Wheal Martyn

Nestled in the heart of Cornwall’s Clay Country, Wheal Martyn offers a unique window into the region’s industrial heritage.

As the UK’s only China Clay museum, this fascinating site combines historical artifacts, preserved machinery, and interactive exhibits with stunning woodland walks and breathtaking views of a modern working clay pit.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a distinctive day out in Cornwall, Wheal Martyn promises an enriching and enjoyable experience for all ages.

Discovering Wheal Martyn

Wheal Martyn, set within two former china clay works, spans over 26 acres of woodland and offers visitors a comprehensive look at the china clay mining industry, which has shaped the landscape and economy of Cornwall for centuries.

The site tells the story of the industry’s development, its impact on the local community, and its significance in the global market.

Highlights of Wheal Martyn

The Museum: Explore engaging exhibits that detail the history and processes of china clay extraction, from the 18th century to the present day.

Victorian Clay Works: Get up close to the preserved remains of a Victorian clay works, complete with a waterwheel, drying kilns, and other historical machinery.

Nature Trails: Follow the scenic nature trails that wind through the site, offering beautiful woodland views and the chance to spot local wildlife.

Viewpoint: Don’t miss the breathtaking viewpoint overlooking a modern working clay pit, providing a dramatic contrast between the historical and contemporary aspects of the industry.

Interactive Exhibits: Engage with hands-on displays that make the history and science behind china clay mining accessible and fun for younger visitors.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

Wheal Martyn is located just north of St Austell, making it easily accessible by car with free parking on site.

For those using public transport, there are bus services from St Austell, which stop close to the museum.

Tickets and Opening Times

The museum and country park are open year-round, though opening times may vary seasonally.

It’s advisable to check the Wheal Martyn website for the most current information on opening times and ticket prices.

Discounts are often available for families, students, and seniors.


Café: The on-site café offers a range of refreshments, light lunches, and delicious homemade cakes, with both indoor and outdoor seating available.

Shop: The museum shop sells a variety of souvenirs, gifts, and local crafts, perfect for taking a piece of Cornwall’s heritage home with you.

Accessibility: Most of the site is accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs, and there are accessible toilets available. However, due to the natural terrain, some outdoor areas may be more challenging to navigate.

Maximising Your Experience

Allow Plenty of Time: With so much to see and explore, plan to spend at least half a day at Wheal Martyn to fully appreciate all it has to offer.

Dress Appropriately: For the nature trails and outdoor areas, wear comfortable footwear and weather-appropriate clothing.

Check for Events: The site hosts various events, workshops, and temporary exhibitions throughout the year, adding extra interest to your visit.

Tips for Your Visit

Stay Hydrated: Bring a water bottle, especially if you’re visiting on a warm day and planning to walk the trails.

Photography: Don’t forget your camera – the unique industrial landscapes and natural beauty provide fantastic photo opportunities.

Ask Questions: The knowledgeable staff and volunteers at Wheal Martyn are always happy to share insights and answer any questions you might have.

Nearby Attractions

The Eden Project: Just a short drive from Wheal Martyn, this global garden housed in massive biomes is one of Cornwall’s most famous attractions.

Lost Gardens of Heligan: Discover the restored gardens and estate, offering a magical blend of history, horticulture, and adventure.

St Austell: Explore the town’s shops, eateries, and the nearby beaches, making the most of your visit to the area.


Wheal Martyn not only provides a fascinating glimpse into Cornwall’s industrial past but also offers a unique combination of educational exhibits, historical sites, and natural beauty.

Whether you’re delving into the history of china clay mining, enjoying a peaceful walk in the woods, or taking in the stunning views of the clay pits, Wheal Martyn is a captivating and enriching destination for holidaymakers in Cornwall.