It's going to be a busy year ahead as work officially begins on the Tolgus Tin Mill roof restoration project

The Tolgus Tin Mill roof restoration has been underway for the last 2 months and has another 6-8 weeks to go before it’s finished. Sweat, blood and tears (10 stitches and half an ear!) have gone into the restoration so far with the team working day and night in all weather to bring this ancient mill, the last of its kind in Cornwall, back to life.

Over 3 tons of reclaimed railway sleepers, corrugated steel and hundreds of hours of manpower have enabled us to reach the halfway point in this ambitious project. We’ve worked hard to make sure this is a sustainable restoration with everything we’ve taken out of the mill reused in other areas –  nothing has gone to waste. We’ve linked up with local suppliers to make sure we support local business, re-dug every footing to future-proof the mill,  and have even been lucky to find some hidden gems along the way like pre Second World War bottle tops and floatation tanks that were once used to separate the tin sediment.

And why are we doing it? We believe in preserving Cornish history for generations to come, and this ancient tin mill is the last of its kind in Europe! Thank you to everyone who continues to buy our beautiful Tolgus Jewellery –  revenue from each sale goes back into funding the restoration of the mill.
Book ahead here to get a £5 voucher to spend on jewellery and plan your trip here.
Discover the Tolgus Tin Mill
Explore the Tolgus Exhibition

The Tolgus Tin Mill Roof: Restoration Begins

Steeped in hundreds of years of history, the Tolgus Tin Mill at Cornwall Gold is Europe’s last remaining tin stream works, which is why we are determined to preserve this wonderful piece of Cornish history and bring the mill to life once again for generations to come.

Over the last 9 months, visitors have been voting on what part of the site to save next, starting with the new roof.


To retain as much of the original features and structure as possible, the wooden A-Frame will be lifted off in parts so a new corrugated steel roof can be put in place. Any rotten wood will be replaced before being put back.  At the same time, mundic affected areas will be removed whilst new lights and new wiring will be installed to get the frame house up and running in the not-too-distant future.

Here are some of the careful steps we will be taking:

  • Firstly, we need to take off each of the old tin sheets on the roof one by one
  • We will carefully drop each one down and start building new panels to size
  • Using the same procedure we will pull each one back up individually and put them into place. Repeating over the whole roof.

We don’t want the roof to fall into any more disrepair, so right now it needs investment, time, and effort and that’s something we are passionate about. However, the estimated works are going to cost us around £50,000.


The sale of our Tolgus jewellery helps to raise vital funds to preserve the mill. Although the tin mill has been out of commercial operation for decades, the the machinery can still be switched on so we can process tin in the old-fashioned way. It can be smelted on-site and put into our Tolgus jewellery sold exclusively at Cornwall Gold. From Cornish wedding bands containing a touch of Tolgus Tin to stylish eco-friendly bracelets, stunning pendants and more, our jewellery comes from the heart of Cornwall.

This revenue helps to sustainably protect and maintain the mill, so we owe a huge thank you to all our customers who have supported us and bought our stunning jewellery.


​​In 2023 we created a brand new interactive exhibition dedicated entirely to the Tolgus Mill. Today visitors can learn more about the tin milling process, hear the stories of those who worked there, view original footage of the mill in action and dress up in traditional clothing! There is something for everyone and all ages.

Our free exhibition shows how much our industrial landscape has changed but there is a lot of work to do to make the mill operational and not just a record in the archives. 

Book your free visit to Cornwall Gold here and receive a free £5 voucher to redeem in our jewellery showroom, plus discover the menu and locally sourced food we have in our award-winning Cornish Pantry here.

Find out more about this restoration project on the BBC Cornwall here and watch the ITV Westcountry report on the Tolgus Tin Mill roof restoration below:

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