Cornish mining world heritage
The coast path around Porthtowan is spectacular, with striking views of the abandoned engine houses that are a legacy of the area's rich tin and copper mining history. The iconic Towanroath engine house and St Agnes head were used as a setting for Poldark, and there is even a carefully restored engine house in the middle of Porthtowan, now an unusual and spectacular holiday home.
Safely marked and grated mineshafts litter the cliffs, and it is fun to drop a stone and count the seconds before hearing the faint splash or clunk at the bottom. You can even explore the bottom of a Wheal Coates mineshaft from a cave on Chapel Porth beach at low tide.
Tin and copper mining were central to Cornish life for centuries and the legacy of the Cornish miners can be seen all over the world as they migrated overseas during the later decline in the industry in Cornwall. The California gold rush, South African diamond mines, Australia's copper mining industry and New Zealand gold mining all owe their success in part to the expertise of the Cornish miners. They also took their culture with them - to this day, pasties are still popular in North America and you can see the remains of traditionally built Cornish houses at the USA's officially recognized Cornish heritage site. The Cornish miners even introduced football to Mexico!
To find out more, visit East Pool Mine or Heartlands Cornwall Cornish heritage site, just a short drive from Porthtowan. There is also lots of info at https://www.cornish-mining.org.uk/