The Botallack mine was part of the St. Just mining complex that mined the hard rock for black tin and copper for centuries. Many generations of Cornish families were employed in this dangerous industry till the stocks of black tin and prices for the ore made it unworkable.

Situated a few miles from Lands End on the rugged North coast of Cornwall, this image is of the Crown Engine Pump House which was at it’s peak in the early nineteenth century, the main shaft from it, the Boscawen Shaft reaches under the Atlantic Ocean diagonally for some 800 metres, most of the other mine pump houses are situated on the cliff tops high above this one.

The promontory that the engine house is sited on is Crown Rock, the seam of black tin ore is very visible in this image just above sea level. though the many different colours of ore are also visible on the rocky headland.

There is always a lot of wave activity in this rugged cove, even on a fine Summer’s day like this the Ocean is very choppy and I wanted to capture the wave action as well as the detail on the mine and cliff so quite a number of exposures were tried.

Nikon D300
Focal Length 50mm
F8 for 1/160 sec
White Balance set to Sunny
CP Filter



sea, coast, england, uk, atlantic, cornwall, botallack, tin mine


  • John44
    John44about 5 years ago

    A winner dear Rod
    What a view!

    very beautiful composition…
    I like the clarity and the sharpness…
    the colors as well…
    well done my friend..

    Good informative note!

  • Thank-you very much John, tin and copper mining is so much a part of Cornish history, you can’t buy a house in Cornwall with out a full survey to ensure there is not a mine shaft under it that might collapse,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

  • ralph arce
    ralph arceabout 5 years ago

    Awesome. Very nice colors there. :)

  • Thank-you very much Raphael, much appreciated,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

  • Richard Hamilton-Veal
    Richard Hamilt...about 5 years ago

    Excellent clear sharp capture Rod.
    You can almost feel the rock.

  • It was a bit windy that afternoon and I was getting nervous on the cliff edge but it was the composition I had hoped for, thanks so much Richard,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

  • Rob Parsons
    Rob Parsonsabout 5 years ago

    Great shot of this classic scene Rod.

  • Hi Rob, many thanks my friend, this must be one of the most photographed scenes in Western Cornwall but I couldn’t resist a few more photos of it,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

  • Lori Deiter
    Lori Deiterabout 5 years ago

    Outstanding scenery and capture!!! Your photography is always so beautiful!

  • Thank-you very much Lori, so kind of you my friend,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

  • Sean Jansen
    Sean Jansenabout 5 years ago

    Beautiful capture ! So well shown : )

  • Thank-you very much Sean,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

  • Béla Török
    Béla Törökabout 5 years ago

    What a fabulous composition, Rod! The colors are simply gorgeous!

  • Thank-you very much Bela, the light was perfect at the time but it was quite windy on the edge of the cliff when I was there,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonabout 5 years ago

    Fantastic picture Rod,

  • Thank-you very much Ann,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

  • TFFDavid
    TFFDavidabout 5 years ago

    This is fantastic Rod
    I was watching a programme just last week and they were talking about this place, I think the programme was called COAST . . . fascinating history

  • Thanks so much David, I too watch Coast whenever I can but must have missed that one, what a bummer, hope they repeat it soon, I’d love to hear what they had to say about it,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

  • georgieboy98
    georgieboy98about 5 years ago

    Excellent photo Rod and you have succeeded in capturing the atmosphere of those bygone days wonderfully well. This scene puts me in mind of one of Hammond Innes’ wartime novels wherein submarines were hidden in some of these old workings. Can’t remember the name of the book right now but it’ll come to me eventually. All the best, Peter

  • Thank-you very much Peter, first time I’d been here in a few years but it is always well worth visiting, I left Chris in the car at Levant Tin mine a couple of miles along the coast and the walk was so beautiful and refreshing,
    Regards, Rod.

    – rodsfotos

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait