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Poldark Mine

OS Grid ref- SW 683316

Poldark Tin Mine is situated in the picturesque Wendron Valley, near Helston, on Cornwall's Lizard Peninsula it contains what are believed to be the oldest complete mine workings in Great Britain that are open to the public and is now a World Heritage Site.

Once the scene of intense industrial activity, the site's attractive surroundings and gardens belie its industrial past. The unique prehistoric evidence of working for alluvial tin, the site of the first recorded tin stamps in the Duchy of Cornwall (1493) and its eighteenth century tin mine makes Poldark one of Cornwall's most important heritage sites.

The mine was worked between around 1720 and 1780 and was was originally known as Wheal Roots, little is known with certainty about its early workings.

Poldark Heritage site was started in 1972 by Peter Young, a retired Royal Marine, purchased local Wendron Forge. He then acquired some waste land and with his growing collection of steam engines opened Wendron Forge to the public.

With an ever growing collection of steam engines requiring larger and larger compressors to power them there were a growing number of complaints about the noise generated by the compressor.

Peter decided to make a cutting in the hillside into which he intended to place the compressor to deaden the noise. By chance in doing so the long forgotten workings of the Wheal Roots tin mine, described in 1856 as 'an ancient tin mine', were broken into and a new project, opening the workings to the public, was commenced.

The mine features a tour described as the most atmospheric in Britain, gemsands where you can find real diamonds, a Museum and a range of other activities. Poldark is also home to the only Cornish beam pumping engine still pumping water from a mine.


Poldark Mine is situated two miles north of Helston on the B3297 Helston to Redruth road.

Visitor Attractions in Cornwall

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