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What to do in Cornwall
Every tourist has heard about the beautiful North Coast of Cornwall with places like Tintagel (famous for King Arthur’s castle), Port Isaac (TV series "Doc Martin") or Padstow (Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth). On the opposite coast you can find the little fishing harbours of Looe, Polperro or Fowey.
Mostly forgotten though is the Cornish mining heritage with tin mines in the West near Camborne and Redruth. In East Cornwall around Caradon are situated the former copper mines. These two metals are needed to produce bronze. This alloy made Cornwall one of the biggest trading nations during the Bronze Age (2500 – 800BC).
Settlements from this time with their standing stone circles are found all over Cornwall such as The Hurlers near the Cheesewring at Minions. In these settlements archaeologists have discovered proof of early trading with countries in the Mediterranean region like Greece and the Roman Empire. For example they found fragments of wine and oil amphoras.
The mining activities carried on through medieval times right up to the last century. The last Cornish tin mine in production at South Crofty closed in 1998.
If you want to go into a mine, Geevor Mine was acquired by Cornwall County Council as a Heritage Museum which is now run by Pendeen Community Heritage. Also well worth a visit is Poldark Mine (Wheal Roots at Wendron), the interior of which was used in the new BBC adaptation of “Poldark”. Wheal Owles down in the west of Cornwall was used for filming the exteriors of Ross Poldark's "Wheal Leisure" mine.
Existing ruins of old engine houses worth exploring are Wheel Peevor near Redruth, and the picturesque Towanroath Shaft at Wheal Coates, St Agnes, which is situated right on the cliff edge or various different copper mines in and around Minions.
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