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Δευτέρα, 12 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

Poldark- fact or fiction?? or both?!

This image shows miners using the 'man engine', an engine used for carrying miners to and from the surface and was essentially a long rod that moved up and down with fixed platforms the men could stand on.
Poldark is a British-American drama television series that was first broadcast on BBC One on 8 March 2015, starring Aidan Turner in the lead role. The first series (aired in seven parts in the U.S.[1]) was based on the first two Poldark novels by Winston Graham, adapted by Debbie Horsfield and directed by Edward Bazalgette and Will McGregor.[1].

But Poldark was also a historic Mine. Winston Graham, was he who re-named the ancient Huel Roots Mine as Poldark Mine some 40 years ago. In 2014 the Mine was again used as the location for all of the underground sequences for a new BBC broadcasting of the Poldark series. A number of artifacts from the museum at Poldark Mine were used as props in the filming and can be seen by visitors.

 Poldark series one-three is over. Now the Poldark season 4 is expected.

Wheal Cock section of Botallack mine. This derelict scene was common across west Cornwall as the mines closed one after the other throughout the early 20th century
An engraving of the crows section of Botallack in 1870's showing the spectacylar position of the mine
An image showing the incline shaft down into  Crowns Mine on the Penwith coast. One of the most photographed place in Cornwall

What is the plot?
In the late 18th century, Ross Poldark returns home after American Revolutionary War and rebuilds his life with a new business venture, making new enemies and finding a new love where he least expects it.  Ross Poldark returns from the American War of Independence to his Cornish mineral lodes - tin, copper, zinc, lead and iron with some silver/copper mines after spending three years in the army to avoid charges of smuggling. When he gets home, he finds his father dead, his estate in ruins, and his old sweetheart Elizabeth engaged to his cousin Francis. He rescues a young woman, from a beating, and takes her on as a kitchen maid while trying to help the people of the village and attempting to gain control of the mines sought after by his rival, the greedy and arrogant George Warleggan.

Gateway to the mines below the sea The Crown Mines in operation in the 1860s
Filming takes place at a number of spectacular locations around the county, known well to the GeoScience Geology team. Crown Mines and Wheal Leisure at Botallack on the Penwith coast are perhaps the most dramatic.

We've all seen lovely pictures of the mines at sunset, sunrise and on a sunny day, but life for the miners wasn't always so picturesque.

The contact between the Hercynian granites and the Devonian deepwater sediments is exposed along the cliffs, including the metamorphic aureole. Many mineral lodes cut across the contact and head north-west out to sea, and one of the shafts at Crowns Mine was inclined 450 from the base of the cliffs to chase these lodes offshore.
The real Poldark. The lives of impoverished families and the lowly beginnings of towns like Rock, Fowey, Newquay and St Ives before they became tourist hotspots.
In fact some of the workings offshore came within metres of the seabed and the miners could hear the crash of boulders on the seabed during Atlantic storms. This was extreme mining, and in 1863 there was a tragic accident when a wagon ran loose down the incline and 9 miners died. Undeterred, two years later there was a Royal visit underground by the Prince and Princess of Wales.

So it wasn’t all romance and spectacular sunsets, for the people of the time there was a lot of what you might call ‘living on the edge’. But it is great to have such geology and history on our own doorstep!

Images from : a) Botallack- Monographs of Mining History Vol. 3 (Cyril Noall) 1972. b)The Story of Mining in Cornwall (Allen Buckley) 2005

Poldark Mine: εκεί που η μεταλλευτική κληρονομιά εμπνέει σεβασμό

Tin Mines and Engine Houses: η μεταλλευτική κληρονομιά της Κορνουάλης

[by P. Tzeferis]