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.Use our St Agnes itinerary builder to add Wheal Coates and other attractions to your St Agnes vacation plans.
Create a full St Agnes itinerary
Unable to display map at this time. Please try again later.
Plan your trip to St Agnes
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Plans in St Agnes by other users
22 days in England BY A USER FROM CANADA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in St Agnes BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in Cornwall BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced
Interesting place with some good information. Nice that it is left for kids to explore and adults to judge for themselves what is safe for their children. more »
We went to be with a friend for his birthday. But experienced far more . We walked the cliff paths, saw porpoises, had a great stay at the Driftwood Spars. The room was very comfortable with a proper ... more »
This is one of my favourite sections of the South West coast path due to the rugged cliffs and beautiful Engine Houses, creating a beautiful backdrop at sunset! more »
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.
We walked to Wheal Coates along the coastal path from Trevaunance Cove a walk of 2-2 1/2 miles and then we walked on to Porthtowan another 2-2 1/2 miles. It's a beautiful walk and Wheal Coates is the perfect place to stop for a breather. All that remains of this once exposed workplace is the brutal majesty of the buildings. Stabilised to ensure they stand in testament to the men who worked the mines many hundreds of metres below. It's hard to imagine what it must have been like especially when we look on them on a warm bright summers day not a cold winters eve with a storm laying waves against the rocks below. I think it is a very worthwhile trip to see Wheal Coates and it doesn't matter if you walk like we did or if you drive, there is no entry fee and you will struggle to find a better backdrop in all Cornwall.
Best things to do in St Agnes
Things to do around St Agnes
Are you the owner of this business?Click here for promotion tips.