Lead mining was an important industry in the area around Linares in Andalucia. It began in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. After 1849 it developed with rail transport and new investment to become one of the most important lead producing regions in the world. British mining entrepreneurs introduced miners and technology from Cornwall, especially Cornish steam engines to pump water and raise minerals. The distinctive beam-engine houses and chimneys are still part of the landscape.
An interpretation centre for the industry has been created in the centre of Linares in the old goods shed of the Madrid railway station. The museum has information panels, historical objects and models and provides information about visiting the mining heritage of the region by car or on walks along well-marked trails, some of them on old railway lines.
There are many mining sites with tall engine houses, shafts, spoil tips and processing plants in beautiful countryside.