Wheal Leisure was a mine owned by Ross Poldark.
The mine's earliest known owner was Joshua Poldark who died in 1783. At the time, mines had started closing in Cornwall and the mine which would become Wheal Leisure followed suit.
When Ross Poldark came home, he inherited the mine. He decided to re-open it and tried to find investment. He succeeded and eventually re-opened the mine with the name Wheal Leisure and took on miner's who worked for his uncle's mine.
They struggled to find any copper but kept finding ironstone which may mean they would have found copper soon. Following the marriage of Ross to Demelza Carne, investors started to worry about his judgement leaving him with not a lot of time left to find some before he run out of finance. They eventually did find copper, saving Wheal Leisure.
At some point, George Warleggan manages to buy a share in the mine so Ross wants to find a way to stop him buying a greater share in the mine.
However, the mining industry was struggling with low prices and low wages. Ross came up with an idea with Dwight Enys to create their own smelting company by banding each local mine together so they could make some of their own profits instead of selling to other companies at half price.
At the next auction, the other companies buy ore at a low price. The mine owners become upset and request Ross and Francis Poldark attend a meeting. At the meeting, they say they think Ross's original idea to band together and make their own smelting company is good. They want Ross to lead them which he agrees to do, although Francis refuses to be involved since it was Ross's idea.
At the next auction day following the creation of their own smelting company, where the Cranmoore Smelting Company buys the ore from Wheal Leisure at a higher price which upsets the South Wales Smelting Company.
At a party, Ross nearly loses the mine in a bet to Matthew Sanson but was saved when he found out that Matthew was cheating. However, George later finds out Ross made the smelting company, and found the names of the other people involved.. George then met with them to tell them he will be requesting they pay their loans back. The remaining members find enough capital to go to one final auction, where George buys them out.
With only Wheal Leisure left, George attempts to get Ross to sell him shares in the company, in addition to small one he already owns. Ross won't but George tells him he will soon be in debt and will have to. He keeps trying to find copper at the mine since it is the only thing he really has left.
However, a friend of George's manages to persuade a woman who owns a share to sell it to him, giving him and George a say in Wheal Leisure. The mine is not doing well at all but Ross persuades everyone but George's friend to devote the quarter's profits to open a new explanatory tunnel to find some copper.
However, time goes by and he becomes annoyed by George's say in the mine. Ross decides to sell half his shares in the mine and try to open a new mine, Wheal Grace, with Francis. Some time later, Ross sold his remaining shares so he could support Elizabeth Poldark financially following the death of Francis.
Behind the scenes
- Wheal Leisure was filmed at Botallack Mine in Botallack, Cornwall, England.