OS Grid ref:- SW402353
The ex-tin mining village of Botallack is situated between the town of St Just in Penwith and the village of Pendeen. The small village possesses an inn and a nearby camping site. Botallack is known in the Cornish language as Bostaleck.
The village is famous for its atmospheric abandoned tin mines which include Carnyorth, Wheal Cock and Crown Mines. Copper and tin has been mined at Botallack for centuries and shafts and driven levels out beneath the bed of the sea, resulting in the world famous submarine mines.
The Crown Mines which are situated on the imposing cliffs and are now in the ownership of the National Trust. The mines were constructed in 1815 to pump water and allow submarine mining.
The mines have two engine houses and the levels extend for around four hundred metres out under the Atlantic, the deepest shaft measures around 250 fathoms (about 150 metres) below sea level. The miners were carried up and down the shaft in a gig, a purpose-built, wheeled box, which was also used to raise ore. The engine houses were closed in 1914 as a result of the decline in the price of tin but were preserved in 1984 by the Carn Brea Mining Society with the assistance of many individuals and authorities as a lasting tribute to past generations of Cornish miners. The Crown Mines are now protected as part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site.
The cliffs of Botallack are a haven for many maritime animals and plants. Basking sharks may occasionally be sighted, as may dolphins, grey seals, fulmars, gannets and kittiwakes. Rare lichens and rock crevice plants thrive on the cliffs. In the spring and summer months, the clifftops are carpeted in the bright colours of thrift (sea pinks) sea campion, thyme, scabious and centaury, which in turn attract many butterflies and moths. While the surrounding heathland becomes alive with the vibrant colours of heather and gorse.
The twelve year old Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, the third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, undertook an underground tour of the Crown Mine in 1862 while Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) visited the mines in 1865 with Alexandra, Princess of Wales, the present queen visited the site in 1980. The popular BBC television series Poldark was filmed partly in Botallack, local Manor Farm was used to film Nampara.
Image copyright Richard Johns
A walk to Botallack from Pendeen Lighthouse
Distance- 2 miles
Duration- Around 80 minutes
*Parking at small car park by Pendeen Lighthouse, proceed inland, turn right after passing a row of houses and folow the coastal path signs.
*Walk down into a valley, crossing a stream, remain on the right hand side of the stream and follow the indistinct path for around five minutes, leading out to an area of flat grassland overlooking the the Enys - an inshore island. Return to, and cross the stream and continue up the other side of the valley.
*Proceed down to Trewellard Bottoms, passing Geevor Mine and proceed along the waymarked footpath Levant Mine. Passing the mine buildings, go through the car park and take the track leading in a southwesterly direction, continue along this track until arriving at Botallack.
*To return either retrace your footsteps or follow the waymarked Tinner's Way to return to Pendeen Lighthouse.