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“A unique experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Poldark Mine

Poldark Mine
Trenear, Wendron | Helston, Cornwall, Helston TR13 0ES , England
+44 1326 573173
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Ranked #12 of 15 Attractions in Helston
Type: Mines, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: An amazing underground mine with oodles of history, set in a delightful demesne in the heart of rural Cornwall. An open air museum with lovely gardens, picnic lawns and a leat and ponds dating to 1493. Site of a Scheduled Ancient Monument and an interesting museum and collection of machinery.
Coventry, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A unique experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

The guide knows everything you could wish to know about mining and is genuinely happy if you seem interested enough to ask him questions. He even looks how I imagined a miner should look: short and stocky with facial hair. I could easily imagine him wielding an axe.

When we visited the owner spoke to us at length before the guide took us on the tour. From what he said the whole site is in a transitional phase after some tumultuous goings-on following a recent change of ownership. This was clear when we arrived as a lot of the side-activities and shops on the site seemed to be closed. He assured us that plans are afoot to get everything up and running again and, him being obviously passionate about mining, I have no doubt that he has the desire to achieve this goal.

We paid £15 each for the tour which on the face of it seemed pricey, but we were happy to pay knowing that it's a good cause and an attraction that we'd like to see properly maintained.

The tour of the mine was really interesting, you really get given a sense of how brutal the working conditions were back when it was in use - makes me feel thoroughly ashamed when I get home from my desk job at 5.30pm and have a nap because I feel so tired!

Was glad to visit this attraction, and I'm sure once they get everything up and running again then it'll be even better.

Top tip: mind your head! (they give you a helmet though so that helps!)

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David E, General Manager at Poldark Mine, responded to this review, September 2, 2014
Thanks for your kind words and it was great to know your visit here was fun.

Do come again in 2015 and we hope that you will be surprised

With best wishes
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English first
Stockton-on-Tees, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“expensive and only part open”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

we arrived and were rushed into the mine tour, we handed over our £15 each and went into the mine, the mine tour was good and full of information ,then we exited the mine to find that all the other parts of the Poldark experience were closed (no play area, no interactive experience, no gold panning ) the facts are that the mine was closed and then robbed of its attractions, it has now been purchased and is only just re-opening, but the tour price should have reflected that only the mine tour exists

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David E, Owner at Poldark Mine, responded to this review, July 5, 2014
Thank you for coming to see us it seems from what you said that you had an interesting experience and enjoyed your visit. However we are sorry to learn that you felt rushed to go underground, so please come and visit us again and if you come on a Saturday we will give you a 50% reduction on the mine tour charge as a gesture of our goodwill or free entry to our grounds and gardens.

We probably fitted you in to avoid you waiting an hour for the next tour so we were trying to be helpful, most of our visitors who have chosen that option seem to be very pleased especially if we are on the last tour which starts at 3.15 to 3.30 and they turn up late or between advertised tour times. We note your mention of the price of the fully guided mine tour and audio visual presentation on the Cornish Mining World Heritage which we are part of. You mentioned the lack of a playground or the gold panning although it seems there were no children in your group.

However you were able to see Cornwall's last Beam Engine that was in commercial service (now an incredible 164 years old) , a range of historic open air exhibits some well over 100 years old - each a unique survivor thanks to the collection made by Peter Young who opened the museum in 1971. We have lovely gardens filled with singing birds, a river, a private 541 year old canal (a leat dating from 1493) , ponds, rare black swans, ducks, and an amazing variety of wildlife from wild Mink to a pair of Kingfishers. We have a tea pavilion which is licenced. We are working every day to improve and extend our scope but sadly some of the "amusements" will not be replaced as its more fitting for a World Heritage Site and the location of a 4000 year old Scheduled Ancient Monument not to have such things, Flambards which is nearby provides these rides and play areas and we note your visit and comments there too.

We believe that our low season present charges are fair, reasonable and realistic. If you take off 20% for VAT - there's not a lot left. We are limited to taking groups of no more than 30 persons each time but we endeavour to keep this below 25 to enhance the visitors enjoyment. We feel certain you will realise that running a Registered Mine is very costly, the last two owners failed in their endeavours and went into administration. We are also a short seasonal business in a rural location far from any large population, our costs are all year round except for some seasonal staff. We get no state support and have to pay all sorts of bills due to being a mine.

We have to charge a realistic price given, for example, the costs of pumping circa 30,000 gallons of water a day from the mine (over 10 million gallons a year or 50 million litres) , running large ventilation fans and lighting for 24 hours a day in some areas and of course the cost of staff, business rates, insurance and a host of other mine related expenses. Maintaining the grounds is another expense too and food for our black swans and Mandarin ducks adds a few pounds to the bills!

The 300 year old Tin mine and underground tour is unique in Cornwall, no other deep mine is open as out of thousands all are flooded and closed. No other Tin Mine in the UK or Europe is open to the public, its an amazing little mine in a lovely setting. There is a small level tour at Geevor but that is not in Geevor Mine itself but in a surface heading at Wheal Mexico - conversely Poldark is a complete tin mine that you go down to 120 or 180 feet depending on which tour is on offer.

We have managed to save Poldark Mine (Wheal Roots) & Open Air Museum, including the oldest recorded industrial structure in the Kingdom (1493), and our circa 4000 year old Scheduled Ancient Monument from being closed and becoming another housing estate. So please support us and come and see us again.

The BBC have been filming a new series of Poldark due to be broadcast on BBC1 in 2015 and the underground sequences have just been filmed here at Poldark Mine as they were in 1977. Look out for our mine bell and other tools from our museum. We have a memorial here to Angharad Rees CBE (Lady McAlpine) who played Demelza Poldark, she loved this place and visited regularly and finally just a short time before she died in 2012. The writer Winston Graham also loved the Poldark Gardens and Demesne and was a regular visitor until near the end of his life.

Thank you for coming but do please come and see us again and we will do our best to make your visit more enjoyable and tell you of our plans for 2015.
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Interesting tour of historical industry”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

I was a little dubious of going into the mine tunnels as I am not keen on going underground, the guides were very reassuring and explained that it wasn't too narrow or claustrophobic and it wasn't. It was very interesting as the guide was very knowledgeable and added humorous bits as well. There is a shortened route for those wary of going down the steps into the deepest part of the mine. The steps are quite steep but have a handrail and there is enough lighting to make you feel safe. All in all a worthwhile experience although a bit pricey especially for a family. As it is not yet high season it was not crowded which may have made it better in some ways as the group going underground was quite small in number.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Coming soon”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

Just been to Poldark mines today, last time I visited I was 7 (now 25) and I have I say it was worlds apart from the amazing memories of the once glorious attraction. Unfortunately the company had gone into administration in march 2014 and the new owner is bringing it back to its former glory, but it's a long way away from that today. Was dissappointed as the memories I had of poldark mines was ones of a great family day out, but now it's a short 1 hour and a half experience. It sounds like the new owner has got some really good plans to bring this attraction back and I honestly hope he does and I would love to see it again in full swing.

The mine tour itself is really worth the drive and our your guide has such a passion for his job which made the experience all the much better and he was generally interested in the subject of mining and has a great knowledge as well, which made the tour very enjoyable.

The price was on the steep side at £15 per adult for the tour, but in the hope it fuels to furnace to bring Poldark back I don't mind contributing to the place that made some great memories for me.

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fernhurst, England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Poldark Revisited”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

Having never been down a mine before this was approached with a little scepticism. No need to worry though. Although things seemed a little quiet and forlorn when we arrived it soon became clear why. This little (gold) mine had gone into receivership and has only been reopened four weeks ago. Last week the BBC finished filming the new series of the seventies classic Poldark. The new owner is sinking a great deal of money into what I would suggest is going to be a really great place to visit in the very near future. The staff seem to have a great deal of knowledge about Tin Mining throughout History and the tour was fascinating. Make a point of visiting this attraction and support the new owner.

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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