Wheal Emily is a mine in the cliffs opposite Strap Rocks on Gwithian beach, with next to no remains left. Along with the minimal surface remains, there’s bugger all information about the mine full stop.
I can’t find any data about when the mine officially opened, but considering the amount of tin working going on in the area, particularly on the beach, it was probably around for a while in some form. The mine was reopened in 1857, but closed for finally in 1860.


This is the only prominent shaft in the area (and the only one mentioned in books). Named Engine shaft, it was worked by a 26-inch engine and reached the 42 fathom level (76.8m). Engine shaft was driven off in several different directions on a number of levels, but apart from initial copper and lead finds, the lodes were pretty poor.


The mine was also worked by a 30-foot diameter water wheel.


Remains of some pretty funky rails poking out of the cliff, complete with a truck buried under the sand.


Cliff falls have given a glimpse of a tunnel cut into the rock; this goes right through to the other side, as you can see in the photo below.


Some outputs were recorded in 1859, including 25 tons of blende, 75 tons of lead and 169 tons of copper. Between April 1859 and January 1860, the mine made just over £358, but owed over £2,796 to various people.


Most of the remains can be seen all along the beach, and the capped shaft is parked right behind one of the lifeguard huts. I don’t advocate going in any of  the tunnels though, the sandy ‘cliffs’ are well…sand.



Dines, H. G. (1956) The metalliferous mining regions of south-west England. British Geological Survey.

Hamilton-Jenkin, A. K. (1963) Mines and Miners of Cornwall V Hayle, Gwinear & Gwithian. Truro: Truro Bookshop.

Thomas, M. (2015) Wheal Emily – Gwithian. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D462poZ3KDU (Accessed: 19 January 2018).

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