One of the two most atmospheric mine tours.. in Europe
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School trips


A wonderful open air classroom to boot!!

Colleges and universities from the UK and abroad regularly bring groups of scholars and students to this UNESCO World Heritage Inscription location, to visit the famous subterranean mine and to marvel at the ingenuity of ancient man due to our very own Tin Henge a Unique Bronze Age Scheduled Ancient Monument of National & Global significance and of considerable educational value.

Some schools such as the Downs School at Malvern visit annually. Most recently in October 2019 University College London arrived with 45 geology students on the first of what is to be an annual visit and we arranged a lecture for them at the School of Mines Campus as part of their visit to us. During the summer a group from a USA university in Michigan were with us for a day - there have been many others.

The Twinning of Redruth with towns in Brittany, South America and the USA means that we have several visits each year from schools and colleges from both sides of the Atlantic. The 1771 bell above the mine entrance is the original Redruth Town Clock tower bell which summoned miners to work for hundreds of years. Its respectfully rung today every time a tour is taken below.

In autumn & winter months national and international students including postgraduates attached to the Camborne School of Mines, now part of Exeter University, undertake many days course work at the mine studying our unique geology and other mining related disciplines such as underground surveying. This arrangement means that the mine has been regularly used for the last few years as a Field Study Centre for the School of Mines. The campus being just 8 miles from the mine at Penryn near Falmouth which is 15 minutes by road offers easy transfers.

Each year we are delighted to welcome an interesting variety of educational institutions from Cornwall, Devon & other places who explore the mine, the former tin dressing floors and our unique Bronze Age Scheduled Ancient Monument. This place with its unique underground geology and a 4000 year history of tin working is a valuable resource as part of their curriculum work.

Comprehensive Information Packs & Risk Assessments for schools and colleges are available to download upon request.

In brief..... Wheal Roots, Hwel Roots or Huel Roots, is a very old tin mine with passageways on four levels [more remain unexplored] nowadays known as The Poldark Mine, it has a special place in the story of Cornish tin mining. An ancient location that is regarded as the veritable cradle of tinning in Cornwall, the mine is also a Regionally Important Geological & Geomorphological Site [RIGS] No K31 [there are only 56 such designations in the entire United Kingdom]. The old mine workings represent the roots of a lode. This cannot be seen anywhere else. The main stope shaft has most recently been identified as the location of a Carbona Mass and its upper level was once worked as a Goffen Shaft in ancient times - again most unusual.

The New Vestibule is a spacious display & educational waiting area ideal for schools & colleges with seating for 80 or more. In our own mineshackle style [a phrase we coined due to the ramshackle appearance of Cornish mine locations] this covered sheltered facility was added by the mine Lamp Room during the 2019-2020 winter closure and is now a much extended part of the museum, Sunday School & Chapel exhibitions. The educational panels about global Cornish migration are here together with historic narrow gauge mine railway waggons & other historic objects from Cornish mines.

The Wayside Folk Museum at Zennor closed in 2015 after 85 years. Sadly, much of their wonderful collection has been dispersed but thankfully to some good new homes. Many artefacts of a mining & Industrial heritage nature were presented to the Trevithick Society and are now on long term loan to the museum here. Gradually these fascinating objects are going back on public display at the Cornish National Heritage Collection. Mines local to Redruth, Camborne & Pool such as Dolcoath, South Crofty etc are included but Levant, Botallack, Geevor and others on the Atlantic coast are well represented too. A number of other objects were sold but a few of these have arrived here thanks to the generosity of Joe Gray of Shiver me Timbers Reclamation near Penzance who wanted to ensure that these historic items were saved.

Group Refreshments

A Cornish Miners lunch, tea or coffee or other trolley service refreshments can be provided [if required and booked in advance] for study groups and [for example] traditional high class hot Cornish Pastys [or filled rolls & baguettes] for an Al-fresco [all aperto] lunch in the gardens or in the New Vestibule - our carefully chosen bakers offer the finest Cornish Pasties, Saffron Cakes, a wide range of mouth-watering confectionery, several recipes having been handed down by the present owners father and grandfather. The family have been baking in Cornwall for nearly 90 years now! As might be expected of us we use real leaf tea and freshly roasted coffee beans for our hot drinks!

We also welcome those who bring their own packed lunches and we have a small tuck shop for chilled glass bottles of pop, ices, crisps and chocolate. There are many picnic tables in the summer and a covered area in wet weather.

We are usually able to arrange for special speakers or one of our retired veteran guides to meet and make presentations for your students in what is a lovely and historic location. We have ample covered areas in case of wet weather. A picnic on the lawns in our garden on a sunny day makes for a memorable experience for young people and those in senior education too.

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Address: Poldark Mine, Trenear, Wendron, Helston, Cornwall TR13 0ES UK      Call: 01326 573 173

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