Cornwall’s Old Mines
The year after the visit to Wales and seeing the haunting ruins of Nant Gwytheyrn, I had some different ruins to feast my eyes on…
The tricky bit with memory is remembering what age you were…. I do know that I was 11 on this visit to Cornwall ….. (which means I was a year out on the last postcard)
Anyway, we are camping near St Agnes, and my father finds a rather atmospheric cliff walk at Chapel Porth. As usual with pater’s walks, this is going to be a fairly lengthy trek….
We walk up a steady slope which apparently will get us onto the cliff path eventually. The land soon flattens out a bit, and we walk along a stony path through lots of scrubby plants. There is heather, and gorse in vibrant yellow flower, as we stride along the dusty path. But things are getting more exciting! There are some ruined buildings visible in the distance, and as we get closer to the first one my father tells us it is an engine house from one of the tin mines in the area (I later find out this was Wheal Coates, which had more than one engine house).
I am fascinated by these ruins, unlike anything else I had previously seen, and suddenly the walk isn’t such a pain after all. I clamber around a bit to see what might be hidden in the undergrowth, with parents warning me not to stray too far off the path because there might be old mineshafts, and if I fell down one of those ‘it will be a long way down, and you won’t be able to get out’…. I want to know if there are any more ruins to see today, and my father thinks there will be…and we will be able to find more in the coming days… brilliant!
(I may convert these images to monochrome at some stage, as Perutz film didn’t age well, and the second image in particular has faded, and the colours shifted)