It's a Hard Rock Life!

Key Stages 1&2

Examines the roles that children, men and women had in mining and how it affected their lives. Compare Victorian period mining with modern.

Aims of this workshop:

  • To give a general background to Cornwall's industrial heritage, using Geevor as a case study
  • To see how industrial techniques have developed over time by comparing Victorian and Modern mining
  • To consider the working conditions and social roles of children, men and women in mining

What happens on the day?

Our ‘Mining History’ workshop is the most popular workshop requested by school groups for their visit to Geevor. It is an engaging overview of this once vital Cornish industry and can be adapted by group leaders to complement a range of different topics at school.

The workshop activities on the day depend on whether your group have received a preparatory Outreach session before their site visit or not:

If no Outreach before visit...

If no Outreach was received before the site visit, then the workshop takes the form of a mini-Outreach session onsite. This consists of artefact handling and dressing-up, to vividly explain the rock-to-tin process, as well as comparing modern and Victorian mining, and the people who worked them.

If Outreach is received before visit...

The opportunity is taken to explore further surface buildings whilst onsite and so, rather than repeat handling activities, the workshop takes the form of an extended site tour. This maximises time outside of the classroom and gives additional insights into this industrial world, embedding the vocabulary and concepts already covered in an Outreach session.


Main themes: History, Geography, Science, D&T, PSHE


Accompanying Resources


For this workshop, the standard Outreach would be suitable for this age group and available to local groups. A charge to cover petrol costs applies.

Loans Box:

To complement this workshop, the Mining History Loan Box introduces the basics of hard rock mining through both replica and genuine objects, photos and information.

Website Links:

See the top right hand side of this screen for related links on this website or explore topics for yourself.

More detail for teachers: 

Links to relevant downloadable pdfs can be found along the right of this page (scroll up). Further teaching resources, audios and photos can be downloaded from our Resource Bank.


For more information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions or contact Geevor's Learning Team


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