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“Good visit”
Review of Poldark Mine

Poldark Mine
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Wendron
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 18, 2017

Weather looked a bit iffy, so thought a detour underground might be useful.
As previous people have commented, the musuem could do with some work, but the tour with Rob was very informative and he was very interactive with some of the young children who were on the tour.

1  Thank OlneyBucks
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 19, 2017

The weather has indeed been iffy! It was sunny today and our gardens looked wonderful but we had only a small number of visitors. Robert is a great guide who keeps us all smiling as do all of our other guides, each as their own style and a trip with each is a real insight into the mine's history from different perspectives. We like to include our smaller people too.

Many thanks indeed for the FIVE STAR review, we are delighted to hear that your visit was informative. We really do appreciate and need your kind words of support.

In June 2014 , three short years ago, there was no museum at all and tickets were sold in the garden by the mine entrance.

In effect we have created a museum from nothing when the mine was rescued in Summer 2014.

The nucleus of the Holman Museum remained here in another building which we could not use. We started again in the present building towards the end of the 2014 season.

Since then the museum has improved in leaps and bounds year by year. The building is under re-arrangement again this season, and is due to be greatly expanded (again) very soon. Lots of new artefacts arrived with the change of ownership and we have been 'gathering in the jewels' of Cornish history since then. Finds of long lost items were found dumped in a variety of places and have been brought into the museum and restored. Some await restoration and repair.

In the past twelve months we have added a great number of new exhibits, including taking down, moving and rebuilding two full size pipe organs from closed local Methodist chapels as part of our Methodist Connection Collection, which is an integral part of one story we endeavour to tell here, along with many others. Cornish Methodism was not too regimented but a simple Christian belief with love for each other and many orators were to be found, even if many of them could neither read nor write, they were able to expound the gospel message with considerable skill and enthusiasm. Many state schools in Cornwall were founded by Methodists. Some remain today such as the well known Truro College.

Not only do organ pipes contain a high percentage of tin, but Cornish mining and Methodism are inexorably linked together, many a miner was a preacher, services and hymn singing were often held in the mines or on the surface. The bal-maidens would sing Charles Wesley's hymns in the lanes on their way to and from work and at the tin dressing grounds such as those that existed here for hundreds of years.

Some of the main leaders of Methodism came from various walks of life such as the inventor of the safety fuze, William Beckford or the more humble charismatic Billy Bray who was a miner and preacher and managed to build three chapels, largely with no money and his own hands. Many other chapels were raised by the hands of the miners all over Cornwall. Organs were paid for with hard earned pennies, miners who had emigrated would send money to keep the organ funds or chapel funds going.

Many people are involved in the costly task of moving the organs and other chapel contents to the museum. Two more organs are due to go on display, one is here already in our stores area, another has to be moved from its sadly closed chapel just a few miles from here.
Collections of other historic items are in store in closed buildings in the grounds and will be added to the displays in due course. We are a bit cramped as a result.

In the last twelve months, no less than 14 new cabinets arrived, eight of these were delivered but a few months ago, presented to us by the National Museum of Wales, the other six were presented to us last year by the Tank Museum. We have yet to get all into their intended locations but they have been filled with some of our historic and often unique collection.

Patience is needed as we have very limited resources and have already done much in the last year - the museum was virtually doubled in size last December and we created a new entrance corridor, booking hall and a complete new sales area too. The new shop fittings were presented to us by the National Trust and came from the Elgar Museum. Old buildings were demolished to allow the new entrance to be created.

The new entrance hall was opened on the 3rd of December last - just in time for our Christmas Fayre and the arrival of Santa who abseiled down the bob wall of our beam engine to the delight of all children present.

The entrance is scheduled to be changed again as soon as it can be, and the closed off area of the building brought into use, this will virtually double the museum. The entrance hall will be extended to the end gable where new doors will be added.

There are a number of large notices around the museum advising that we are in the throes of increasing the display area.

Do come again and see our progress next year.

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Reviewed August 18, 2017

Very interesting underground mine tour, but don't go when raining. There were 32 on our tour and while the guide did his best it was too many. So go on a sunny day and you will enjoy it a lot more. The mine tour is very interesting, the guide was very knowledgeable. You need proper footwear but it is fairly easy going under foot. There is one section where you get a little wet but its pure water so it does not mark your clothes. As ever in a mine in can be a little cool so worth putting on a jumper or a coat.

Thank SueJim126
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 18, 2017

We are always busy when it rains. We try to limit our tours to no more than 33 persons but we need 30 on each tour to make the visits viable so that we can continue to be here at the lowest price we can manage. Its very hard even so to make ends meet. So going on a sunny day is great advice as the gardens are looking their best and can be enjoyed in glorious sunshine. Thanks for coming and we are glad you enjoyed our unique mine tour.

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Reviewed August 17, 2017

We visited the Poldark Mine a few years ago and had enjoyed it. There was a new member to our party so we decided a re-visit was due. The first observation was how much the entrance fee had increased. We had previously paid £10 per person and this had now gone up to a whopping £18.60. The second observation was that everything was looking a little tired and run down compared to last time.
I have since found out about the mines financial problems and how it had almost become a housing development. Bearing that in mind it is hard to resent paying extra just to keep the place out of developers hands. And the custodians are obviously working hard to make the mine a growing concern. So good luck to them!
The trip down the mine itself was led by Wayne, who gave us a potted history of the mine and mining in general, showed us the tools of the trade and told us what to expect when we got underground. Wayne is a great asset to the Poldark Mine. He obviously knows his subject well, is passionate about the mine and was a very entertaining host.
I've noticed that David E, Custodian at Poldark Mine is very defensive about any criticism directed towards the mine but there are a couple of things that I feel need addressing (sorry David!).
Firstly, we waited a ridiculous amount of time to pay our entrance fee. Yes, there was a queue but it should not have taken 20 minutes to reach the front of line containing 7 or 8 groups of people.
We then queued a second time for refreshments. Another long wait as the party in front of us consisted of 6 people all of whom had sandwiches made to order and the pleasant lady serving was soooo slow.There was a poor choice of food and it was expensive.
On eventually getting our food (and considerably lighter in the wallet) we chose to avoid the rain and eat our food under the bandstand. We found a table but there were only seats for two of us. So a couple of us ate our food standing up.
I feel that the owners of Poldark Mine are trying hard and the trip down the mine was genuinely one of the highlights of our holiday in Cornwall.
I really hope the owners succeed with their venture. But with a bit more attention to detail a four star rating would have been five.

2  Thank mrlotterby
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 18, 2017

Thank you for visiting again!! - it must have been some years ago as the prices have not be as low as you suggest for many years. Costs are very high for running a mine. We have an impressive set of bills to meet in order to maintain, insure and keep the mine pumped free of water, that's why there are no other mines open in Cornwall - its the costs of pumping, the Cornish countryside is littered with engine houses that once pumped the 3600 mines and many more thousands of shafts.

The mine closed down in 2013 and went bankrupt, not exactly 'financial difficulties' as you euphemistically put it!!

It was rescued by purchase from the receivers at a considerable cost, many thousands have been spent since that time in 2014.

You did not have to visit again, so the choice was yours and not ours - so why comment or moan about it. You knew our admission charges and those for the mine tour and did not have to come in. It seems to us that you are trying to damage our efforts and cause others not to attend.

The facts are that our entry ticket prices start at a mere £3.50 for a local person or £5.25 for a couple, its free for some children, the mine tour is reduced for members of some societies and entry to the grounds is free for those from the Trevithick Society, Friends of KEM, members of some other preservation groups. Discounted for our armed forces, members of the police, and even a £1 off for our wonderful nurses and local teachers. Our regular volunteers have free admission to the mine and grounds for their families.

Your resentment of our mine tour charges is noted, but the actual reality of costs is something which you clearly have not taken on board or perhaps you lack an understanding of modern day mine operating costs? The state take one fifth of all of our revenue, this is known as VAT - so for every £6 we take, £1 goes to the English Government.

Our admission price is in fact just £6.25 for an adult and there is a wide range of available concessions for the elders, older children and less abled. The guided mine tour takes 85 minutes and is unique - its costs just £12.35 (Including 20% VAT) above the admission price to the grounds, and our ticket prices include free car parking and the museum. Of that we are expected to pay HRH the Duke an admission fee into the mine and the council take £13k per annum off too.

Of course we are going to challenge frivolous comments and ridiculous whinging!! You even complain when we do so! Many of our visitors who read the moaners dialogue are delighted when we are provoked to rise to the occasion.

Our staff and volunteers all work hard here, some of our contractors donate part of their services to us and volunteer from time to time. We all object very much when the place we love and care for is debased and our efforts and dedication are spurned. Their generosity enables you to visit this place. Volunteers down the years have done much work here to make the mine of today, they deserve greater respect.

We would rather have some appreciation for what we and the team here have done to make your visit possible.

We will and do take on board what we can when we can afford to do so.

It's rather silly to moan about queues in wet weather when we are busy with visitors and doing our very best to welcome all here. In reality your wait was not that long at all.

You said you had to wait 20 minutes for us to deal with 7 to 8 groups of visitors - that's in fact less than three minutes per group, if there were three people in each group then its less than 1 minute per person!!! In reality we know that one group was 8 persons, so that's even less time per person!! Perhaps as much as 30 not very long seconds!!! Hardly much time to deal with our visitors in a polite and welcoming manner. You did not mention how we greeted you when your turn came, but that would not be a moan.

If we are busy, then there will be queues!!! Its very simple - why not visit on a nice sunny day instead. The queues for other visitor places are known to be far longer than ours!

You really are out of touch - our food is not expensive at all. If you want a nasty cheap tea bag floating in a cup or an instant luke warm 'coffee' in a paper container or a sandwich made some days earlier and chilled with a sell by date of several days - or a pink coloured sausage roll in gray pastry with a range of peculiar additives and perhaps 30% pork - then you were in the wrong place! We don't do that sort of thing here.

Our food is of necessity a limited range but all we do is top quality and really good value - just £2 for an individual pot of excellent Colombian coffee served with hot Jersey herd Cornish milk or cream or a vintage silver-plated pot of real leaf tea with a jug of hot water and organic local milk is £2.... a bargain. A really good ham roll with off the bone ham and a baker Tom large roll with proper Rodda's Cornish butter - all freshly made to order is £4.50.

A large slice of Baker Toms amazing carrot cake is at £3.50 with other items being rather less.

Our cream tea is also good value for money - a large fruited or plain Baker Tom scone with an individual sealed pot of Cornish made strawberry jam, a large dollop of Cornish Clotted Cream from Rodda's is a real bargain. Our locally farm made Pork or Steak & Ale Pies are £4.50 as are our Cornish Pasties. Penny Williams makes her tasty famous pies close to the mine in her farmhouse at Manaccan. We are not a supermarket with cheap mass produced food. Our refreshment buttery is meant as a service to our visitors and is not an egg & chips cafe. There will be queues when it rains but we cannot help that - but we do have extra staff when we can. Sandwiches made freshly to order take time to prepare properly. Tescos provide a much faster but rather older sandwich, these are far away from what is served here. Tescos will not tell you when or where their sandwich was made, ours are made here and served on the day they are made and we use fresh high quality ingredients, our tinned fish is only made on the day it is opened..... no so in Tesco! Don't come here to buy yesterday's {or the day before, or the day before that perhaps?} cheap ingredient sandwiches for you will be disappointed.

There are many tables on our verandah as well as on the bandstand and we are sorry for the rain. Had you been here in the rain 5 or more years ago, there would not have been a bandstand for we only built it 18 months ago.

All that said, you ended up saying that your visit to us was one of the highlights of your visit to Cornwall. We rather wish that was all you said and that the slight delay and queue for food would have been taken into your stride and understanding of what happens on a wet and windy day here in Cornwall. Wed do our very best to please, and we appreciate kind words, but we can do absolutely NOTHING about the weather and the effect it has on this wonderful place.

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Reviewed August 16, 2017 via mobile

When I first arrived I felt a little disappointed as the attractions that were once at the mine are no longer there nor replaced with new ones e.g wooden toy shop and I think glass blowing or sand filling not sure. As a result I felt the price was a bit steep.

However, the tour down the mine was really enjoyable and David the guide was funny, knowledgeable and kept our interest! It's clear that there is much passion for keeping the Mine going and it felt good then to pay entry to contribute to that.

There was a few other things to see such as the museum.

I think we were there for about 2 hours which included an hour mine tour and a coffee in the cafe.

It will be nice to see the site develop with investment and we'd definitely visit again!

2  Thank LadyinTruro
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 18, 2017

It was good to note that you had an enjoyable time at the mine, thank you for your words of support. We are sorry that you only rated the mine tour with three stars as we believe its worth far more than that. A great investment was made to save the mine from being sold to developers. We only intend to develop the historic grounds, mine and museum as an educational heritage project, so the shops and amusements are gone forever in a complete change of direction.

The former operator went into receivership partly due to the distractions and caused in part by the other things that were being done here along with the run down of the museum collection.

We have reversed that and the museum collection has been greatly expanded and continues to do so.

We have had to do a great deal of work in the mine to keep it maintained safe and insured. This work continues on a daily basis all year round.

The project is run with the help of a small staff and a tiny team of volunteers and friends. Their help keeps the ticket costs as low as we dare. The flow of ticket and admission to the musuem revenue is how we are funded. We have no support from any other source at present.

We sell just a few wooden things in the mine's rock & book shop, but as we expand and improve, more will be added to the range with the help of Darren. This was the chap who used to run the wooden toy shop you mention before he went on to other things over five years ago. We keep in touch and he has donated a number of items to the museum as he is a great supporter of the restoration project.

The cost of the over-an-hour long guided mine tour is just £12.35 above the entry price of £6.25 for the gardens and the museum. The price is set at that level due to the extraordinary costs of running and pumping a Cornish mine. Its good value for money and so we continue to struggle just to break even. The three month high season is but three out of 12 and seven of those are very lean months, so we have to do all we can in the 5 months of our season.

Please continue to support us, but perhaps review your low star rating for our FIVE star mine tour.

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Reviewed August 11, 2017 via mobile

Make sure you go early as the tours get booked up very quickly. Great tour Wayne fantastically interesting and brought the conditions of the mines to life.

Thank Emily698
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 19, 2017

Many thanks indeed for the FIVE STARS - just what we need to encourage our team of volunteers and staff. Wayne is very popular with our visitors and does most of our tours every week as he is here for four full days. He has a great passion for the mine and brings a great joy to his groups of explorers.

We hope to welcome you here again next season. Thanks for your helpful support.

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