Rosevale Mine is a privately owned former tin mine situated at Zennor, near St Ives in West Cornwall. For the past 30 years the underground workings have been restored and preserved as a typical Cornish mine.
The mine is owned by the Rosevale Historical Mining Society, consisting of three people who have undertaken the restoration of the underground workings as a voluntary pastime activity. Most of the work has been privately funded together with money obtained from visitor donations.
Rosevale is the only underground mine restoration project of its type in Cornwall and, as such, forms a unique and important part of the county's mining heritage. It is equipped as a working mine, but also contains a wide variety of mining machinery, tools and relics. The restoration works have been undertaken using traditional methods and materials, whilst meeting modern Health & Safety requirements, thereby preserving the mine as an authentic and realistic example of a small nineteenth/twentieth century Cornish tin mine. The long-term objective is to maintain the mine as a heritage site and to continue to open-up some of the currently inaccessible workings.
Tours of the mine:
Although Rosevale Mine is not a commercial 'tourist' mine, underground tours were provided for the general public at various times during the 1990s in order to obtain additional funding for the mine. At present guided tours of the underground workings are available on a pre-arranged basis for private groups of between 5 to 15 people. The mine provides an ideal venue for both educational and leisure use. The tours are ideally suited for those wishing to obtain a more in-depth understanding of underground mining in Cornwall and can be adapted to suit particular requirements.
A standard tour consists of walk-in access along one level (No.2 Level), climbing 30 metres of fixed ladderway in a near vertical stope upto another level (No.1 Level) and walk-out egress through this level [layout and photos]. This tour aims to demonstrate the methodology of hard-rock, narrow vein mining, including a wide variety of mining equipment and enables people to appreciate the underground environment of a typical Cornish mine. A tour of this type takes between 1-2 hours. Miners battery lamps and safety helmets are provided, but visitors need to wear boots or stout shoes and rough clothing.
The mine is registered with South West Screen and is available as a 'location' for any film company wishing to use an authetic underground mine. The varied nature of the workings provides an ideal venue as both a typical 19th century mine or as a more modern mine. The mine is available for film shoots throughout the year and adaptions can be made to suit particular requirements. It has been used by the BBC and by several independent film companies for documentaries, drama and advertising [photos].
Rosevale Mine can also be made available throughout the year as a research site, providing such research does not infringe on the on-going restoration activities. In the past the mine has been used by students at the Camborne School of Mines for surveying projects and for geological research.