Poldark Mine is the only complete tin mine in Cornwall open for underground guided tours and is regarded as one of the most historic locations in the annals of Cornish Mining.
Poldark Mine at Wendron is centrally located near Helston on the Lizard Peninsula. The mine is set in four acres of wooded riverside gardens in a beautiful glen on the River Cober valley. The demesne is set in a rural area of Cornwall just 6 miles from the sea. The well-known mine has reopened under new management and as part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site has a special place in the story of tin mining. Some consider it to be the veritable cradle of tinning.
Visitors have been coming from all over the world to explore the labyrinth of levels, caverns, adits, stopes, tunnels and shafts that make up this 18th century mine since it was first opened to the public in 1975.About The Mine
The mine has many unique features such as the Shammeling Shaft and distinctive veins of “blue peach” ore-bearing granite. The Carnmenellis granite pluton itself being some 20 million years older than other granite in Cornwall.
So amazing is this place that the former chairman of English Heritage said it was "one of the two most atmospheric mine tours in Europe".
Moreover we have been open for 40 years, an incredible record than no other mine can equal. Literally millions of visitors have been here during those years and many millions more have seen the mine in a variety of television programmes and documentaries.
Most recently and in the 1970s the mine has been the location for underground sequences in the two series of Poldark! People are continuing to come here from all over the world to have a peek at this remarkable and historic mine that is described as “the jewel in the crown” of the World Heritage site by the World Heritage Team.From the Bronze Age to Today
The Trenear Mortar Outcrop is a Bronze-Age Scheduled Ancient Monument within the grounds of Poldark Mine and believed to have been used during the latter half of the prehistoric period (approximately 2000 BC to 43 AD) to grind tin ore to fine sand before smelting.
Protected by a layer of soil for many years, the outcrop at Poldark further extends the historical importance of Cornwall as a centre of metalliferous mining and sheds valuable light on the roots of our industrial heritage.
Trenere Stamps, a mechanized tin-crushing site, is also recorded as being in operation by 1493, within what is now Poldark. This is understood to be the first such site recorded in Cornwall. There is a mile long leat (aqueduct), ponds and a watercourse in the wooded riverside gardens and a waterwheel pit that all date from Tudor times and recorded in 1493 in the Duchy of Cornwall Rolls.
The tinning grounds were in constant use for over 500 years processing tin from alluvial tin stream workings and in later years from local mines such as Wendron Consols Mine. Its known that in the mid 1800s seventy or more women and children toiled breaking and sorting ore where the gardens and ponds are today.
Poldark Mine is famed for its links with the popular Poldark television series of the 1970s, with scenes of this being filmed within the labyrinth of mine levels. Winston Graham, author of the Poldark books, launched his final book at the mine in 2002 amid much celebration and media interest.
In 2015 the Mine was again used as the location of the underground sequences for a new BBC broadcasting of the Poldark series. A number of artifacts from the museum at Poldark Mine were used as props and can be seen by visitors.