Wheal Coates Tin Mine, Chapel Porth

The Wheal Coates Tin Mine at Chapel Porth, near St Agnes, is perched on the clifftop to the North/East of the Chapel Porth car park and beach.

This mine reaches all the way down to the beach, with a small stream running out of it as the water makes its way to the sea. From the top of the cliff, at the mine, when the tide is in, you can hear the sea crashing against the rocks through a grate on the floor of the ruined Towanroath engine house.

Wheal Coates Mine - the Towanroath Shaft Pumping Engine House

Wheal Coates Mine – the Towanroath Shaft Pumping Engine House

Wheal Coates Mine is one of the most famous industrial buildings in Cornwall and is owned by the National Trust. It’s easy to reach Wheal Coates as the coastal footpath goes right alongside it.

The Wheal Coates tin mine was worked from 1815-1914, producing 335 tons Copper and 717 tons of Tin. The Towanroath shaft pumped water from the 600 feet deep Towanroath Shaft of the mine, that’s now a grate on the floor of the building. Wheal Coates was built to mine a seam of metal that lies just under the sea. The mine fell into disuse as it didn’t yield enough tin to be profitable.

Wheal Coates Cave

From the beach, you can access the mine shaft at low tide as there’s a large cave at the far end of Chapel Porth beach. Once inside, if you look up, you can see all the old tree trunks that are supporting the mine above – there are also occasionally cavers inside the cave climbing up through the mine.

Wheal Coates Cave, Chapel Porth

Wheal Coates Cave, Chapel Porth

Wheal Coates Ghosts

Wheal Coates Mine is supposed to be haunted by the ghosts of the many miners who died there while working in dangerous conditions, there is no single ghost.

The word ‘Wheal’ is Cornish for ‘a place of work’, not just limited to mines. Although the Wheal Coates mine was worked for centuries, the current ruins date from 1870. Approximately 140 years ago, nearly 140 people were employed at this one mine.  Whole families, generations, whole streets of people.

Visiting Wheal Coates

There’s plenty of parking in the car park directly off the main road. Postcode for satnav purposes TR5 0NT.

remwbay wheal coates agnes

Images © Towanroath, Tony Atkin, cave, Brian

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