History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 19th century remains of Crown Mines on the cliffs
The popular 2015 TV series Poldark was filmed partly in Botallack, using Manor Farm to play the part of Ross Poldark's fictional home of Nampara.
The Botallack MinesLow on the cliffs outside the village stand the abandoned remains of Crown Mine. Two engine houses remain, housing the entrance to shafts running as much as 400 metres out under the sea. The deepest shaft is 500 metres beneath sea level. On the clifftop is one of the arsenic refining buildings linked to the mines.
The St Just area is the home of cliff-mining, with similar mine working clinging to cliff-side sites along the rugged coast. The Crown Mines at Botallack began around 1721. In 1858 the Boscawen Diagonal Shaft was dug to access lodes over 1/3 mile under the sea bed. Famous dignitaries came to see this innovative shaft and take away souvenir pieces of minerals, among them the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Arthur, and author RN Ballantyne.
In fact, so many gentry decided to visit that the constant presence of souvenir-hunting visitors became a nuisance and a safety hazard to the miners, and an entrance fee of half a guinea was imposed, with the proceeds donated to a relief fund for widows and injured miners.
The mine suffered losses in a depression in the 1870s, and when a section of tunnel collapsed in 1895 the mine closed. When tin prices rose in 1905 the mine briefly reopened, only to close again a decade later.
The main buildings to survive are the Lower Engine House, built in the 1830s, and the Upper Engine House, begun in 1858. The Lower Engine House was bult to pump water from the mines, and stands 60 feet above sea level. It was powered by a 30" Harvey pumping engine, and blocks of building stone had to be lowered down the cliffs with a block and tackle mechanism.
The Upper engine House served as a winding house for the Boscawen Diagonal Shaft. It stands 110 feet above sea level, and about 50 feet above the Lower Engine House. The engine house powered a skip taking ore up the 30 degree incline of the Boscawen shaft. The shaft closed in 1874 and by 1880 the Upper Engine House had been stripped clean of its internal workings.
Address: Botallack, Cornwall, England
Attraction Type: Village
Photo Credit: Tony Atkin, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
St Just in Penwith Church - 0.6 miles (Historic Church)
Levant Mine - 1 miles (Historic Building)
Ballowall Barrow - 1.1 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Carn Euny Ancient Village - 3 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Sancreed Holy Well - 3.6 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Sancreed, St Creden Church - 3.7 miles (Historic Church)
Men an Tol - 3.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Lanyon Quoit - 3.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Nearest Accommodation to Botallack:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')