Cornish Mining World Heritage

passengers enjoy spectacular geology aboard Atlantic Diver along tin mined St AgnesWheal Martyn largest Water wheel in CornwallCornwall  is famous today for its amazingly beautiful and rugged coastline, crystal clear oceans full of spectacular marine wildlife, quaint cornish cottage villages...BUT what about our heritage..what made Cornwall such a prosperous and vibrant county in years gone by?...this is what Chris and I set out to dicover when Cornish Mining World Heritage Site asked us to join them on a familiarisation day....and we thought hmmm our passengers might like to experience this too, particuarly as many of the  CMWH sites are either free to visit or have a modest entrance fee and are packed full of interesting information , retaining much of the World's history. A good reason to visit Cornwall and very attractive activity in these financially challenging times, plus good to do after a Newquay Sea Safari or Newquay Fishing Trip ,so off we went to Wheal Martyn ( an English China Clay Mine near St Austell) and Charlestown, to test it out for you guys!Winklife is so hard for us Crew!!!

 

Wheal Martyn and local Cornish Mining World Heritage friendly businesses

"The Dries"....huge Cornish type ovens that dried the Clay 

Huge Water Wheels pumped the water and English China Clay sediment  out of the pits and along the launders for further processing. Wheal Martyn has the largest working Water Wheel in Cornwall. We  imagined the energy and noise as we stood there ,of the water and clay whooshing and crashing along route. The surrounding wooded area is strangely rather beautiful considering this was an industrialised area.

Massive Cornish type ovens called "Dries" were permanently lit to dry out the water logged English China Clay. It was an awesome sight to see how vast this oven was.

After the sediment had been processed and fine English China Clay dried out ,the heavy loads were carried by horse and cart to the local harbour...Charlestown . So off to Charlestown for us to follow the journey along and of course time for  tea and chocolate  cake .Water Wheels pumping water from bottom of Pit

Launders diverting rivers of English China Clay 

This next bit is for those of you who caught plenty of Mackerel on our Newquay fishing trips ...The vast shoals of Herrings which were caught in the good old days by local Fishermen were taken to huge Herring Presses and weighted down in circular barrels, then huge weights were applied to press the fish ready for packing and transport. The oil that came out ran down the grooves in this building and was then collected in vats and sold as lighting oil......hmmm imagine the smell you came home to when you lit ee lamp in Yer 'ome cottage like....'ansome...fishy tastic!Herring oil outlets

Square Riggers at Charlestown

Charlestown was where the English China Clay was transported by ships to all parts of the world. It was unique because of the  lock gate which was built to retain the water and keep the ships afloat which in turn allowed for the use of these huge Square Riggers. Today Charlestown is the scene for many film sets. It also has  the Charlestown Shipwreck Museum which is again a very intersting visit...especially for those intersted in diving and wreckin! We had a superb day..a proper outing and learned all about our Cornish Heritage . Look out for the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site button on our website...click onto it to learn more about it and use the interactive map to plot your route....hope you enjoy.

Inspired by our day ,we will be running a few special events of Marine Wildlife combined with Cornish Mining Heritage Boat trips on Atlantic Diver this summer...viewing the St Agnes Tin Mines from the sea and taking in the spectacular site of the geology and iconic mining engine houses perched on rugged exposed Cornish Cliff tops . Looking forward to it myself..Watch this website for event posting.

 P.S cake was indeed 'ansome!!!