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“A very Interesting Day”
Review of Poldark Mine

Poldark Mine
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Wendron
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: OPEN DAILY FROM 24th MARCH. Trenere Wolas Gardyn & CORNISH HERITAGE COLLECTION open from 10.30am to 1.30pm (last entry to museum & gardens) MAIN MINE EXPLORER UNDERGROUND TOUR A - 11am 12.15pm, 1.30 pm {& 2.45 if booked in advance] Poldark Mine (Huel Roots) is the only complete underground tin mine open to the public in Europe - the expertly guided underground tours into several levels of the 18th century mine labyrinth are an atmospheric & profound experience . Main Tour A takes 65 minutes - Open daily from 25th March - Details about DEEP MINE ADVENTURE [Tuesdays & Thursdays 2.45 - advance booking required] tour on web pages or Facebook. The Cornish Heritage Collection & Industrial Museum was opened in 1971 by the late Peter & Jose Young. Peter coined the phrase ‘a little piece of heaven on the B3297’. There are lovely gardens and a well filled eclectic museum with many open air exhibits including an 1846 Cornish beam engine, the very last to work commercially in Cornwall
Reviewed July 26, 2017

I visited on the recommendation of a friend, and was not disappointed. The entrance area is a bit strange, but once inside was impressed by the range of things to see. There is even an underground tour (of about an hour) if you want a proper Cornish Mine experience. (Not compulsory for those in sandals etc) A lovely grassy area with a fountain and bandstand is a nice place to sit and have a cup of tea, and indoors the museum area is being expanded all the time. We had a great day there, and if I am honest, a more enjoyable time than when we visited nearby King Edward Mine which was a bit boring.

1  Thank steve p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David E, Custodian at Poldark Mine, responded to this reviewResponded July 26, 2017

Thanks for coming to see us and for the FIVE STAR REVIEW. We are delighted to hear that you were impressed by the museum collection. and enjoyed the gardens and tea taken on the bandstand on the lawn.

We are still working on the restoration and are conscious of the need to improve the entrance outer area - we only opened the new hallway in December last but outside we do have to make some changes, we demolished the building that was there last year with a bulldozer, which is far better, so do keep an eye on the facebook pages to see whats happening. We are about to extend the museum later in the summer, but the logistics are more difficult when we are open and busy and we have to raise the funds as we go along.

We can provide special rubber dunlop shoes & disposable socks for those who forget to come along in suitable footwear for a mine.

King Edward Mine is a good and historic place to visit, but its important to go when they are running the impressive machinery & the massive tin stamps, they have a great new cafe of which we are rather envious. However a visit to Poldark Mine, Gardens & Museum gives our visitors the unique ability to be able to go down to explore three levels of an ancient mine.

Taking tea in our waterside gardens which were tin dressing floors since the 13th Century is something rather special too, try to visit on a Sunday afternoon when we usually have brass band concerts on the lawn. Brass bands are part of Cornwall's mining traditions.

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Reviewed July 16, 2017

Interesting visit to this mine, good to be able to go underground and have the full experience! The guide was excellent, informative and clear. We thought it was on the expensive side.

Thank Magsbkw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David E, Custodian at Poldark Mine, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2017

We are pleased you came to visit us with your U.S. cousins. We offer great value to visit our gardens & museum or for the guided underground tour of this ancient and most historic mine.

Your visit would not have been possible only for the fact that someone stopped the place being sold as a housing development by stepping in and putting their hand very deeply into their pocket in 2014.

With the generous help of friends and volunteers and a small team of staff, we managed to get the mine partly restored & re-opened in JUNE 2014. Due to our running and restoration costs we have not yet managed to break-even and have to carry the burden of considerable financial losses each year since 2014.

The price of a visit to the museum and gardens is merely £6.25 for an adult - locally resident visitors pay rather less at just £5.25 for a couple! - and there are other concessions for older persons, students, members of the Crown Forces and much reduced family tickets too - you seem to visit a great deal of restaurants and hotels and all of these charge more for a meal than for one person on a guided tour.

The additional and optional cost of the 65 minute guided mine tour through three levels of this ancient mine is in fact just an extra £12.35 above the adult price {before concessions] and fairly represents the high cost of keeping this mine fully pumped, insured, maintained, safe, with a host of large expenses, 20% VAT, £13,000 rates to the Council, an extortionate amount to the mineral lord HRH Prince Charles [just to be able to walk around in the mine], and a host of other expenses for lighting, safety and even gardening! Renewal and maintenance continues all of the time.

The mine is pumped and force-ventilated all year round and our bill for power runs at around £24,000 per annum. This expense of de-watering alone has ensured that all other 3,500 Cornish mines are closed and are full of water. We pump 40,000 gallons every day - that is circa 20 million gallons per year (about 100 million litres). All other mines have failed due to this prohibitive cost. The countryside is dotted with many pumping engine houses as testament. Here our visitors have to meet the pumping & other expenses, else we will be closed.

Our relatively modest de-watering is only a fraction of the needs of long closed mines such as Wheal Jane where 20 million gallons of water a day was removed. The mine closed in 1991 due to losses. The UK Government paid for the pumping costs for a time but soon stopped when no buyer was found and the pumps were finally turned off in 1992. Following river pollution later that year a huge cost was incurred to deal with the mine water, in the 10 years to 2002 it had cost £20 million to deal with. Birds continue to die decades later and at the time the river Fal was polluted so badly that all the fish died.

Thankfully the water raised at Poldark is not contaminated with metals. The relatively small sum you were charged on your visit is a small price to pay to help keep this historic mine open & safe for visitors to be able to avail of educational adventure explorations deep underground. No other mine does this in all of Cornwall.

Our granite here is 20 million years older than the rest of Cornwall and we are a vital part of the UNESCO Word Heritage Inscription being the Wendron Mining District Interpretation Centre. The museum is filled with historic, often unique, artefacts and the grounds contain a Bronze-Age Scheduled Ancient Monument to tin production. The waterways and dressing floors were created in the 13th century and were first recorded in the Duchy Rolls in 1493 when a lease was renewed for the waterwheels and waterways to a Mr John Trerys.

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Reviewed July 14, 2017

A mini adventure exploring underground to see how Cornish miners over the centuries mined Tin. The introductory talk and video is very informative and sets the scene for going underground. Be prepared to get a bit wet, there is a lot of water dripping and running down the walls in the deeper levels. Highlights are seeing where scenes from the TV Series 'Poldark' were filmed.

Up on the surface some maintenance is needed to facilities, i.e. two of the four ladies toilets were closed off as unusable, and the hand-dryer did not work and no hand towels were provided.

Overall a very good place to visit and explore. Shame about the toilets issue, I would have rated Excellent otherwise.

1  Thank Debbie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David E, Custodian at Poldark Mine, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2017

Great to have the four star review!. We really do wish you had advised us when you were here that the hand drier was not working as we had an electrician at the museum who could have speedily attended to this at the time. We had not noticed that it had failed until you reported it on these pages! We could not get an electrician to attend on a Saturday, which regretfully means that other visitors will not have a hand drier until Monday!

Two of our four ladies loos are closed off due in part to vandalism by people putting things down the pan for which it is not designed. The two that are working are sufficient for our present level of visitors but we hope to have all four working very soon. We hope to fund a new loo block next season which will provide fare better facilities for our visitors. At present we just do not have any spare funds available.

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Reviewed July 13, 2017

We are fans of the TV series Poldark and visited Cornwall to see the locations from the series. Whilst the tin mine is not featured in the current series we were told that it was used for filming some underground shots in the 1970's series and because of this they were allowed to rename the mine "Poldark".
The underground tour given by Dave, a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic man, was extremely interesting and well worth a 5 star rating, however the museum and restaurant were a bit of a let down.
To be fair the new owners took over a business which had suffered from years of neglect and are doing their best to make this a first class attraction.
I didn't find the entrance fee overly expensive and would certainly recommend people to visit it.

Thank Tom R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David E, Custodian at Poldark Mine, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2017

Thank you for coming to see us and for the FOUR STAR review. However your information is somewhat incorrect! Poldark Mine has been featured in all of the BBC Poldark productions since the 1970 and in the current series. All of the underground sequences were filmed here with the single exception of a stunt scene which was partly filmed here when we flooded the mine, the stunt part was created in the studio. The BBC also filmed Permarric here and a number of documentaries too.

The author Winston Graham renamed Wheal Roots as Poldark Mine over 40 years ago! He was good friends with the founder of this museum and mine owner at the time, the late Peter Young. Mr Graham also launched several of his excellent books here, including his final work "Bella Poldark" in 2002 a year before he sadly passed away. He had been a regular visitor to the mine over many years.

We do not have a restaurant or even a café here, so it cannot have been a "let down" - we do have an excellent light refreshment facility and a cosy little tea room which we call Switzers, we use silver-plated tea pots and have really top quality leaf tea and Colombian plunger coffee served with hot Cornish Jersey herd milk or cream [from local cows] , tea is served with organic locally glass-bottled milk, freshly made-to-order filled rolls, home-made Penny's Pies, Bakewell tart & parkin. Our bread, teacakes, scones and cakes are made by Baker Tom. Organic apple juices are made a few miles away on a farm by the Helford River and our ice cream is from Roskilly on the Lizard. All of our drinks are in glass bottles for the best flavour. True we do not have a vast selection, but what we do have is wholesome fresh and nearly all locally made. We see no disappointment here, we provide what we say on our brochure.

Tea can be taken on our lawns and bandstand - there is nothing quite like this place in all of Cornwall and our tea and coffee are top notch - there are hundreds of good comments to this effect in our visitors book!

Our museum is very well filled at present even if a bit untidy as we are re-organising [as per the signs in various locations] , nonetheless we have a real treasure trove of interesting items on display, many of a unique and historic significance. It can hardly be the let down you suggest it to be! A great number of items have been added to the collection in the last three years.

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Reviewed July 9, 2017 via mobile

Following our recent visit to Poldark I left feeling underwhelmed. I have holidayed in Cornwall for the last 20 or more years and love it, I last visited poldark when I was 11 back in 1991, what a stark change to how it was, which saddened me. Now I understand over time things change and in these economical climates it's tough for all business sectors, however having sat and read some of these reviews I have to say there elements that people are saying are right, this is a review site and people are unfortunately entitled to an opinion. Your a business and have to take some comments on the chin. I agree the mine tour is brilliant full of information and insight to life back in the day with tin mining, but that's really all you offer, granted you have a museum which has some fascinating items however it is a little cramped. When I came In the 90s it was vibrate and busy, it catered to all ages, if I were to bring young children on this particular visit I would have been hard pushed to keep them entertained. You have to offer value for money, did I think it would as value for money, upon reflection probably not, and quite frankly I don't want to be quoted the Inns and outs of the rates, VAT or in comparison to meal and drink in a restaurant it's all irrelevant. I visited St Michaels Mount, that is experience is full of interest, they charge £7 to walk there gardens which are tiered and lush and maintained, that's the comparison. If was I coming again to holiday, would I visit Poldark again, honestly probably not, not unless there was something more to see and do. I apologise if you feel my critic is harsh, I do appreciate everyone is working hard to ensure this place stays open but you do need to move with the times. I am
Sorry I can't give you 5 stars I just don't feel it is warranted.

7  Thank Bobbin22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David E, Custodian at Poldark Mine, responded to this reviewResponded July 10, 2017

You declared the " the mine tour is brilliant full of information and insight to life back in the day with tin mining" you went on to day "you have a museum which has some fascinating items" Two great comments.

You are right, with good reason, this is all we are offering, and all we intend to offer for the immediate future as we seek to consolidate our museum, historic mine tour and gardens. The museum is cramped but as the large notices all around say, we are working on that at the present time. This season the museum space is set to be doubled in its extent, but it may not be until September or October. We just don't have the funds.

We have moved with the times, and yet that seems to be your contradictory complaint!! You hark back to 1991 - this is long past, the mine has been bankrupted and closed down twice since then.

In fact we moved with the times over three years ago to rescue and re-open the mine, if we hadn't this place would be closed still and probably have become a housing estate with 100 or more Wendy houses squeezed in. That was the reality here at the end of 2013. Thankfully with the support of friends, volunteers and our small team of dedicated staff we re-opened in June 2014.

Fortunately you are in the minority on your rather blinkered views of this ancient place which we operate as a museum and historic mine tour - we do not make a profit but substantial (for us) losses in each of our three years so far - selecting cranky reviews to read does not give an overall true picture - by far most of our reviewers give great reports and many tell us how much their children enjoy and learn from their visits here. From what you say it seems that you have not read most of them but cherry-picked to bolster your adverse & contradictory comments.

We know our failings, we are doing what we can to deal with those and have come along in leaps and bounds in the last 3 years - but we cannot do all at once. We are a "Work in Progress" as most of our visitors are fully aware, many come to see us each year and are delighted to see the progress being made.

We have a great deal to do, for example all of the buildings in the grounds with few exceptions are in need of new roofs. Some even need new walls. The costs of such works are daunting. The work on the mine takes precedence and we are in the throes of a contract that is costing us £4,000 for works below ground on essential infrastructure to allow us to open to Level Four - these works are something that will not be seen by visitors. Several similar contracts have already been undertaken. We need to add a new pump, this will cost close to £8,000 with all of the fittings and work. That's a lot of tickets! We need to have new loos and facilities for the less abled, and the list continues.

Happily, for two years running, our team efforts have been awarded Certificates of Excellence by Trip Advisor - however the TA system also allows cranks & whingers to also have their say which is something we have to put up with and which we will fiercely challenge whenever needed as we all wish to save this place and to see it continue.

The playgrounds and amusements of the 1990s are long past - like the holiday camps and similar places - they all went for a reason! Visitors today have greater expectations. Amusements are no longer of interest to the wider audience and that is why there are very few such places around these days - if you want amusements, then this is not the right place for you.

Its true that we are a UNESCO World Heritage site as is St Michaels Mount, but comparing us with St Michaels Mount is clearly a silly & inappropriate comparison with our tiny but well filled museum, scheduled ancient monument, pretty gardens and interesting historic tin mine.

The National Trust is a vast organisation and the entry to St Michaels Mount gardens is subsidised by a membership of over 4.5 million people, this is backed up with an investment fund of one billion pounds. Legacies in 2016 were over 50 million. Strangely the Mount does not offer amusements or playgrounds..... so perhaps there is a lesson to be learned there after all?

We cannot aspire to such riches or resources as the NT but we are all great supporters of the NT and some of us here been members for many years - you should join... its merely £64.80 per annum and all places are free admission. National Trust members visiting us in the winter months have a special discount here too, volunteers at local places such as at Pool and Levant have a greater discount and free entry to the museum and gardens.

We are greatly indebted to the NT who donated our wonderful new shop fittings & bookcases which came from the Elgar Museum in Worcestershire.

The entry price for the gardens compares well with ours as we charge £6.25 for an adult but our price includes 20% VAT and St Michaels Mount does not charge VAT. A pensioner pays £5.25 - a local couple just £5.25 between them - a real bargain! However the semi-tropical gardens on the island are magnificent as is the setting, and the entry fee is considerably subsided by the membership revenue.

We have to meet very high operating costs to keep the mine and museum running. We do our best, but you seem to be doing us a disservice - a few more well chosen words would have been far better support had you wanted to really show your appreciation - you did say ..... "I appreciate everyone is working hard to ensure this place stays open" but is seems that this was rather lost in the end of your message.

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