Wheal Martyn

The view from the visitors platform down into the 100 metre deep opencast mine in St Austell in the south west of England reveals modern machinery doing work which was once performed almost exclusively by people. From the middle of the 18th century onwards, and usually under harsh conditions, generations of families dugout white clay here for making porcelain and paper. Wheal Martyn country theme park covers around 10 hectares and its museum throws a spotlight on how the work was once done. It contains Cornwall’s largest working water wheel (it is still working!), along with an old pumping station for pumping out water from the extensive moorland in the region. Visitors can also admire a completely preserved Victorian porcelain factory including machinery, furnaces and steam locomotives. An interactive visitor centre brings back to life the everyday work of men, women and children, and presents the many products made from white clay. The spoil tips that are typical of the region have now been reclaimes by nature. They contain an astonishing variety of species and are a massive contrast to the lunar landscape of the immediately adjacent modern opencast mine. Both worlds are linked by a 2 km path.

Wheal Martyn
PL26 8XG St Austell
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1726 - 850362