Post No. 16 – St Agnes, Corwall

Four days of reasonably fine weather and the dramatic location of West Cornwall have produced a shed load of images that now require editing.  We left Marlow around 6.00 am last Friday and arrived at St Agnes 268 miles later to spend the remainder of the day on the beach at St Agnes’s Trevaunance Cove.  This is truly one of the most beautiful beaches on the  Atlantic facing north Cornish coast, with good safe surfing in the high tide period and sandy beaches  to enjoy during the low tide period.

Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes

Trevaunance Cove is located close to the small town of St Agnes.  You can see from the image above that the beach appears quite small at high tide, however low tide exposes a substantial sandy beach.


 Camera:   Canon EOS 30D   Lens:   Canon EF 17-40 mm  f/4.0 L  USM   Aperture:   f/10   Shutter Speed:   1/800   ISO:  400   Focal Length:   17.0 mm

The Tide Retreats

Here the tide is on the way out, revealing rocks with interesting strata and acres of golden sand.


 Camera:   Canon EOS 300D   Lens:   Canon  EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM   Aperture:   f/13   Shutter Speed:   1/250   ISO:  200   Focal Length:   70.0 mm


Golden Sands

Golden sand at low tide.


 Camera:   Canon EOS 30D   Lens:   Canon  EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM   Aperture:   f/13   Shutter Speed:   1/250   ISO:  200   Focal Length:   70.0 mm



Running the Surf

Surfing is very popular on the north coast of Cornwall, with the Atlantic providing excellent surfing waves.  Safety is well catered for at Trevaunance Cove, with a section of the beach manned by teams of lifesavers during the season.


 Camera:   Canon EOS 300D   Lens:   Canon  EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM     Aperture:   f/20   Shutter Speed:   1/250   ISO:  200   Focal Length:   165.0 mm


Stamps and Whim Engine Houses, Wheal Coates Mine

Cornwall is a very ancient land with a vast history going back to before the times of King Arthur.  One of the most important periods in Cornish history is the 19th century when tin mining was at its zenith.  I find Cornish mining fascinating for two reasons, the quality of the engineering and the tenacity of the cornish miners who lived  appallingly hard and dangerous lives.

On the coastal path to the south-west of St Agnes can be found Wheal Coats.  Mining has taken place at this location  in one form or another for centuries.  The Wheal Coates mine  as we know it opened in 1802 and was worked until its closure towards the end of the century. It was re-opened for a short period between 1911 and 1913 when it was finally closed.

Here can be seen the remains of two engine houses, Stamps and Whim Engine Houses located on the cliff top.  The steam engines in these buildings were used to raise and crush tin and copper ore from the mines below ground.


 Camera:   Canon EOS 300D   Lens:   Canon  EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM    Aperture:   f/14   Shutter Speed:   1/250   ISO:  200   Focal Length:   70.0 mm


Coast Path to Towanroath Shaft Pumping Engine House  , Wheal Coates Mine, St. Agnes

Towanroath Shaft Pumping Engine House, is along with the Crown Mines at Botallack the most spectacular in Cornwall.  The truly iconic Towanroath sits halfway down the cliff and was constructed to to pump water from the mine some 600 ft below.   In this image you can see Towanroath on the cliff side and Stamps and Whim Engine Houses at the top of the cliff.


 Camera:   Canon EOS 30D   Lens:   Canon EF 17-40 mm  f/4.0 L  USM   Aperture:   f/10   Shutter Speed:   1/640   ISO:  400   Focal Length:  1 7.0 mm


Towanroath Shaft Pumping Engine House

This image was made from the top of the cliff looking down on Towanroath and gives a very good feeling of the steepness of the cliff.  I find the ingenuity of the engineers and builders quite staggering, especially when you consider that almost everything had to be built by hand.


 Camera:   Canon EOS 30D   Lens:   Canon  EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM    Aperture:   f/14   Shutter Speed:   1/100   ISO:  100   Focal Length:   28.0 mm


Towanroath overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

Towanroath in relation to the Cornish coastline.


Camera:   Canon EOS 30D Canon   Lens:  EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM    Aperture:   f/14   Shutter Speed:  1/200    ISO:  100   Focal Length:   17.0 mm


The Remains of  Stamps and Whim Engine Houses

This image shows Stamps and Whim Engine Houses from the cliff below.  This image gives a feeling of desolation and abandonment, rather as I would image the scene after a nuclear explosion.


Camera:   Canon EOS 30D Canon   Lens:  EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM    Aperture:   f/14   Shutter Speed:   1/200   ISO:  100   Focal Length:   17.0 mm

On the following morning we left St Agnes and set off for Mousehole where we spent three fantastic days.  My next post, which I hope to publish within the next few days will be some of the images  made during this trip.

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