Wheal Coates, situated just up the coast path from Chapel Porth, is probably one of the more famous mines in Cornwall, and definitely one of the most photographed. Positioned beautifully on the edge of the cliff, surrounded in dramatic scenery, this is surprising.
First recorded in 1692, it was mined in the form of workings in the cliff and surrounding area. Wheal Coates officially opened in 1802, remaining a fairly unsuccessful mine for its entire life. It was sold in 1844 and reopened in 1872. During the 1872 reopening is when the stamps and whim engine were built, however closed again in 1889. The mine was briefly reworked between 1910-1914 before coming under the care of the National Trust in the 70’s and 80’s.
Towanroath pumping engine house, a 36″ engine that pumped out of Towanroath shaft. Built in 1872, it was consolidated by the National Trust in 1973.
The concrete footings for the horizontal pumping engine are still present and were built during the last reworking between 1910-1914.
The prominent feature at the top of the cliff is the 24″ dual whim and stamps that sits right on top of the cliff. This was built in 1872 and drove 32 heads of stamps as well as winding from Towanroath shaft below. The engine stopped working in 1887, although it was modified during the 1910-1914 reworking. It was consolidated in 1986.
There are two newer whims on the site, one an 18″ built in 1880, with a horizontal whim just behind erected in 1910. Nearby are the remains of the dressing floor and a gas engine from its last reworking.
The whole site is free to access.