Pleasure of Ruins / 3 Cornwall’s tin mines

After posting Postcards from my Past 3 about Cornwall’s old mines, I wanted to convert some of the old mine images into monochrome. I decided they looked pretty good, so here they are ….. After the Welsh mines, the Cornish ones played a large part in my love of abandonment and dereliction! And owing to the positioning of some of these near the coast, they really have a romantic feel to them. Never mind that they were downright dangerous – when you are young, it just adds to the appeal.  The mine workings of the Crowns mine at Botallack extend quite some way out under the sea….I wouldn’t have thought that was a happy feeling, knowing you were under so much water, in a confined space.

Apropos the Crowns mine, when I was there you could make your way along a precarious narrow path, with the waves crashing below to the furthest ruin on it’s little bit of rock. I tried, but I just didn’t feel brave enough…..had I had someone with me, it might have been different.

The first two images of Wheal Coates were taken by my father as colour slides about 40 years ago, then converted to monochrome by me. All the others were taken by me in the mid 1980s. But I suspect not a great deal will have changed.

As usual, click on any image to start the slideshow:


  1. Good choice , turning te photos into monochrome….
    Extraordinary effect!

  2. Nice work, Sue. I could swear I saw Ross Poldark riding by…
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. There is so much beauty in the ruins you find “over there.” Here, abandoned building are more of a blight, though they do have their stories to tell.

  4. I love how these monochrome versions of your photos look as if they were vintage postcards.

  5. They look great, Sue, all of them. But I’d rather observe from above ground that see what’s below. 🙂


  6. They turned out very well. Film is such an enduring medium.

  7. Can’t beat monochrome to bring out the rugged landscape. Beautiful.

  8. Very atmospheric as predicted Sue!

  9. Monochrome really works well with these.

  10. That is a great theme to pursue….. 🙂

  11. They have turned out well. And you have reminded me that I must go to Chapel Porth at low tide so I can get a photograph of Wheal Coates from the beach. I haven’t done Botallack yet either. but suspect that might be too much of a challenge.

    • Sue

      My images of Botallack didn’t involve any scrambling, as I recall, but it was a long time ago… I had wanted to get right down to the furthest mine building, but as I said in the post, that was way too difficult!

  12. I like it in monochrome too, but if I have to pick a favourite then it has to be colour this once. I like the close up in the last row too. Thank you, Sue, for your entry today and for reminding me to see this one too. It has great contrast. It is a fine edit, it is just my mood today – wanting colour.

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