Cornwall LivingIssue #63

Going underground

We discover a historical day out with a difference at Poldark Mine.

Located near Helston on the Lizard Peninsula and steeped in Cornish history, Poldark is the only complete tin mine in Cornwall that’s open for underground, guided tours and is a fitting testament to Cornwall’s rich tin mining legacy. It its heyday Cornwall was home to some 2,000 tin mines before foreign competition caused tin prices to plummet and mines to close with the last one, South Crofty, having it pumps finally turned off in 1998.

“It really is the ultimate underground adventure…”

Poldark Mine offers visitors a tour, not just through Cornish heritage, but through mining history right back to its origins, before the pen of history was even put to paper. As a visitor here, you can explore the labyrinth of levels, caverns, adits, stopes, tunnels and shafts that make up this 18th Century mine and learn, through exciting and educational guided tours, what it meant to be a miner, at a time when mining was Cornwall’s premier industry.

The mine is maintained by pumping a staggering 20 million gallons of water each year to keep both the mine open and visitors safe. It really is the ultimate underground adventure with sensible shoes and warm clothing advisable. If you would rather not venture underground, or are unable to do so, then why not take tea in the tea room overlooking the gardens and ponds or take a stroll around the beautiful open-air museum in its stunning rural setting, where you can brush up on your history whilst making the most of the Cornish summer sun? Or take a look at the historic 1846 beam engine and other ancient machinery in the grounds.

Registered for Civil Ceremonies, including weddings, the renewal of vows and naming ceremonies, you can steep your special day in history, either in the pretty gardens, or in the underground Holman Chamber. Parties and receptions are taken care of as well, at any time of year, making Poldark perfect for your private event.

"It really is the ultimate underground adventure..."