Thursday, 1 October 2015

Exploring the Wheal Coates Towanroath Vugga

One of the best short walks on the north Cornwall coastal path is that between Porthtowan and Chapel Porth (posting of 3 September). But if you walk this when the tide is low, you have an added bonus, as you can make the return trip on a pristine stretch of sand, one and a half miles long, which opens up between the two coves.

We took advantage of the October sunshine this afternoon and continuing north-east from Chapel Porth beach we met up with CSM geologist Dr. Charlie Moon and a party of MSc geologists on an afternoon field trip (do they know how lucky they are?). There are a number of impressive caves on this stretch of coast, but the most interesting of these lies directly beneath the Towanroath pumping engine house of the old Wheal Coates mine (posting of 20 August). This is the Towanroath Vugga, an ancient working of a vein beneath Wheal Coates, which has been enlarged by the sea. It is possible, with care, to venture deep into this partially man-made cave, which contains an adit which was used to drain Wheal Coates.

The geologists at the entrance to the Vugga

Inside the Vugga


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