The small village of Minions is the centre of a complex of mines that were developed around the Caradon Hill area of Cornwall and were very active in teh 18th and 19th centuries.
There are traces of mining from the Bronze-Age (c. 2,500 – 700BC) and Romano-British (c. 44 – 410AD) periods, and there is also evidence of earlier medieval and post-medieval tin streaming and later surface & shallow working of metal ores.
There are a number of 19th century engine houses in the immediate vicinity, one of which - for the South Phoenix Mine has been converted into a small visitor centre. The buildings of the Wheal Jenkin mine are also easily accessed.
Tin and copper mining took place until early in the 20th century, when the Prince of Wales Shaft closed around 1914. Many of the pump houses and spoil tips can still be seen. There were also several quarries in the area around Minions in the 19th century. The metals from the mines and stone from the quarries were to Liskeard and then onto Looe for shipping, on the Liskeard and Caradon Railway, which was built around 1844 and in 1916.
There is an unusual use of individual blocks of granite set into the moorland to support rails for moving wagons around on the moor. Although the rails have been removed, the stones remain. Theses were already marked as abandoned on the 1888 OS maps.
There is no underground access but the site offers access to multiple mines in an area of open access moorland as well as neolithic stone circles and other areas of interest, making for a very pleasant surface walk.