Welcome to Poldark country

But where in Cornwall can you find Ross and Demelza, or at least traces of them? Whilst they are, of course, fictional characters; the novels and TV series do depict the realities of life in Cornwall at the time; especially for miners and mine owners.

Truro  Poldark_castandcrewinPorthgwarra_Cornwall

Ross may not recognise much of modern-day Truro but for him, it was the centre of commerce; meeting in taverns to finalise deals for his tin. It was also a key port at the time where returning merchants and sea captains landed back in Cornwall, and the ships heading into Truro would have sailed up the Carrick Roads, going past Mylor on their way.

You can spend a day wandering around the narrow streets and lanes of Truro, perhaps visiting the city’s oldest pub The White Hart which, as it first opened in 1780, may have been visited by Ross himself. The Royal Cornwall Museum also has lots of artefacts relating to mining.

Charlestown Harbour

Much of the filming for the port of Truro was actually done at Charlestown, just outside St Austell. Originally used as a port for the china clay industry; its small size meant that by the 1990s it was becoming unsuitable and so its new life as a popular tourist attraction and film location began.

Quite often, tall ships and riggers are moored in the harbour and the Shipwreck, Rescue and Heritage Centre is worth a visit.

Cornwall & West Devon Mining Landscape UNESCO World Heritage site

There are, of course, no longer any working tin mines in Cornwall. But the ghosts of this once vibrant industry can be found all over and in fact, a large part of the north coast has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the impact the industry has had on the landscape.

The iconic engine houses might be the most familiar remnants but the area is dotted with old ports, tramways and industrial buildings that were associated with mining.

A great way to get a real taste of Cornish tin mining is to visit Geevor Tin Mine in Pendeen. It only closed in 1990 and in places, it feels like the last miners have only just left. You can learn all about the history of tin mining in Cornwall and the industrial processes that were involved. You can even go below ground and explore some tunnels of Wheal Mexico where you can imagine what it might have been like for Ross’s miners at Wheal Leisure.

Not far from Geevor is Botallack; the engine houses here were used as a filming location for Poldark’s mine and a walk along the coast path here is very atmospheric. Heartlands near Redruth also recognises the impact of mining in Cornwall and here you can see a fully restored mine engine in action. Nearby is South Crofty mine which may yet reopen as a commercial tin mine.

Its safe to say that Cornwall has gone a little Poldark mad. We’re so proud of our beautiful county that an revel in the opportunity to show it off in all its glory. Our friend at Visit Cornwall have loads of useful information about film locations, walks and there’s even a Poldark Experience App you can download.

 

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