Ruin of the Old Tin Mine

I took the original photograph of these stone ruins of an old tin mine in Cornwall, England, when I was there in the summer. I can’t believe that they have mined tin, plus other metals, in Devon and Cornwall since the Bronze Age with the last mine, South Crofty, being closed in 1998.

A Cornish pasty. Photograph: Getty

The tin mines are also the reason the Cornish Pasty, made in a D shape with a thick crust, was adopted by the miners. The miners were poor, so they were filled with chopped up potato, onions and swede. Their hands were also dirty and because of the high levels of arsenic in some of the mines, they used the crust as a handle and then threw it away. Very simple, but clever, someone was thinking!

A Cornish Pasty, enjoyed by the rich upper classes and royalty had varied fillings including venison, beef, lamb and even seafood. The traditional pasty today is usually filled with beef and vegetables, even carrots, which weren’t added originally: because if it was the pasty was considered ‘inferior’. Who would have guessed!


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I also found those old tin mines fascinating, Penny. I had a Cornish pasty, but it was quite disappointing, being full of potato and hardly any meat. 🙁

Reply to  adinparadise

I had exactly the same experience and was very disappointed in the Cornish Pasty I had. I learned later that there are places that make a Cornish Pasty to remember, but you need to know where they are. The only saving grace to my ‘pub pasty’ was I had a great ale to wash it down with….call Doom Bar, which I fell in love with. Did you have the chance to try that beer by any chance?