“Heartlands” has transformed the mining heritage in the county of Cornwall into a huge "cultural playground". At its epicentre stand the winding gear and engine house above the Robinson’s Shaft. Monuments to early industrialisation, (including a Cornish pumping engine and a gigantic boiler), tell visitors about the history of metal mining in the region. On a 270° film screen visitors travel back to a time when Cornwall not only exported the then precious tin, but also technology and highly qualified miners to all four corners of the world. In the form of a sound collage former pit workers describe the backbreaking labour in the galleries. They also tell of the traditional rituals that every new miner had to endure - a sort of Equator baptism underground. The interactive adventure world goes hand-in-hand with extensive outside attractions that have turned the old mining complex into a huge recreational area. A particularly fine idea was to throw a spotlight on the emigration of Cornish miners by means of a botanical garden containing plants from abroad. Cornwall’s largest adventure playground and a cafe-restaurant in an old carpenter’s workshop complete the stimulating experience.
Even the Romans knew that Cornwall was rich in tin. The importance of the coveted metal for the age of industrialisation is reflected in Cornish mining history that goes back almost 400 years. The Heartlands industrial monument draws on this history by embedding the mining buildings at the Robinson’s Pit into a huge country park.
The mining era in the south-west of the United Kingdom finally came to an end in 1998, leaving behind many disused industrial sites. In 2006 the mining region of Cornwall and West Devon was inscribed onto the UNESCO list of cultural World Heritage Sites. Subsequently, the communities of Camborne and Redruth, where Heartlands is located, began to work on a long held ambition to regenerate the abandoned industrial sites around the Robinson’s Pit. With the aid of official funding and help from the European Union a 19 hectare country park was constructed within the space of six years, centred around a modern museum located in a large recreational area. Here local residents and visitors alike can enjoy a multimedia, hands-on industrial exhibition on a site where once the horizon was dominated by waste tips, chimney stacks and machines, but which now offers both recreational pleasures and the joys of nature. The link between the industrial past and a huge park can be best experienced in the local botanical garden. Like the pit buildings and the steam engines this also celebrates Cornish pioneering spirit; not in the shape of steam engines and engineering achievements that were copied all over the globe, but rather in the form of a botanical trip round the world. Just as people from Cornwall once exported their culture, their mining knowledge and their knowledge of technology to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and America, indigenous plants that emigrants successfully replanted in foreign lands can now be seen growing in the garden. Likewise visitors can view the exotic plants which the miners brought back home with them.
Since March 2012 visitors to Cornwall’s Heartlands can stroll through the region’s fascinating industrial history at their ease.
|Recommended duration of visit:||3 Hours|
|Duration of a guided Tour:||45 Minutes|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||Available|
|Infrastructure for Children:|
|Visitor centre on site:||yes|
|Gift and book shop on Site:||yes|