Wheal Mexico is accessed from
an area that has since been used for waste dumps from later mining operations,
after some of the old workings had been filled in or used for waste disposal.
The old Wheal Mexico adit system was re-discovered during 1994 to 1995 when
shaft safety work was being carried out.
The track down to Wheal Mexico at Geevor Mine - looking out over some of the old waste dumps
Considerable research was
carried out into what remains of the records of the old Geevor Mine workings, to
establish the extent of the original Wheal Mexico, and the underground tour now
links many of the main access features to the mine, including the New Mexico
Shaft (sometimes Mexico Shaft), Ladderway Shaft, Rock Shaft, and Old Mexico
Additional adit entrance to New Mexico Shaft - part of the mid-1800s Wheal Mexico mine system
(this mine entrance is not part of the underground Wheal Mexico mine tour)
The underground tour begins at
the "eastern" adit entrance to Wheal Mexico (which, in the above photo, is off
to the left - the photo was taken looking roughly south-east). The tour then
follows a mis-figured "U" shape, and emerges at the exit through a further
"western" adit access.
The entrance to Wheal Mexico
You will be taken through the
mine by an expert tour guide - likely an ex-miner from Geevor Mine...
Inside the adit - there is some older block-work around where the old adit tunnel narrows
Along the adit and moving further in
The height varies where the adit has been hewn out of the rock
Mexico Shaft - complete with mock-up ladderway and ore kibble
(In reality, these would have been in separate shafts, as there would not have been room for both uses)
The above image was taken
using flash - giving a very much artificial view of how the mine would have
looked to a miner in the early 1800s. There would have been no electric light,
and all work would have been by candlelight. Without flash, the same scene
appears very different, with only small lights taking the place of candles...
The same view of Mexico Shaft as it would be seen by "candlelight" - and eyes adjusted!
With only a candle attached to your hat by a lump of clay, you would not see very far ahead!
The Ladderway Shaft - ladders were the only way of descending and ascending mine shafts until "Man Engines"
were installed in some mines, or men rode to the surface in ore kibbles - a very risky business
One of the additional tunnels
that are being worked on for possible inclusion on underground mine tours...