Geevor Tin Mine was Cornwall
Working until 1990 Geevor Tin Mine was one of Cornwall's largest tin mines, employing up to 400 people, with workings extending far out under the sea, reaching a depth of 350 fathoms. Now managed as a Heritage Centre and Museum- the county's largest preserved mining site. Set amidst the magnificent coastal scenery of Cornwall's Atlantic coast. Here you can see the whole process of mining and extracting tin
Mine Heritage Centre and Museum
Surface Plant Take a tour of the Mill, where rock won from deep underground, was washed, crushed , ground separated and refined into once very valuable tin concentrate. See the 40 remaining shaking tables, some over 70 years old with the dark upper band of tin concentrate clearly visible. Enter the winding house with the electric winches preserved much as they were when last used 10 years ago.
Tin Mine Cornwall Museum
Containing a fascinating display of exhibits, from mineral samples, to archive photographs, to working models of steam and air stamps-used to crush the ore, to early felt miners helmets, to miners dips, (candles to you and I), to smelter house marks. Watch the film show.
Underground Cornish Mine Tour
You can take an underground tour of Wheal Mexico, dating from late 18th or early 19th century, records suggesting worked from 1824 to 1917, and only rediscovered in 1990. With a guide who brings to life the skill and hard lives of Cornish miners.
Indeed our guide was a former miner with first hand experience of working underground. Did you know that in the early 19th century boys as young as 8 worked underground. Everyone, including the women and girls on the surface would work six days a week, 10 hours a day. Miners had to buy their own tools, candles, and explosive (note dynamite was not invented until 1867). Miners and their families lived in small cottages often rented from the mining company,
Climbing hundreds of feet up and down ladders to reach the work face. Often having to walk several miles to and from work, in clothes wet with sweat from hours of underground toil. Diseases such as bronchitis, consumption and rheumatism were rife. Air was 'bad'-polluted by dust and fumes from detonated explosives. A miner was often no longer fit enough to work underground beyond the age of 40. A far cry from the romantic view portrayed in so many tourist brochures.
The adits we explored were in places only 5 foot high, and barely wide enough for two people to pass. In several places the reddish coloured vein of tin ore could clearly be seen illuminated by our guide's miners lamp. After the underground tour, put your hard hat to one side and enjoy a refreshing cup of tea in the cafe (open from Easter to the end of October). "Good home made food and one of the best views in Cornwall."
For those of you particularly interested in Cornwall's mining heritage the shop has a wide range of mining books as well as tin and pewter jewellery and giftware.
Remember Geevor is an industrial site, some of the ground is steep and uneven. Bring stout sturdy sensible footwear; not flip flops or high heels. You will have to wear a hard hat (supplied) when outside, but that is all part of the experience. The adit of Wheal Mexico Mine is both narrow and low so watch your head
Around and about the Cornish Coast.
Why not explore the surrounding area, with its stunning Cornwall Coast scenery, and rich mining history?
Warning: mine shafts, adits and workings, are often unmarked and unfenced; the buildings themselves in a poor state of repair. For your own safety keep to marked paths, do not enter buildings walk over spoil tips, or enter old mine workings. Take care not to place yourself or others at any risk. Enjoy your walk.