coming to Cornwall would be forgiven for thinking that all we have
to offer are fabulous beaches with a few rainy day attractions.
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.
competition led to a decline in the industry with former mineshafts
flooded leaving behind derelict engine houses as a reminder.
museum attracts many visitors from all around the world.
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
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.
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.
can see the original workings
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.
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.
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.
high costs involved in preserving the engine houses led to the National
Trust taking over the property in 1967.
Trust members will answer questions about mining.
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.
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
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.
2004 Opening hours and admission
call 01209 315027