Wendron Mining District

Wendron Mining District

Tranquil rural area famed for tin-streaming

In the heart of beautiful countryside surrounded by open moorland and gushing streams, Wendron is one of the smallest Areas in the Site – although its rich tin deposits meant it once had enough inhabitants to rival the combined population of Redruth and Camborne. This demand led to the creation of a large number of mineworkers’ smallholdings around Carnmenellis, which are among the best-preserved in the entire Site. Here you can see pretty granite cottages and tiny fields framed by dozens of low walls made from cob and moorland granite respectively.

Wendron has one of the longest recorded histories of tin working in all of Cornwall. Records show that the district’s rich alluvial deposits were worked by tin-streamers from before the 1500s. These early tin works led to the discovery of mineral lodes, which were exploited through both shallow and deep-shaft mining from the 17th century onwards. The small number of surviving engine houses are important landmarks – particularly those at Wheal Ann, Trumpet Consols and Wheal Ennis.

At Poldark Mine, visitors are able to venture underground into Wheal Roots – an 18th century tin mine – to learn about Cornish mining history and find out what conditions were really like for Cornish mine workers.

Highlights

• Venturing down into Wheal Roots – the 18th century tin mine at Poldark – to learn about Cornish mining history and find out what conditions were actually like for Cornish mine workers

• Also, viewing the re-sited Greensplat steam beam engine, believed to have been the last to pump commercially in Cornwall

• Exploring Porkellis Moor, owned by the National Trust– where nature has reclaimed the ancient mining landscape

• Walking the footpaths around Carnmenellis (in the north of the Area) and seeing the surviving mine workers’ smallholdings – probably the best examples in the whole Site. (Footpaths ring Carnmenellis but do not connect with the summit of the hill)