The Tin Coast
The Tin Coast is a cultural landscape of World Heritage site status and a place defined by Cornish mining. This area of breathtaking rugged coastline is popular with walkers, artists and Poldark fans.
Here, where the wild Atlantic collides with Cornwall’s granite spine, we find an untameable landscape of high moors and resilient cliffs. A land of myths and legends, where giants and piskies share a stage with mermaids and halflings.
But it’s also home to a living working community who struggle to survive on the far-flung fringes of Europe. Here men have mined the rock for hundreds of years, driving tunnels deep underground, and under the sea, in search of tin and copper. They fish the unruly waters in small boats, before returning home to harbours, sometimes little more than a gap in the rocks.
A patchwork of green fields, enclosed by Bronze age walls, cover the narrow shelf between moor and sea. Scattered farmsteads, linked by the one linear road that runs from east to west, do their best to raise the hardy herds of cattle who learn early on where the shelter is from the sou’westerly winds.
But it is the wild, and sometimes bleak, landscape that has attracted artists, writers and other creative people to the area over the years. A landscape that has evidence of habitation going back 6000 years, a landscape well worth exploring.
St Just’s history is typical of the whole area, rich in mining, farming and fishing from remote times. Everywhere can be seen monuments of this, often amid the moorland, heather and gorse.
One of Cornwall’s most iconic places, and a location in BBC’s Poldark. The famous Crowns engine houses of Botallack Mine cling dramatically to the foot of the cliffs. Botallack is owned and looked after by the National Trust and is able to care and conserve areas like this thanks to their members, volunteers and donors.
The Lelant Mine and Beam Engine is an 1840s beam engine that powered the clifftop mine representing Cornish Mining and the World Heritage Site. In its dramatic clifftop setting in St Just in West Cornwall, Levant Mine and Beam Engine's surviving buildings and ruins as a Cornish Mining World Heritage Site offer a window on another world where men and women toiled to extract the riches of the earth from beneath crashing waves. The mine is looked after by the National Trust so that you can interact with living mining history.
Cape Cornwall is an iconic mine chimney stack dating back to 1894. The area was heavily mined in the 1800s for copper and tin and at the back of Priests Cove below, fenced off tunnels can still be seen leading deep underground and out to sea. Priests Cove at Cape Cornwall is one of those places that you can only find in Cornwall, a rocky beach with the remains of the Victorian mining industry all around and fishermen’s sheds overgrown by wild flowers. In the winter, the Atlantic storms batter the beach and surrounding cliffs.