Photographs taken 2006 to 2008
Carnglaze Caverns became affiliated to the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site in 2013
Carnglaze Caverns near St Neot are what remains of an underground Slate Mine, which are usually (or unusually!) still referred to as a Quarry. A visit to Carnglaze will take you into the underground world of the slate quarrymen and miners. The caverns are set in the now very pretty wooded valley of the River Loveny, and they were originally a slate quarry, that "grew" underground to reach the better quality slate. Although the "quarry" is perhaps technically a "mine" - it being underground - it is always referred to as a slate quarry, due to its "quarry-like" beginnings. Slate was quarried up until the early 1900s, when the cost of transport became too great, and their use decreased from there on, but there are no doubt many houses around Cornwall that have Carnglaze slate! During the Second World War, the main cavern was used for storing rum for the Royal Navy, thus its name... The Rum Store!
Due to the unique acoustics of the main underground cavern, the "Rum Store" is also a very popular venue for a complete range of musical concerts and events. See the Rum Store web page. For more information about the old Slate Mine itself - or Slate Quarry - and events that are held there, see the Carnglaze Caverns website.
The main caverns site is down in the Deep Dark Woods, just off the road up to St.Neot...
The way to the Caverns
...and the entrance to the underground Slate Quarry (not usually
called a mine!)
An old Slate Quarryman (or Slate Miner?) at work underground...
Carnglaze Slate Worker
Underground in the old workings
The rough drilled and hewn slate walls and ceiling of the Caverns
Going even further down inside the old slate workings
The slate quarry workings - the Slate Face!
Water seepage through the slate rocks has formed large pools at the bottom of the workings that also provide very fresh water.
The Boat on the Lake
(a lake in the depths of the earth - the
deepest lake under Cornwall?)
Look carefully while you are underground, and you may just see the ghosts of Quarrymen Past...