King Edward Mine Museum brings carnival to Camborne for momentous May Day celebration

By Ralph Gifford | 18 April 2011
a photo of an old piston machine
Machines at the King Edward Mine Museum© Cornwall Museums / Bernie Pettersen
Open Day: King Edward Mine Museum, Camborne, May 1 2011

A mining museum in west Cornwall is opening its doors at the beginning of May for what is anticipated to be a superb day out for all the family.

Situated one mile from the centre of the town of Camborne, the King Edward Mine Museum is celebrating the start of the holiday season with an open day packed full of performances, tours and activities.

This is a unique opportunity for anyone who might be in the area because the museum itself was once a working mine.

“All of the equipment on the site actually works thanks to the dedication of the 24 volunteers that run the museum,” says Trustee Director Kevin Baker. “People will be able to see for themselves the working processes of a mine. This really is a unique opportunity.”

a fisheye photo of the internall workings of a mine museum
© Cornwall Museums / Bernie Pettersen
Originally opened in around 1860, the King Edward Mine was the eastern arm of the South Cundurrow Mine. Despite closing in 1890, the site was bought in 1897 by the Camborne School of Mines, which brought full production back to the site as well as using it as a training facility.

In 2005 the school stopped using the site for training, bringing to an end more than a century of mining education. In its new capacity as a museum people can still visit the site and learn about how tin ore was processed from hundreds of metres underground to being ready for shipment.

The open day is being held on May 1 and will start at 10.30am. Along with fascinating objects and machines, visitors will be entertained by Hayle Town Band, Cornish Hevva Dancers, the Ingleheart Singers and Troon Primary School Choir.

The "Puffing Devil" - Richard Trevithick’s first steam locomotive - will also be making a rare appearance. Entry to the day is free with a small charge for parking.

  • Open 10am-5pm. Admission £5/£1 (free for under-16s). Closed Monday, Tuesday and Friday in May and June; Tuesday in July; Tuesday and Thursday in September.
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