Wheal Martyn

Clay statues at Wheal Martyn museum

Wheal Martyn Clay Works is an indoor and outdoor museum located on the premises of two Victorian clay works. Though they are both now de-commissioned, one of them is still in its working state and is the only example of its kind open to the public.

There’s a virtual tour in the Discovery Centre where you can journey through time into a working clay pit with interactive exhibits, film footage, voice recordings, and a making and drawing area. Hear real life tales from the industry which shaped Cornwall’s landscape and the iconic ‘Cornish Alps’, and the lives shaped by this ‘white gold’.

The big adventure starts outside, with crib huts, settling tanks, wagon huts (housing beautiful vintage vehicles, including a 1934 ERF lorry and 1916 Peerless lorry, used in World War I before coming to Cornwall), and Cornwall’s largest working waterwheel in action.

The museum’s clay works operated from the 1820s through to the 1960s, when the clay mining industry was labour-intensive and physically demanding. The industry is mainly mechanised now. The adjacent Wheal Martyn clay pit continues to operate under global mining company, Imerys Minerals Ltd.

Wheal Martyn hosts numerous family events, exhibitions and workshops and also has an amazing little gift shop where you can buy our anthology Cornwall Secret and Hidden