Wheal Martyn comprises a unique and important collection of built heritage and working mining machinery, much of which is designated by Historic England a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

We have two former Victorian clay works at Wheal Martyn:

  • The Wheal Martyn works are preserved in their working state and are the only surviving example to be conserved and presented for public benefit, while countless others have been modernised or lost completely.
  • The Gomm works have been converted; they are now home to the main visitor facilities, including the Discovery Centre, café and shop.

There are several notable historic features, including settling tanks, crib huts, the Pan Kiln and Linhay, as well as waterwheels and flat rods. These are of national interest, and are the only two wheels in the St. Austell china clay area which remain in working order out of an estimated 150.

settling tanks wheal martyn buildings 

Preserving our historic buildings and features

In 2013 the Trust commissioned a detailed Conservation Management Plan for the buildings and features which make up the Scheduled Ancient Monument.  This plan informs the preservation work needed over the next 10 years.

Recent preservation works include:

  • Repairs and preservation works to a large proportion of the Pan Kiln roof in 2019 as part of our Clay Works project.
  • Repairs to the disused Mica Dry building and conversion into a gallery for temporary exhibitions in 2019/20 as part of the Clay Works project.
  • Restoration of the 18 foot waterwheel in 2018. Click here for more details. 

group viewing waterwheel restoration pan kiln restoration mica dry building works

Historic building skills

In order to preserve the Scheduled Ancient Monument, we have been delivering skills training in lime mortaring and carpentry, to equip volunteers and staff with the skills needed to carry out repairs.

As we establish a team of volunteers, we will gradually tackle a number of the preservation needs, one of which involves significant lime mortaring.  If you have the skills or are interested in learning, and would like to get hands-on in preserving the built heritage at Wheal Martyn, please contact Julia Orchard.

learning  practical skills