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Poldark’s filming locations

The character of Poldark stands in a tricorn hat and long coat on the clifftop, with a mine engine house and sea in the background
Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark on the cliffs near St Agnes Head, Cornwall, with Wheal Coates in the background | © BBC/Robert Viglasky

The BBC’s adaptation of Winston Graham’s much-loved Poldark novels featured many of the places we care for. Find out which National Trust beaches, headlands, historic mines and houses helped bring the series to life – and how the filming still benefits them today. You can visit them yourself and see how they inspired the production team on the award-winning TV series.

Real-life Poldark country

Lots of the scenes were filmed on coast and countryside that’s rich in mining and Cornish history.

Botallack Mine, St Just

The abandoned buildings at Botallack provided the perfect stand-in for the Poldark family mines of Wheal Leisure (in reality Wheal Owles) and Grambler (the iconic Crowns). The buildings give a fascinating insight into Cornish mining history. There were over 100 engine houses in the St Just district during the 19th century and earlier. But in 1895 the entire mine at Botallack closed due to rapidly falling copper and tin prices. Location fees supported the refurbishment of the Count House Workshop, where you can discover how the area’s mining history originally inspired author Winston Graham.

Chapel Porth, St Agnes

Many of Poldark’s famous gallops along the rugged Cornish clifftops were filmed on the cliffs above Chapel Porth. From here, you get panoramic views of yellow gorse, purple heather and miles of ocean. Beneath the gorse and heather the slopes are littered with mine shafts, wheel pits, spoil heaps and the ruins of dressing floors.

Gunwalloe, Helston

Gunwalloe is well known for its history of shipwrecks, so it’s apt that Poldark’s dramatic wreck scene was filmed here at Church Cove. Just next door is Dollar Cove, named after the Spanish ship San Salvador. It was wrecked there in 1669 and lost its cargo of silver dollars. People say coins still occasionally wash up on the beach after storms, so keep an eye out when you visit.

Caroline Enys, a character in TV's Poldark, stands in a pale blue dress, gloves and straw hat, on a sandy beach with sea in the distance.
Gabriella Wilde as Caroline Enys, at Gunwalloe Church Cove, Cornwall | © Mammoth Screen/Robert Viglasky

Holywell, North Cornwall

The Poldarks aren’t the only family to have their own beach. Ross’s rivals the Warleggans also own a beautiful stretch of coast, represented in series two by Holywell Bay. The famous twin offshore islands of Carter’s and Gulls Rocks provide a dramatic backdrop to the show’s action.

Levant Mine and Beam Engine, St Just

Levant Mine, which doubles up as Tressiders Rolling Mill in Poldark, is part of Cornwall and West Devon Mining World Heritage Site. It’s the only Cornish beam engine anywhere in the world that is still in steam on its original site. A group of volunteers known as the ‘Greasy Gang’ restored it after 60 years out of use. The sounds of whooshing steam make seeing the engine in action a thrilling experience. Location fees have helped fund activities to reflect working life at the mine. Try your hand at breaking and sorting rocks – tough work that was undertaken by women and girls as young as eight.

Park Head, near Porthcothan

Keep an eye out for scenes featuring Ross on horseback galloping across Park Head. The clifftops on the headlands offer spectacular views and you can see why they appealed to the team creating Poldark.

So much of the piece came alive when we were filming in Cornwall and everyone found their character in the outdoors.

A quote by Eleanor Tomlinson Actor playing Demelza


In a dream sequence in series two, Demelza and Ross find themselves walking along Porthcurno beach in the sun. With its white shell beach washed by a turquoise sea and rugged cliffs, it’s easy to see why Porthcurno was chosen to play Nampara Cove in series one of Poldark.

Predannack Wollas, The Lizard

This was the dramatic setting of many of Poldark’s charges on horseback. The windswept headland and cliffs have been kept wild thanks to nature-friendly farming. The careful grazing by tough native breeds keeps the scrub and bramble under control. But it also creates perfect conditions for delicate flora and fauna like the upright and twin-headed clovers.

St Agnes Head, St Agnes

The high clifftops and heathland of St Agnes Head, with its patchwork of gorse and heather doubled up as Nampara Valley, part of the Poldark family estate. It’s a great walking spot where the yellow and purple carpet rewards hikers with far reaching views of Chapel Porth beach, Trevaunance Cove and Wheal Coates old mine works, which provide a reminder of the region’s tin and copper mining past.

Historic houses joining the cast

As well as the Cornish coastline part of the action takes place at Killewarren the home of Caroline Enys and Dr Enys.

Great Chalfield Manor in Wiltshire doubled up as Killewarren and it appealed to the production team because it is still lived in by the original family, the Floyds. This gives Killewarren a feeling of warmth and domesticity which couldn’t be recreated in a studio.

Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire, an impressive 17th-century mansion near Bath, provided the location for the Warleggan’s town house.

Behind the scenes

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On set at Great Chalfield Manor

Go behind the scenes to see Great Chalfield Manor in action as Killewarren, for Series 3 of Poldark.

Building Poldark’s Cornwall

Anthony Power, former custodian for Levant Mine and Beam Engine, worked closely with the production team to help bring the mines back to life.

‘I worked with the designers to advise on how the mine would have looked on the surface in the late 18th century – a difficult task as there are no photographs from that period and not many images,' he said.

The crew built new timber structures, including winches to haul buckets of ore to the surface. The roofs of the engine houses were recreated digitally by the visual effects team.

Behind the scenes filming Poldark: camera crew, an actor in a top hat riding a horse, and a Cornish mine engine house on the cliff with sea behind
On location at Wheal Owles, Botallack. New timber structures and digital effects transform it into Wheal Leisure. | © Mammoth Screen

Supporting special places

As well as showing off beautiful locations, filming directly benefits the places in our care that star in the production. The income from location fees goes straight back into conservation work to care for historic houses and landscapes, so that we’ll all be able to see them both on screen and in real life for years to come.

How Poldark has helped the Tin Coast

The Poldark TV series has benefited many of the places in our care on the Tin Coast. The location fees have gone back into conservation work to look after them – but there’s also an increased interest and commitment to that care. The power of the story has illuminated the past lives of these places for a much wider audience.

People tend to think of these places in terms of the machinery and how things work. What Poldark’s done for us is to connect human stories with the landscape and its industrial past.

A quote by Ian MarshNational Trust General Manager, West Cornwall

Firing the imagination

Filming locations often mark one of the final chapters in the life of a novel, but special places can also provide the earliest sparks of inspiration to authors.

National Trust places were important to Winston Graham when he wrote the original novels. Francis Poldark’s estate at Trenwith was inspired by Trerice, while Gurnard’s Head near Land’s End was spoken of in the books as a particularly treacherous headland.

‘In many ways it would have been completely impossible to film Poldark without the National Trust,’ said Andrew Graham, son of Winston. ‘If the Trust didn’t exist there wouldn’t be these extraordinary places to which we could come, and I know that my father felt very deeply about that.’

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Mine buildings on the edge of cliffs with sunset over the sea


On the wild Tin Coast, the famed Crowns engine houses cling to the foot of the cliffs. Part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and Poldark filming location.

near St Just, Cornwall

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Chapel Porth 

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Visitor at Gunwalloe Church Cove, Lizard Peninsula


A site of archaeological importance surrounded by dunes, beaches, a medieval church and a reedbed rich in wildlife.


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Walkers in the distance on the beach at Holywell in Cornwall.


A classic north Cornish beach with a sweep of golden sand and a towering dune system

near Newquay, Cornwall

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View of the Cornish Flag flying over the buildings atLevant Mine and Beam Engine on the cliffs of the Tin Coast, Cornwall

Levant Mine and Beam Engine 

High-up on the exposed cliffs of the 'Tin Coast' and part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. At its heart, the restored 1840s beam engine running on steam. Open by pre-booked tours.

near St Just, Cornwall

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Spring view along the coastline at St Agnes Head, Cornwall.

St Agnes Head 

Walk over a jewel-like carpet of heather and gorse

St Agnes, Cornwall

Fully open today
A view of the exterior of Great Chalfield Manor across the moat and forecourt, the sun is low in the sky and glinting off the roof.the

Great Chalfield Manor and Garden 

Charming fifteenth-century manor house with Arts and Crafts garden

near Melksham, Wiltshire

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