A step into Cornwall’s industrial past, Wheal Martyn houses the UK’s only china clay museum and is set in 26 acres of parkland.
An exciting and interactive day out for visitors of all ages, it’s at the heart of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and, run by The Wheal Martyn Trust, is dedicated to preserving Cornwall’s rich china clay heritage.
You can follow the ‘historic’ or the ‘nature’ trail and learn about the Cornish china clay industry by observing the machinery, vehicles, minerals and tools that were used and seeing films, artwork and photographs of work in the clay pits. You can also find out about Cornish life in the 18th and 19th centuries, when clay mining was at its peak. Highlights in the museum are Cornwall’s largest working water wheel and a fully operational Victorian china clay works.
The Wheal Martyn gift shop is a treasure trove of Cornish-made souvenirs that vary from season to season and the children’s woodland outdoor play is a ‘must’ for young visitors.
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The visitor guidebook that is available in the Gift Shop. As well as having lots of useful information about the china clay industry, it’s printed on paper that contains china clay – cool!
The observation deck overlooking a real working pit is one of the highlights of any Wheal Martyn visit. See how the historic china clay mining methods have evolved over the years. You might even experience blasting day and feel the force of the explosions used to excavate tonnes of china clay from the rocks!