A Hidden World in the Cliffs
Another exciting part of the museum is our exciting World War Two Tunnels.
The precious nature of Porthcurno as a communications Hub meant it was highly guarded during 1914 – 1918, when the First World War was taking place. Over 43 soldiers were sent to guard against any enemy attack on the station, but no luckily such incident occurred.
In 1939 after the second World War was announce, over 300 infantrymen arrived to protect the cable station once again, in the fear one of the most important resources was at risk. Pillboxes were constructed at various points overlooking the beach, while the village was set alight with a flame barrage, that was laid on the beach itself to prevent seaborne attacks. It didn’t stop there, anti-aircraft guns and artillery pieces, disguised as bus shelters or haystacks, were sited close by to prevent attacks by air or sea. The whole area became a closed site and access was forbidden without a permit.
In addition to the activity on the beach, two hundred Cornish tin miners were employed to come to Porthcurno, to excavate two tunnels. These tunnels would house the equipment, weapons and food that the soldiers needed. In ten months of digging they removed 15,000 tons of rock, creating two tunnels, each 26 feet wide, 23 feet high and 150 feet long. These tunnels are still here today.
You can now be part of the secret that lay beneath the rock for so many years, and kept many soldiers well equipped and safe during this difficult time. Visit Cornwall’s secret World War Two tunnels here at Porthcurno and relive the adventure underground, just as the miners and the soldiers did so many years ago.