Hard Rock Museum

entrance to hard rock gallery showing images of modern and victorian miners

Hard Rock Museum is a brand new museum which tells the story of mining at Geevor.

It is located in what was an engineering shed called The Top Fitting Shop.

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In the new museum, you can find out why tin is found here at Geevor and why Cornwall in general is rich in metals and minerals. Colourful and unique mineral specimens and displays highlight what was found over the centuries right under your feet and what these metals and minerals and were used for. The museum also looks at Cornwall’s mining heritage and how mining has shaped the environment and landscape of our County.

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The museum boasts a replica of a working section underground called a Stope which helps to explain the process of mining underground. In 1991 the modern mine was flooded to sea level when the pumps keeping the mine dry were switched off. Walking into this life-size reconstruction is the next best thing. Equipment used in blasting and drilling are on display as well as diagrams and maps explaining the layout of the many miles of tunnels underground. Getting the ore to the surface is also featured and the museum acts a signpost to other buildings onsite where the work actually happened.

Once at the surface, the ore was processed to become tin concentrate. This was a complex scientific process explained by a series of hands-on interactives. Turn handles to see how jaw crushers crushed and press buttons to see a magnet in action. Here you can also find out more about the social history of Geevor, how the wars affected its fortunes and how the mine grew as the price of tin increased.

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Playing in our cinema is an interesting 25 minute film called Geevor Voices. This includes rare film footage of mining underground in the 1980s and of the closure and how it affected the area. If you wish to dig deeper into the history of mining or processing, spend some time searching on our Information Mines, where more specialist information is available.

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For children and families we have a series of hand-on puzzles and challenges. Not to forget a trail of our two mine cats, Basil and Scraggs who lead children through the galleries. Some of these puzzles are equally popular with adults, including ‘guess the smell’ which recreates some of the more pungent smells from around the mine!

Within the museum is Hard Rock Gallery - a temporary exhibitions space which hosts a programme of changing exhibitions.

Hard Rock Museum is a colourful and engaging museum, which will introduce you to the rest of the site.



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Comment left by jill trudgeon on 2009-10-05 20:28:22

CAn you tell me the connection with cats and tin mines please i am very curious... did they bring good luck to the mine and miners...

Comment left by Geevor on 2009-10-12 09:56:05

GEEVOR REPLY... As far as we know, cats were not seen to be lucky (or unlucky) to the miners at Geevor. Basil and Scraggs (the Geevor cats featured around the site and in a book on sale in our shop) adopted Geevor as their home after the mine closed and the site became a heritage center. Basil died a few months ago, but Scraggs still lives on site, bedding down in the compressor house each night. Scraggs is looked after and fed by Ian, one of our guides.


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