Hidden in the woodland surrounding the Wheal Martyn site sits the engine house belonging to the former Gomm China Clay Works. 

Little information remains about this site, being one of the least successful of the Martyn Brothers ventures. They got their lease from the Mount Edgecombe Estate in 1878. The Gomm China Clay pit opened in the same year. 

Work stopped work in the 1920’s with the pit closure, which was flooded in 1934. The area is now incorporated in the Wheal Martyn Museum site and partly by Imery’s China Clay Works. 

There are several features from the original mine still hanging around, although many have been incorporated into the Wheal Martyn cafe and shop. The front entrance of the museum was once the mines workshops, kin pan, linhay, settling tanks, furnace room and its chimney still stands. The only engine house was built in 1878 for a 22 or 24″ rotative engine which would have pumped slurry. Its former boiler house and chimney haven’t survived. Closer to the museum is the scant remains of a whim engine; this would have been a wooden building with a galvanised roof, with only the machinery scattered around the site remaining today. 

Access is available through the Wheal Martyn Museum site, which requires the purchase of a ticket to enter. Both the engine house and the whim remains are easy to spot from the woodland path. 

There is free parking available on the Wheal Martyn site. 

Luxton, J. (2020) Wheal Martyn. Available at: https://www.jhluxton.com/The-35mm-Film-Archive/China-Clay-Industry/Wheal-Martyn/.

Nance, D., Brown, K. and Clarke, T. (2019) A Complete Guide to the Engine Houses of Mid-Cornwall. Lydney: Lightmoor Press.

Smith, J. (1999) Wheal Martyn, Carthew and Archaeological Assessment. Truro. Available at: http://map.cornwall.gov.uk/reports_event_record/1999/1999R072.pdf (Accessed: 21 December 2019).

Wheal Martyn (2019) The History of Cornwall’s China Clay Heritage. Available at: https://www.wheal-martyn.com/about-us/our-history/ (Accessed: 20 December 2019).

Wheal Martyn (no date) ‘Signs at Wheal Martyn’.

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