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“Wheal Coates - Cornish Coast at it's Best” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wheal Coates Tin Mine

Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in St Agnes
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Southampton UK
Level Contributor
132 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Wheal Coates - Cornish Coast at it's Best”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2012

Wow - discovered totally by accident - we were lost!

Saw a National Trust sign and thought well lets take a look.

We arrived shortly before sunset and were treated to some of the most stunning views I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. The evening was on the whole clear although we could see rain clouds off in the distance. But it was clear enough to see right along the coast to Godrevy Island.

The old buildings are easily accessible from the car park - we did not walk around very much as it was starting o get a bit dark but when we had first arrived there seemed to be dog-walkers disappearing in several different locations

No charge to wander around, no parking fees and stunning views - rather glad we took a wrong turning

If you like to take photos you will love this spot

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Deepthinker22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“great place for a walk and a picnic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2012

i found this via google maps when bored one day looking along the coast. my dad came down so 4 of us wandered over with the dogs. it was surprisingly easy to find, we stopped at the car-park at the top so there would be less walking. the structures are all accessible and beautiful again the teal coloured Cornish sea. the dogs loved it and the way we went it wasn't a hard walk. we sat and had a picnic in one of the old buildings as it was very very windy, it did start to rain on the way back to the car but that's Cornish weather. it's made me want to go and see more of the local mines with my camera ^_^ when i got back i looked on-line and found out there are lots of other local bits we missed but as the weather had turned i think we shall re-visit at some point. definitely a must for ramblers, dog walkers, mine enthusiasts, geologists and artists, photographers.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank palegothicangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham UK
Level Contributor
35 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2012

Perched on the edge of a cliff this must be the most photographed tin mine in Cornwall. Look across the sea towards St Ives. Interesting site to visit.

Visited June 2012
2 Thank Doddyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
97 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Iconic Cornwall”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2012

I love Wheal Coates,I go back time and time again for the view and the heritage.It is best in a quiet day without too many people.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank france036
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
340 reviews
198 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 773 helpful votes
“A glimpse of Cornwall's mining heritage in a stunning location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2012

I recently walked a section of the North Cornwall Coast Path from Trevaunance Cove to Gwithian and the old tin mine workings at Wheal Coates were undoubtedly the highlight of that long day's walk. The old mine workings sit right on the cliffside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and spread back inland for a considerable distance.

It's the chimney of the Towanroath Pumping Engine house that first comes into view as you head west along the scenic path and initially, this appears to be all there is to see. This was constructed in 1872 to drain the seeping sea water from the 600 feet deep Towanroath shaft. But a scramble up the cliff via a roughly-hewn path soon leads you to the extended site of the old mine workings and from here, it's easy to see the scale of the place.

There are two further engine houses, firstly, the Stamps & Whim engine house, completed in 1873 which served a dual-purpose as both a hoist for raising the rough tin ore from the Towanroath shaft and also to crush the raised ore for further processing on the adjacent "dressing floors".

Behind this is the Whim ( winding and raising) ) engine house, finished in 1880 in order that the older dual-purpose engine house could be used predominently for crushing the ore. Alongside this, the old boiler pond can still be seen, this being a reservoir for the vast amount of water required to power the various boilers that drove the beam engines. To the other side is the calciner, this being where the rough tin ore was roasted at high temperatures to drive off unwanted impurities, especially arsenic.

In 1881, the site employed 138 men, working in filthy conditions, not least of all those in the deep shafts that extended way out beneath the shore line. It is said that in high storms, the miners could hear huge boulders being dragged across the seabed which was only feet above their heads.

The mine closed down in the late 19th century and lay unused until it was restarted in 1911 when the price of tin on world markets made it profitable again. But it was short-lived, the price of tin soon nose-dived dramatically, foreign imports were cheaper, Wheal Coates was hugely expensive to run and maintain and the mine ceased working, the shafts flooded, and it was closed for good in the early years of the 20th century.

Cornwall is littered with such ghost mines, but few are as complete as Wheal Coates, and none can lay claim to be located in such a stunning location. The National Trust own and maintain the site which is free to view and open all year around, and there is a car park nearby from where it's a 10 minute walk across heather and coarse grass to the site.

Visited January 2012
2 Thank GBfromDevizes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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