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“Interesting but over-priced”
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 August 9, 2017

Would recommend pre-booking at peak times as people were being turned away! Tour guide was very interesting and knowledgeable. Group a little big meaning we had to stand down tunnels to be spoken to making it more difficult to see and hear specifics. The rest of the site looks very run down and makes it seem more unprofessional. Very pricey at 18.60 per adult! Cafe needs some work...!

2  Thank hannahbodily
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 August 10, 2017

We are not overpriced! We offer a very fair price for a 65 minute underground guided tour, a museum filled with many historic & unique items, and our lovely gardens - and it includes FREE parking - (its £6 a car at Lands End), admission there is at least £12 a head and there is no underground mine tour! You said it was good value for money.

We don't have a cafe! We do have have a new refreshment counter, tea room & buttery. We are renowned for the high quality of our leaf tea - served in silver plated teapots, and freshly made cafetieres of Colombian coffee.

We are limited to around 35 persons on a tour, this mine is 18th century and tin mines are composed of long galleries and passageways and that's why we have a room where questions and answers can be voiced. We also stop at the widest places in the mine passageways so that we can explain to our visitors - we have to try to make ends meet and its not easy with such small groups and the mining restrictions we face.

We too recommend pre-booking - its on our facebook pages and in much of our advertising. On wet days we get very busy as there is nothing much to do in Cornwall on a wet day! Its pretty obvious that in a mine there are certain limitations - we can accept around 300 visitors a day.

The historic & ancient mine is made up of a series of long passageways on several levels, that is why we have a mine cinema so that we can address the group and answer any question.

Had you read our several notices, you would be aware that we are in the midst of a restoration project - we have no outside funding and are doing all we can to save this wonderful place. Many of our buildings are out of use, some are due to be removed, we do not have the funds to do this all in one fell swoop. Its a gradual process.

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Reviewed August 3, 2017 via mobile

I didn't know what to expect with all the hype Fromm the BBC tv series, but I was not disappointed, our guide was very friendly and funny and shared lots of interesting facts about the mines and also others in Cornwall. A great day out. It can be difficult if you have any difficulty with walking and steps but with the help of my career I was able to complete. Will definitely come again for the full tour when it's open.

Thank Lisa d
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 August 4, 2017

Great to know how much you enjoyed your visit and managed the steps with your carer. We try to avoid the TV hype - but as all of the filming of the underground scenes was done in the mine in 1977 and for the present series since 2014, it is part of the mine & tin dressing floors very long history - but not what we are all about by any means!

The mine was named Poldark Mine by the author Winston Graham who launched his very last book here and some of his earlier ones too. We speak of this history but we do not really make a great deal about is as some other places seem to do.

Tin working commenced here about 4000 years ago, the testament to this being our unique Bronze-Age Scheduled Ancient Monument of which we are immensely proud. The mine itself, known originally as Huel Roots, was researched by the late historian Hamilton Jenkin and although there is clear evidence of pre-Roman origins it was not intensively mined until the beginning of the 1700s. It had closed by 1800 and the tin was largely worked out, the wide veins of ore bearing tourmaline or blue peach can be seen in the workings in several places. This is the era we speak of to our underground explorers as we conduct them through the three levels that are the 18th century parts of the workings, the earlier areas being inaccessible for visitors.

Mechanical tin processing commenced here in the late 1200s under the Cistercian Monks from St Mary's Abbey at Rewley Oxford who were given the lands by the Earl of Cornwall with more land given by the Black Prince in the 1300s. The monks constructed the waterways and the original tin mill waterwheels. Tin working using water power carried on till around the end of the 1860s under various changes of tenants and owners due in part to the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539. A lease renewal was recorded in the Duchy Of Cornwall rolls as early as 1493 - the first such written record of a water worked tin mill in the world.

We hope to welcome you here again very soon indeed, We will be posting information on these pages and our web site as to when the deep mine on 4 Level will open. Thanks again from all of us here.

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Reviewed July 30, 2017

I remember coming here on a family trip when I was 5 years old and it was an adventure going through all the tunnels - today I revisited the mine with my partner, aged 34 and again really enjoyed it. Our tour guide was excellent - full of interesting facts and a great sense of humour. It was very atmospheric and in August apparently they will open up a deep mine experience. We're going to come back a third time when we have children of our own. Really great and much more fun than you might expect.

2  Thank Elena 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 August 4, 2017

To have FIVE STARS from a returning visitor is praise indeed. Many thanks to you for this from all of us here. We are glad that you had a great time and some fun too, our guides try to ensure that we treat the history of the people who created this mine out of the hard rock with great respect but in a pleasant way with a bit of banter included. Their lives were often horrendous, without sufficient food and a very basic lifestyle.

Our museum collection has many things made of tin and copper, from bronze age weapons & tools to pewter table ware, from chapel organs paid for by the hard earned pennies of the miners, to mobile telephones of today. It also sets out to tell the story of Cornish people from early times and in particular from the 18th century when the ministry of the two Wesley brothers had such a positive and profound effect on the lives of the miners and their families.

We look forward to seeing you again with your planned family... but do come before if you can. Very best wishes from us all and again, please accept our grateful thanks.

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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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