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28 October 2014
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Cornwall's rich industrial past
Cornish Mines and Engines at Pool near Redruth
Cornish Mines and Engines at Pool

Evidence of Cornwall's rich tin mining history can be discovered near Redruth.

Cornish Mines and Engines at Pool has two preserved engine houses and fascinating artefacts.


The Trevithick Trust
This website is packed with information about the Trust's attractions in Cornwall and opening times. It also tells about the important work of the Trust.

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+ The Trevithick Trust is a charity project.

+ It manages, promotes and develops the industrial history of Cornwall.

+ Mining existed here from the stone age. It was in the 19th century that mining reached its peak in Cornwall.

+ The Cornish Tin Mining Industry had around 600 steam engines at its peak.

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Tourists coming to Cornwall would be forgiven for thinking that all we have to offer are fabulous beaches with a few rainy day attractions.

Prior to tourism, the south west was an area rich in tin, copper and tungsten (among other minerals) which resulted in heavy mining, particularly in west Cornwall.

Overseas competition led to a decline in the industry with former mineshafts flooded leaving behind derelict engine houses as a reminder.  

Cornish Mines and Engines at Pool
The museum attracts many visitors from all around the world.

Cornish Mines and Engines at Pool near Redruth is an example of how various groups in the area have come together to preserve some of the more prominent engine houses and mining history in the region.   The site has two preserved engine houses which were the former East Pool Mine. 

One is Taylor’s Shaft which can boast the largest preserved engine in Cornwall and across the road is Michell’s Whim with its winding engine.  The Whim was used to hoist men and ore up Michell’s shaft.   Both are included on the day ticket which can be purchased from either engine house. 

As Michell’s Whim can be seen from the road it is more likely to be the first port of call, but it is worth taking the time to look around both sites.  

Original mining works
You can see the original workings

The area at East Pool has been used as a mine site since 1700.  During that time, tin, copper and tungsten have been produced and in the 1870’s uranium was also mined. East Pool merged with Wheal Agar in 1894 to become East Pool and Agar Limited.  Today the letters EPAL can be seen on the chimney.  

Production ceased when the mine went into liquidation in 1946, but the engine continued to be used to pump out water from the mine to prevent the nearby South Crofty mine from becoming flooded.   During this time, Grenville Bathe, a wealthy American historian visited the area and bought the engine which the owners of EPAL had intended to sell for scrap. 

When the engine was no longer needed to pump out South Crofty in 1954, he donated the engine to the Trevithick Society, a group of volunteer enthusiasts for industrial history.   The Trevithick Society also owned Michell’s Whim which had been donated to them by Treve Holman, one of the directors of  Holman Bros who had saved the engine house after a rock collapse in 1921 forced closure.   

Tthe high costs involved in preserving the engine houses led to the National Trust taking over the property in 1967.

Trevithick Trust member
Trevithick Trust members will answer questions about mining.

In 1993 the Trevithick Trust was set up by the Trevithick Society and local authorities in Cornwall to manage various industrial museums in Cornwall.  They now manage Cornish Mines and Engines.   The site was boosted in 1997 when building began on the Industrial Discovery Centre at Taylor’s. 

Visitors are now treated to a short film about mining history, can walk through a boiler flue and look around the museum with various models of engine houses.  At both sites there are experienced guides with extensive knowledge of Cornish Mining and in particular, the two engine houses.  

People from all around the world, including Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, come to visit the engine houses with many returning time and time again.

For 2004 Opening hours and admission
call 01209 315027

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