Wheal Coates

The Wheal Coates mining site is probably the most famous in Cornwall. It sits on one of the most beautiful cliff tops and the Towanroath shaft is very much a Cornish icon. We are most definitely in Poldark country. [click link for more Poldark locations in Cornwall]

Wheal Coates in the foreground. Wheal Charlotte in the background. And in the far distance, Carn Brea. Mining Country in Cornwall. August 2019. Click image to enlarge

I have yet to get a ‘proper’ photo of this building from the beach as it can only be done at a very low tide. But this view is one most commonly photographed, from the coastal pathway.

Wheal Coates and Towanroath Shaft Engine House. August 2019. Click image to enlarge

Meanwhile here are some views from the south west coastal path and St Agnes headland. Earliest records date from 1692 though digging for ore on the surface has been taking place since the Middle Ages. These ruins all date from 1872 until its abandonment in 1914.

Stamps and Whim Engine House (1882). August 2019. Click image to enlarge.

A last ditch attempt to mine it was made in 1910 but only 18 tons of ‘black’ tin had been mined by the time it closed for good in March 1914. The National Trust restored the Towanroath Shaft engine house in 1976 and the rest of the site was stabilised in 1983. Source NT.

~wander.essence~ photography


  1. Pit says:

    Great pictures. Thanks for the information.

  2. restlessjo says:

    Glorious photos, Jude. Cathy will be well pleased with these. Is the young un recovered from his weekend experience? Time for some good news, surely! πŸ€—πŸ’•

    1. Heyjude says:

      The saga continues…

  3. beetleypete says:

    It’s clever how they manage to make them look like working mines, in Poldark.
    Nice shots as always, Jude. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Maybe some of the shots are from the working engine in Camborne (museum)

  4. Arkenaten says:

    I remember the TV show Grand Designs featuring at least one house conversion of one these old buildings.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Mmm… I think I remember a programme about a conversion of an engine house, not sure if it was GD or one of the other programmes (Building the Dream feature some quirky buildings). I do know of one conversion in a beach resort that is a holiday home. And there is a ruin almost at the bottom of my garden! Bloody big hole underneath it though πŸ˜‚

  5. Sue says:

    Great post, Jude….it hasn’t changed since the early 1970s!!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Pretty well preserved I’d say.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    At some point in my genealogy studies I will have to find out the occupations of my Cornish forebears. Tin mining looks possible.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Tin mining and fishing are the most obvious occupations.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh, yes, and in such a perfect location too! I confess I even sat on a couple along the walk πŸ™‚

  7. bushboy says:

    I love a good ruin. Thanks for sharing Jude πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      Plenty of ruins in this country!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a big part of the landscape here in Cornwall.

  8. I remember visiting Wheal Coates six years ago. It certainly is very photogenic.

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