Wheal Coates Tin Mine

Wheal Coates Tin Mine, perched dramatically on the cliffs of St Agnes on the north coast of Cornwall, is a captivating relic of Cornwall’s rich mining heritage.

This iconic site, now under the stewardship of the National Trust, offers breathtaking coastal views, fascinating historical insights, and a deep connection to Cornwall’s industrious past.

For holidaymakers exploring the Cornish landscape, a visit to Wheal Coates Tin Mine is a journey into the heart of Cornwall’s mining history, set against the backdrop of the stunning Atlantic Ocean.

Discovering Wheal Coates Tin Mine

With its engine houses clinging to the clifftops, Wheal Coates provides a picturesque setting for understanding Cornwall’s tin mining legacy.

Active during the 19th and early 20th centuries, the mine is part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Today, it stands as a monument to the men and women who toiled in the industry that powered Cornwall’s economy for centuries.

Highlights of Wheal Coates Tin Mine

The Engine Houses: The iconic Towanroath Shaft engine house is a focal point of the site, offering an insight into the workings of a Cornish tin mine.

Coastal Walks: The mine is situated along the South West Coast Path, providing access to some of Cornwall’s most dramatic coastal scenery.

Chapel Porth Beach: A short walk from Wheal Coates, this beautiful beach is perfect for relaxing after exploring the mine.

Wildlife: The surrounding heathland is a haven for wildlife, including rare birds and wildflowers, making it a delightful spot for nature enthusiasts.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

Wheal Coates is located near St Agnes, accessible via the B3277.

The site itself is reached by a short walk from the nearby National Trust car park at Beacon Drive, offering easy access for visitors.

For those using public transport, buses serve St Agnes, from where you can enjoy a scenic walk to the mine.


While the mine itself is unmanned and does not offer facilities, St Agnes and the nearby Chapel Porth Beach have amenities including cafes and toilets.

The National Trust car park at Beacon Drive provides parking close to the site.

Maximising Your Experience

Wear Appropriate Footwear: The terrain around the mine and along the coastal paths can be uneven and rugged, so sturdy shoes are recommended.

Bring a Camera: The dramatic landscape and historic structures provide ample photography opportunities.

Visit at Sunset: For a truly memorable experience, visit Wheal Coates at sunset when the engine houses are silhouetted against the sky.

Tips for Your Visit

Respect the Site: As a historical monument, it’s important to respect the structures and not climb on or damage the engine houses.

Check the Weather: The site is exposed and can be windy, so check the forecast and dress appropriately.

Plan Your Day: Combine your visit to Wheal Coates with other nearby attractions such as St Agnes Head for a full day of exploring.

Nearby Attractions

St Agnes Village: Explore this charming Cornish village, with its independent shops, cafes, and museums detailing the area’s mining history.

Trevellas Porth: Another nearby beach, less crowded than Chapel Porth, offering a peaceful spot for reflection.

St Agnes Beacon: For panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and coast, a walk up to St Agnes Beacon is highly recommended.


Wheal Coates Tin Mine is not just a monument to Cornwall’s mining past; it’s a testament to the enduring spirit of the Cornish people.

Its breathtaking location and the remnants of its industrial might provide a poignant reminder of the role Cornwall played in the global tin trade.

For anyone visiting Cornwall, Wheal Coates offers a unique opportunity to connect with the landscape, history, and heritage of this remarkable region, making it a must-visit for those seeking to fully experience the essence of Cornwall.