Botallack Mine, St Just

Botallack Mine, St Just

Part of the Tin Coast and a World Heritage Site, this picturesque, jaw-dropping landscape may have been made famous most recently by the BBC’s adaptation of Poldark but more importantly it transformed the lives of many Cornishmen with its industrial past.

Seemingly clinging on to the surrounding cliffs, the dramatic setting for Botallack lies close to St Just in the far west of Cornwall. The Crowns are probably the most photographed, being so perilously situated over the water, but its Instagram-friendly setting belies its historic importance.

Back at the height of industry, this mine produced 14,500 tonnes of tin, 20,000 of copper ore and 1,500 tonnes of refined arsenic over the time it was in use and reached 570 meters underground and nearly half a mile out to sea.

It’s hard to imagine now, being such a peaceful spot, how the workers put themselves in danger daily using gunpowder, chisels and hammers to excavate the much-priced resources. The noise would have been constant and at its busiest continued day and night.

The mine finally closed in 1895 due to rapidly falling copper and tin prices and was one of the last of the 100 or so engine houses in the St Just area and others throughout Cornwall to close.

Today, Botallack is a pretty spot owned and looked after by the National Trust. Visit the count house and workshop to find out more about the mining history of the area, then take to the paths that wind down to The Crowns to see the engine house and the majestic views.

The setting and scenery around here have to be some of the best in Cornwall, and it’s clear to see why the BBC used Botallack for their recent (and original) adaptation of Poldark.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in West Cornwall here.

St Just, Penzance TR19 7QQ | 01736 786 004 |

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