The Wheal Martyn China Clay Mining Museum (also known as The China Clay Country Park) is a industrial heritage museum and country park nr St. Austell in Cornwall, England. The site is a few miles from the world famous Eden Project which is also located in a former clay pit site.
The country park and museum are based around former china clay working. A modern visitor centre has been built adjacent to old clay mine buildings and landscaped workings. The sit also adjoins a modern working pit and a viewing point offers an insight into the modern methods and machinery at work. Most of the modern China clay (kaolin) is not used for producing bone china table wear but in the production of paper.
The site includes several buildings and machinery from the old mining operations and the process plant used to manufacture the material from the raw material dug out of the ground.
The museum tell the story of the history of clay mining in cornwall andhow it was done.
Some of the exhibits include;
- mining monitors (water cannons)
- water wheels - used to drive machinery in the works and pumps
- pump house
- settlement ponds
- crusher used to process the larger material prior to screening
- tank locomotive - typically used to haul material from the mines to the main line siding for shipment to the port for export or by rail within the UK.
- mining tools and relics
- Merryweather steam pump Merryweather no. 4322
- A large plunger pump used to extract clay slurry from a shaft. the pump was invented by Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick and were originally steam powered by a beam engine. latter oil engines were used to operate them.
- Leyland Comet truck
- woodland walk with the reclaimed mining site.
- Childrens activity area.
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- China clay mining
- Mining machinery
- List of museums in Cornwall
References / sources
- photos from site
- Official web site (see below)