Wheal Coates UNESCO Tin Mine, Cornwall

The scenery alone of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape UNESCO World Heritage Site is breathtaking, with its rugged hills and craggy coasts. But the widespread remains of the region’s long tin mining traditions make for something extra special.

dsc_1837During the Industrial Revolution, mining innovations pioneered in Cornwall spread around the World. Work in the mines in the 18th and 19th Centuries was bleak, and the effect on the countryside was often bleaker.

dsc_1851Yet the romance of time has transformed the grim mining ruins into enchanting locations with a historical legacy worthy of UNESCO World Heritage status.

dsc_1795The remains of the Wheal Coates tin mine lie on the north coast of Cornwall, within the St. Agnes Mining District, one of 10 districts defined within the World Heritage Area.

Whim engine houses and stack at Wheal Coates

Whim engine houses and stack at Wheal Coates

Stamps and Whim engine house from 1872

Stamps and Whim engine house from 1872

Mining at Wheal Coates dates back at least as far as the Middle Ages, but all the ruins visible today come from the period 1870-1914, the last time the mine was active. Today they are preserved by the National Trust.

Stamps and Whim engine house from 1872

Stamps and Whim engine house from 1872

Stamps and Whim engine houses

Stamps and Whim engine houses

Ironically, although the dramatic hillside ruins of the mine’s Towanroath Shaft engine house, perched high above plunging cliffs, is one of Cornwall’s most iconic images, the Wheal Coates mine itself was actually never really successful.

First glimpse of the Towanroath Shaft engine house

First glimpse of the Towanroath Shaft engine house

dsc_1802dsc_1811dsc_1818Built in 1870, the Towanroath engine house once held a steam engine that pumped water from a shaft over 600 feet below the ground, which extended far out under the sea.

dsc_1828dsc_1833dsc_1836Today it is a captivating testament to our industrial past, transformed into a mystical hillside spot to take a magical walk at sunset.

dsc_1834dsc_1853This post was inspired by the photo themes of Commercial or Industrial Buildings from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Hills from Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack?, Transmogrify from Michelle of The Daily Post, and Jo’s Monday Walk.

dsc_1847 dsc_1848 dsc_1850the-great-migration-coverthe-pride-of-london-coverThe first two Jaspa’s Journey adventures, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats! Click here for more information. The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is scheduled to be released by Speaking Volumes early next year.

Jaspa’s Journey: Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

jaspas-journey-logo-bigger-bucketIf you’re the sort of person that loves experiencing the wonders of nature and history on your travels, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?


About Jaspa

Jaspa's Journey is a series of award-winning, travel-based adventure novels for strong middle grade readers by Rich Meyrick. Join the Adventure! Read the books! Follow Jaspa’s ongoing Journeys at www.jaspasjourney.com. Let's explore this amazing world together! And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Environment, History, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Travel, UNESCO World Heritage Site, United Kingdom and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Wheal Coates UNESCO Tin Mine, Cornwall

  1. restlessjo says:

    This is Jude territory, Jaspa, so you could be in trouble, but thanks a lot 🙂

  2. Pingback: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge-Industrial-Commercial-Buildings – WoollyMuses

  3. Pingback: Transmogrify: This is the Sea | What's (in) the picture?

  4. mae says:

    Those are beautiful and fascinating photos. My response to the “Hills” challenge is here:

  5. Cee Neuner says:

    Marvelous post for this week’s challenge. 😀 😀 Thanks for playing.

  6. Inger says:

    Looks absolutely amazing! What a dramatic spot and wild landscape.

  7. ventisqueras says:

    grandioso..ed anche un tantino inquietante

  8. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : The Masmorra Trail | restlessjo

  9. Strange how lingering evidence of such a hard life can become ‘scenery’. Often wonder whether the workers of that era ever had time to enjoy their environment.

    • Jaspa says:

      Good point, Robert. Some how I doubt they did. And of course, today we don’t have to put up with the noise and the pollution in these ‘scenic’ areas.

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