About The Trust

Wheal Martyn Trust was established as a charity in 1974 to preserve the heritage and artefacts associated with Cornwall’s important china clay industry.

The Trust manages a 26 acre site occupying the Victorian remains of two former china clay works, just two miles from St. Austell in the heart of Cornwall’s ‘Clay Country’.  Today the site incorporates a visitor attraction, Accredited Museum, Scheduled Ancient Monument, woodland walks and spectacular views into the Wheal Martyn clay pit, which still operates today.

The Museum has its own History Society, the ‘China Clay History Society’ with over 240 members including former industry employees.  The society is active in working voluntarily to safeguard the museum’s archives.

The charity was originally set up by English China Clays and was operated by a board of trustees, many of which worked in the industry.  In April 2010 Wheal Martyn was merged with South West Lakes Trust.  South West Lakes Trust  is the region’s largest combined environmental and recreational charity and is the Corporate Trustee of Wheal Martyn Trust.

wheal martyn trust

The Trust’s charitable objects, approved by the Charity Commission are:

‘To secure for the benefit of the public the preservation, restoration, improvements, enhancements and maintenance of features and objects of historical and industrial interest in the area of St. Austell and the surrounding districts of Cornwall including the provision of an industrial museum relating to the china clay industry and the organisation of meetings, exhibitions, lectures, publications and other forms of instruction relevant to the historical and industrial development of central Cornwall’.

Wheal Martyn Enterprises Limited.

The charity has its own trading subsidiary, Wheal Martyn Enterprises which conducts non-charitable trading through the café, gift shop and conference facilities with profits made being gift aided to the charity to further its work.