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Wheal Coates, St Agnes

4.9
#3 of 11 in Things to do in St Agnes
Historic Site Tourist Spot
Wheal Coates is a former tin mine situated on the north coast of Cornwall, England, UK, on the cliff tops between Porthtowan and St Agnes. It is preserved and maintained by the National Trust.‘Wheal’ is Cornish for ‘place of work’, not 'mine' as is often stated. The term for 'mine' is 'bal', as in 'bal maidens', the women who worked on the surface. The mine opened in 1802 and was worked until its closure in 1889. It came into full production in 1815. The surviving buildings date from the 1870s when deep underground mining began at the site and were stabilised and preserved in 1986.There are three engine houses that formerly housed Cornish engines. Towanroath Pumping Engine House (1872) was used to pump water from the adjacent 600 ft Towanroath shaft. Whim Engine House was added in 1880 to crush ore for processing. A calciner dating from 1910–1913 roasted the tin to remove impurities such as arsenic.In 1881 138 people were employed at the site to mine a seam of tin just below sea level but this and a subsequent period of operation from 1911-1913 were not very successful because tin production was sporadic.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
133 reviews
Google
5.0
TripAdvisor
  • On the right day this is well worth a two hour visit. Stunning old buildings and fabulous views of the sea  more »
  • Absolutely stunning views. Part of one of our favourite walks which also takes in St Agnes beacon Many visits over several years does not reduce its impact.  more »
  • This is a great alternative walk with your dog when they are not allowed on the beach at all in the Summer months. Great views of the coast and beach to the mine and back which is a very impressive la...  more »
Google
  • Outstanding location with wonderful views out to sea and across the bay. The site is in two parts, with a couple of engine houses a short walk from the National Trust car park, and another, the Towanroath engine house a walk down a path to its wild and windswept location nearer to the sea. Fascinating for history lovers.
  • Amazing mine in a stunning location. Some super photos to be taken here. We walked along the cliff path which had some amazing views - recommended place to visit.
  • Stunning view with the backdrop of the Cornish coastline. Checked off my bucket list of places to see and it was worth the wait. It was so foggy when we set off from St. Agnes head that we only saw the engine house when we were about 30 feet from it but by the time we came back the sun had come out especially for me to see the view. Breathtaking and nice that you can just wander around it all and explore with nothing cordoned off.
  • Beautiful old engine house that really brings home the wonder of Cornish history. Fascinating to look at, with spectacular views of Chapel Porth beach and the sea. Breathtaking.
  • Outstanding natural beauty doesn't do this justice.. such a fantastic location, such history and with the sea as a backdrop, it's just awesome. The car-park is about 200 meters from the Engine houses, and the path is suitable for wheelchair/mobility scooter. Once you get to the Engine House though the path down to Wheal Coates is somewhat steep and not suitable for wheelchairs etc.. but you can see it from the top.. It's well worth seeing.

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