great café). Not far from Geevor, high up on the exposed cliffs is Levant Mine and Beam Engine, with at its heart, the restored 1840s beam engine running on steam.
The Cornish Mining World Heritage Site around St Just contains “the earliest and greatest concentration of eighteenth and nineteenth century submarine tin and copper mines in the world”. “The relative remoteness of the area and the continued importance of mining within the economy and society ensured the persistence of a strong local identity linked to Cornish mining culture.” The Cornish miners’ endeavour, ingenuity and innovation transformed the industrial world, both in Cornwall, and right across the globe.
The Crown Engine Houses are perched on the cliff edge, and provide probably one of the most dramatic scenery of mining in Cornwall. It was a submarine mine, and its shafts reach 570m deep and extend nearly half a mile out to sea.
Recently, Botallack mine formed centre stage for the popular television series Poldark. “The fictional family mine that Ross Poldark tries to bring back to prosperity was filmed here. The derelict stone engine house which clings perilously to the cliff edge, doubles up as ‘Wheal Leisure’.
Levant and Botallack
Copper and tin has been mined at Levant for generations, and the mine workings extend over a mile out under the sea bed. In 1820, the Levant Mining Company was formed and by 1836, 320 men, 44 women and 186 children were employed on the site. In 1857, the man engine was installed, transporting miners up and down the workings faster and easier. However, in 1919, disaster struck when a link between a rod and the man-engine snapped, sending the engine down the shaft, killing thirty-one men. The engine was not repaired, and the deep levels were never worked again.
Levant experienced a steady decline and in 1930 the mine closed. At Levant, you can now find the restored 1840s beam engine running on steam.
Built during the 1860s at the height of the Cornish mining boom, Botallack Count House stands on the cliffs near the Crowns Mine. It was the hub of the day-to-day running of the mine and also where the miners collected their pay. The National Trust has been playing an important role in restoring and maintaining mining heritage sites along Tin Coast.