Interactive Heritage MapWorld Heritage Sites South West

Feedback

Cornwall and Devon Mining

Wheal Trewavas

The landscapes of Cornwall and west Devon were radically reshaped during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by deep-lode mining for predominantly copper and tin. The mines, engine houses, foundries, new towns, smallholdings, ports, harbours, and ancillary industries so created, together reflect prolific industrial innovation which was to have a significant influence on the development of our modern industrial society.

The best surviving of these metal mining landscapes are recognised within the newly designated Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, or ‘Cornish Mining’, as inscribed by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in July 2006. This places the historic mining landscapes on a par with such international treasures as Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China.

The Cornish Mining World Heritage Site is a serial inscription comprising ten principal Areas from St Just in the far west of Cornwall to Tavistock in west Devon. Together these total 19,700 hectares making this the largest World Heritage Site in the UK.

Directions

By car, turn off the A38 at Liskeard and follow the St Cleer road up onto the moors. From the A30, turn off at South Petherwin. Bus route 574 connects Liskeard to St Cleer and Minions. Minibuses can be booked at the Tourist Office in Liskeard. The nearest mainline train station is Liskeard. See: http://www.cornwallpublictransport.info for the latest information.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 109 (Bodmin Moor; Bodmin, Camelford and Liskeard) (Explorer Series Active Map).

Godolphin House, Trevarno and Rinsey are all within five miles of Helston. Buses (First 2/2a/2b) travel to Porthleven and Praa Sands (Wheal Trewavas and Prosper are between the two), and there are regular buses into Helston town centre. See: www.cornwallpublictransport.info for the latest information.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 103 (The Lizard, Helston and Falmouth) and 102: (Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives) (Explorer Series).

By car, the A390 crosses the Area, across Hingston Down and Gunnislake to Tavistock. A good selection of ferry, bus and train services run from Plymouth through the Tamar valley Area, have a look at www.carfreedaysout.com, www.calstockferry.co.uk and www.tamarcruising.com. The information services www.traveline.org.uk and www.cornwallpublictransport.info also provide the latest travel details.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 108 (Lower Tamar Valley & Plymouth, Tavistock and Callington) (Explorer Series).

For Charlestown, head south from St Austell on the A3061. Luxulyan is a five-mile drive north-east of St Austell along some narrow but well-signposted roads. First operates several buses to St Austell (25, 26/26B, 27/27b), and the Truronian T24 stops in Luxulyan. The nearest mainline train station is Par. See: http://www.cornwallpublictransport.info for the latest information.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 107 (St Austell & Liskeard, Fowey, Looe & Lostwithiel (Explorer Series).

By car, St Agnes is easily accessible from the A30 via the B3277, and is roughly nine miles from Truro. By bus, the Truronian T1 runs from Truro every half an hour during the week. See: http://www.cornwallpublictransport.info for the latest information.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) (Explorer Series).

 

This large area lies between Redruth and Truro, and is laced with classic Cornish lanes. Road access is via the A393 between Redruth and Falmouth, which passes through Ponsanooth (for Kennall Vale); turn off this road by the Fox & Hounds pub for Carharrack, St Day, Scorrier and Chacewater. Fisrt bus services 14a and 18b pass through Carharrack, St Day and Chacewater. Devoran is just off the A39 between Falmouth and Truro, and First bus routes 89/90 (Falmouth to Newquay via Truro) stop here. See: http://www.cornwallpublictransport.info for the latest information.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) (Explorer Series).

 

Getting there: Both Camborne and Redruth have train stations on the London to Penzance line, and are situated just off the A30. Portreath is close to both (roughly four miles to the north), and is on the coast. There are regular buses to Redruth and Camborne from most major Cornish areas (buses 14 and 18 from Truro), and buses to Portreath also run from Truro, Camborne and Redruth (rote 17). See: http://www.cornwallpublictransport.info for the latest information.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) (Explorer Series).

Wendron village is situated on the B3297, roughly two miles north of Helston. Poldark Mine is close by, and Carnmenellis is accessible via Four Lanes, near Redruth. The T34 (Truronian) stops in Wendron and Four Lanes. See: http://www.cornwallpublictransport.info for the latest information.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 103 (The Lizard, Helston and Falmouth) (Explorer Series).

Hayle is just off the A30, nine miles south-east of St Ives. By bus, First’s no.14 Truro to St Ives route runs via Camborne, Redruth and Hayle. By Train, Hayle is on the main London to penzance line, but you will need to change at St Erth if Travelling from St Ives. See: www.cornwallpublictransport.info for the latest information.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 102 (Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives) (Explorer Series).

St Just is ten miles from Penzance. By car, follow the A3071 from Penzance or the B3306 from St Ives. The 17, 17a, 17b 343 and 345 bus services all serve St Just , as well as the popular Penwith Explorer open top service, which runs along the spectacular B3306 coast road from St Ives between May and September. The nearest mainline train station is Penzance. See: www.cornwallpublictransport.info for the latest information.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 102 (Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives) (Explorer Series).

Itineraries

Scorrier ChapelA large and varied area of fertile countryside, historic mining villages, pretty woods, tranquil river creeks and some of the most impressive industrial landscapes to be found anywhere in theSite, Gwennap is full of contrasts. Once the richest of all Cornwall’s mining districts, its fine houses, well-preserved industrial remains and dramatic, alien-looking mining landscapes combine to tell a compelling and colourful story of Cornish mining’s heyday. The Methodist preaching place, Gwennap Pit, along with the Area’s many roadside chapels also give us a fascinating insight into mining communities and their spiritual beliefs.

Industry & times past

  • Hire a bike at Bike Chain in Bissoe and cycle the Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast Trail, which links the principal mine sites, the eastern and western parts of this Area, and the important ports of Devoran and Portreath. From autumn 2008, the Redruth & Chasewater Railway Trail will link Bissoe with Redruth via Carharrack.
  • Explore the Kennall Vale Gunpowder Works – one of the largest and most complete gunpowder works to be found anywhere in Britain – set in gorgeous woods laced with streams, leats, waterfalls and ponds. In spring, a sea of bluebells and bright pink foxgloves carpets the woodland floor.
  • Stand in the famous Gwennap Pit, where John Wesley preached to the Cornish Mining communities, and imagine thousands of people gathered around to listen.
  • Take in the sheer scale of past industrial activity at Poldice and Wheal Maid, which reveal the enormous impact that mining has had in transforming the landscape.
  • Look around the well-preserved port, quays and tramway trackbeds at Devoran, once a key mining port and now a beautiful and tranquil creekside haven.
  • Just to the south of Redruth on the eastern slopes of Carn Marth is the famous Gwennap Pit, where John Wesley preached between 1762 and 1789. With its message of the rewards waiting in Heaven, Methodism was very popular with the hardworking mining communities. Wesley is known to have preached to many thousands at this location though the Pit’s capacity was reduced to 1,500 when the tiers were installed in 1806.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) (Explorer Series).

Map of Gwennap

Scorrier ChapelA large and varied area of fertile countryside, historic mining villages, pretty woods, tranquil river creeks and some of the most impressive industrial landscapes to be found anywhere in theSite, Gwennap is full of contrasts. Once the richest of all Cornwall’s mining districts, its fine houses, well-preserved industrial remains and dramatic, alien-looking mining landscapes combine to tell a compelling and colourful story of Cornish mining’s heyday. The Methodist preaching place, Gwennap Pit, along with the Area’s many roadside chapels also give us a fascinating insight into mining communities and their spiritual beliefs.

Industry & times past

  • Hire a bike at Bike Chain in Bissoe and cycle the Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast Trail, which links the principal mine sites, the eastern and western parts of this Area, and the important ports of Devoran and Portreath. From autumn 2008, the Redruth & Chasewater Railway Trail will link Bissoe with Redruth via Carharrack.
  • Explore the Kennall Vale Gunpowder Works – one of the largest and most complete gunpowder works to be found anywhere in Britain – set in gorgeous woods laced with streams, leats, waterfalls and ponds. In spring, a sea of bluebells and bright pink foxgloves carpets the woodland floor.
  • Stand in the famous Gwennap Pit, where John Wesley preached to the Cornish Mining communities, and imagine thousands of people gathered around to listen.
  • Take in the sheer scale of past industrial activity at Poldice and Wheal Maid, which reveal the enormous impact that mining has had in transforming the landscape.
  • Look around the well-preserved port, quays and tramway trackbeds at Devoran, once a key mining port and now a beautiful and tranquil creekside haven.
  • Just to the south of Redruth on the eastern slopes of Carn Marth is the famous Gwennap Pit, where John Wesley preached between 1762 and 1789. With its message of the rewards waiting in Heaven, Methodism was very popular with the hardworking mining communities. Wesley is known to have preached to many thousands at this location though the Pit’s capacity was reduced to 1,500 when the tiers were installed in 1806.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) (Explorer Series).

Map of Gwennap

Morwellham from the airSet in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Tamar Valley encompasses a breathtaking landscape that is as diverse as it is historically important. Stretching from the high granite ridge and exposed moors of Kit Hill in Cornwall, to the lush, deep wooded valleys of the meandering Tamar River – and the farming lands of the Devon plateau beyond – the Area spans the border between Cornwall and Devon. In today’s tranquillity, it’s hard to imagine the noise from over 100 mines that operated at the height of its mining boom.

Industry & times past

  • Join the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail at New Bridge, and follow the route along to Gunnislake Clitters Mine where substantial engine houses stand close to the river and further up the hill. The Discovery Trail also connects a number of other key industrial sites.
  • Walk or cycle the newly-opened trails around Devon Great Consols, one of the largest and most important copper and arsenic works in the Site that is now enveloped in an extensive conifer plantation.
  • Explore the shops, cafés, elegant houses and villas, public buildings and museum in the attractive, thriving market town of Tavistock - extensively re-modelled in the 19th century by the 7th Duke of Bedford, using the enormous profits made from his interests in Devon Great Consols copper mine.
  • Ride the train on the Tamar Valley Line, the southern section of the former East Cornwall Minerals Railway. This runs through the Tamar Valley’s breathtaking scenery, over the stunning Tavy and Calstock viaducts, and through some of the key mining sites and communities.
  • Gaze out across the magnificent panoramas from the top of Kit Hill. Look northwards across the sweeping landscape of north Cornwall and north Devon; southwards across rich farmland to the waters of Plymouth Haven shining in the distance; or westwards towards Caradon Hill and Bodmin Moor, crowning the horizon.
  • Discover the magical house, gardens, woodlands, and riverside walks and quays of Cotehele, the historic seat of the Edgcumbe family.
  • Visit Morwellham River Port, Mine & Railway. Explore the quay, mine and farm cottages, school and shops of 1860; watch craftsmen at work and travel along the 1500ft underground electric tramway into a copper mine to experience what it was like for mineworkers of the time.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 108 (Lower Tamar Valley & Plymouth, Tavistock and Callington) (Explorer Series).

Map of Tamar Valley

Morwellham from the airSet in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Tamar Valley encompasses a breathtaking landscape that is as diverse as it is historically important. Stretching from the high granite ridge and exposed moors of Kit Hill in Cornwall, to the lush, deep wooded valleys of the meandering Tamar River – and the farming lands of the Devon plateau beyond – the Area spans the border between Cornwall and Devon. In today’s tranquillity, it’s hard to imagine the noise from over 100 mines that operated at the height of its mining boom.

Industry & times past

  • Join the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail at New Bridge, and follow the route along to Gunnislake Clitters Mine where substantial engine houses stand close to the river and further up the hill. The Discovery Trail also connects a number of other key industrial sites.
  • Walk or cycle the newly-opened trails around Devon Great Consols, one of the largest and most important copper and arsenic works in the Site that is now enveloped in an extensive conifer plantation.
  • Explore the shops, cafés, elegant houses and villas, public buildings and museum in the attractive, thriving market town of Tavistock - extensively re-modelled in the 19th century by the 7th Duke of Bedford, using the enormous profits made from his interests in Devon Great Consols copper mine.
  • Ride the train on the Tamar Valley Line, the southern section of the former East Cornwall Minerals Railway. This runs through the Tamar Valley’s breathtaking scenery, over the stunning Tavy and Calstock viaducts, and through some of the key mining sites and communities.
  • Gaze out across the magnificent panoramas from the top of Kit Hill. Look northwards across the sweeping landscape of north Cornwall and north Devon; southwards across rich farmland to the waters of Plymouth Haven shining in the distance; or westwards towards Caradon Hill and Bodmin Moor, crowning the horizon.
  • Discover the magical house, gardens, woodlands, and riverside walks and quays of Cotehele, the historic seat of the Edgcumbe family.
  • Visit Morwellham River Port, Mine & Railway. Explore the quay, mine and farm cottages, school and shops of 1860; watch craftsmen at work and travel along the 1500ft underground electric tramway into a copper mine to experience what it was like for mineworkers of the time.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 108 (Lower Tamar Valley & Plymouth, Tavistock and Callington) (Explorer Series).

Map of Tamar Valley

South Caradon Mine - Holmans and Rules shaftsThis rugged, windswept and mostly treeless Area sits high up in a remote but beautiful corner of Bodmin Moor. Rising dramatically from the surrounding plain, the granite dome of Caradon Hill dominates the Area and is encircled by engine houses, chimney stacks, thousands of tonnes of waste rock from the various mines and quarries, and the trackbed of the Liskeard & Caradon Railway. This is a story of boom and bust: the rise of copper mining here established new settlements and expanded others, but the explosion of mining activity within this formerly isolated landscape was to last barely 50 years; large-scale mining for copper had all but ceased by 1890.

Industry & times past

  • Walk along the disused railways, tramways and traction engine tracks across the moorland, which form well-surfaced level trails through the Area. These routes link some of the richest and best-preserved archaeological landscapes in Cornwall, including South Caradon Mine, the Prince of Wales shaft site (Phoenix United Mine), the Hurlers, and Cheesewring Quarry.
  • Walking on open access land along the old Liskeard & Caradon Railway (built to transport copper-ore southwards to the port of Looe), with its mostly level surface, stunning views and striking reminders of its industrial past.
  • Watching the sunset from the top of Caradon Hill, looking west across the golden moors and Siblyback Lake
  • Visiting the Prince of Wales Shaft at Phoenix United Mine, built for the last big pumping engine made in Cornwall (1907). It’s an impressive and distinctive landmark with great views across the countryside.
  • Nearby, the Houseman’s Engine House, part of South Phoenix Mine, is now partially restored as the Minions Heritage Centre - well worth a visit.
  • Exploring the well-preserved cobbled floors of South Caradon Mine at the bottom of the Seaton Valley, where hundreds of women and children used to dress copper ore.
  • Explore the village of Minions – Cornwall’s highest village – which has the feel of a real frontier settlement, with rows of terraced cottages built on the virgin moorland. Learn more about its history in the Minions Heritage Centre.
  • Also visit the Liskeard & District Museum and Information Centre to discover more about the Area’s heritage.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 109 (Bodmin Moor; Bodmin, Camelford and Liskeard) (Explorer Series Active Map).

Map of Caradon

South Caradon Mine - Holmans and Rules shaftsThis rugged, windswept and mostly treeless Area sits high up in a remote but beautiful corner of Bodmin Moor. Rising dramatically from the surrounding plain, the granite dome of Caradon Hill dominates the Area and is encircled by engine houses, chimney stacks, thousands of tonnes of waste rock from the various mines and quarries, and the trackbed of the Liskeard & Caradon Railway. This is a story of boom and bust: the rise of copper mining here established new settlements and expanded others, but the explosion of mining activity within this formerly isolated landscape was to last barely 50 years; large-scale mining for copper had all but ceased by 1890.

Industry & times past

  • Walk along the disused railways, tramways and traction engine tracks across the moorland, which form well-surfaced level trails through the Area. These routes link some of the richest and best-preserved archaeological landscapes in Cornwall, including South Caradon Mine, the Prince of Wales shaft site (Phoenix United Mine), the Hurlers, and Cheesewring Quarry.
  • Walking on open access land along the old Liskeard & Caradon Railway (built to transport copper-ore southwards to the port of Looe), with its mostly level surface, stunning views and striking reminders of its industrial past.
  • Watching the sunset from the top of Caradon Hill, looking west across the golden moors and Siblyback Lake
  • Visiting the Prince of Wales Shaft at Phoenix United Mine, built for the last big pumping engine made in Cornwall (1907). It’s an impressive and distinctive landmark with great views across the countryside.
  • Nearby, the Houseman’s Engine House, part of South Phoenix Mine, is now partially restored as the Minions Heritage Centre - well worth a visit.
  • Exploring the well-preserved cobbled floors of South Caradon Mine at the bottom of the Seaton Valley, where hundreds of women and children used to dress copper ore.
  • Explore the village of Minions – Cornwall’s highest village – which has the feel of a real frontier settlement, with rows of terraced cottages built on the virgin moorland. Learn more about its history in the Minions Heritage Centre.
  • Also visit the Liskeard & District Museum and Information Centre to discover more about the Area’s heritage.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 109 (Bodmin Moor; Bodmin, Camelford and Liskeard) (Explorer Series Active Map).

Map of Caradon

Wheal TrewavasThe largest of the ten Areas, Tregonning and Gwinear contains some of the most diverse landscapes in the whole Site. Ranging from the idyllic pastoral charms of the rural farmland in the west of the Area to the atmospheric cliffscapes at Rinsey – with silent woods, exposed hills and subtropical gardens in between – it is vast, historic and remarkable. Three great houses and their estates – Godolphin, Trevarno and Clowance – define the Area, providing a valuable insight into the wealth of some of Cornwall’s most successful industrialists and mine owners.

Mining & times past

  • Explore the cliffs around Wheal Prosper and Wheal Trewavas, some of the most strikingly situated engine houses in the Site. If you’re lucky you might even see an RNAS Culdrose helicopter performing training exercises nearby.
  • Park at and explore Praze-An-Beeble. Still reminiscent of its mining heyday, the village has lines of mineworkers’ cottages and surrounding countryside dotted with smallholdings.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 103 (The Lizard, Helston and Falmouth) and 102: (Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives) (Explorer Series).

Map of Tregonning

Wheal TrewavasThe largest of the ten Areas, Tregonning and Gwinear contains some of the most diverse landscapes in the whole Site. Ranging from the idyllic pastoral charms of the rural farmland in the west of the Area to the atmospheric cliffscapes at Rinsey – with silent woods, exposed hills and subtropical gardens in between – it is vast, historic and remarkable. Three great houses and their estates – Godolphin, Trevarno and Clowance – define the Area, providing a valuable insight into the wealth of some of Cornwall’s most successful industrialists and mine owners.

Mining & times past

  • Explore the cliffs around Wheal Prosper and Wheal Trewavas, some of the most strikingly situated engine houses in the Site. If you’re lucky you might even see an RNAS Culdrose helicopter performing training exercises nearby.
  • Park at and explore Praze-An-Beeble. Still reminiscent of its mining heyday, the village has lines of mineworkers’ cottages and surrounding countryside dotted with smallholdings.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 103 (The Lizard, Helston and Falmouth) and 102: (Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives) (Explorer Series).

Map of Tregonning

Black Bridge in HayleTaking its name from heyl, the Cornish word for estuary, this Area is dominated by water: rivers, pools, sluicing ponds, quays, wharves, and, of course, the sea. Huge sand dunes lie between the town and the beautiful St Ives Bay, with the dark hills of the West Penwith Moors looming to the west. In the early 19th century, Hayle was the most important mining port and steam engine manufacturing centre in the world. Despite its decline, today’s lively communities buzz with the prospect of imminent regeneration. Here you’ll find plenty of signs of the town’s great past, along with beautiful beaches stretching out under vast skies

Industry & times past

  • Cross the railway swing bridge and follow the estuary to the sea, looking out for the remains of wharfside industry including sluice gates, sluicing ponds and railway tracks as you go.
  • Walk the King George V Memorial Walk from Phillack, taking in the pretty gardens around Copperhouse Pool, and looking out for Black Bridge (built from ‘Scoria’ blocks made from the waste slag produced by copper ore smelting at nearby Copperhouse)
  • Explore the back roads and paths around the Foundry area, to find the impressive villas and ornate townhouses of the industry’s managers, tucked away from the hustle and bustle.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 102 (Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives) (Explorer Series).

Map of Hayle

Black Bridge in HayleTaking its name from heyl, the Cornish word for estuary, this Area is dominated by water: rivers, pools, sluicing ponds, quays, wharves, and, of course, the sea. Huge sand dunes lie between the town and the beautiful St Ives Bay, with the dark hills of the West Penwith Moors looming to the west. In the early 19th century, Hayle was the most important mining port and steam engine manufacturing centre in the world. Despite its decline, today’s lively communities buzz with the prospect of imminent regeneration. Here you’ll find plenty of signs of the town’s great past, along with beautiful beaches stretching out under vast skies

Industry & times past

  • Cross the railway swing bridge and follow the estuary to the sea, looking out for the remains of wharfside industry including sluice gates, sluicing ponds and railway tracks as you go.
  • Walk the King George V Memorial Walk from Phillack, taking in the pretty gardens around Copperhouse Pool, and looking out for Black Bridge (built from ‘Scoria’ blocks made from the waste slag produced by copper ore smelting at nearby Copperhouse)
  • Explore the back roads and paths around the Foundry area, to find the impressive villas and ornate townhouses of the industry’s managers, tucked away from the hustle and bustle.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 102 (Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives) (Explorer Series).

Map of Hayle

Wheal Edward Stamps engine houseA stone’s throw from Land’s End, this is the most westerly Area of the Site. An exposed landscape scoured by the elements, St Just is characterised by big skies, jagged rocks, stark moorland, and iconic cliff-top engine houses perched in some incredible locations – no wonder this dramatic setting has inspired generations of artists, writers and photographers. World-famous for their mineralogy, the mining sites here are extremely well preserved, as is the sense of community amongst the people whose lives they once dominated.

Industry & times past

  • The coast path links most of the principal mine sites, which lie on a spectacular four-mile stretch of coastline. Park at Cape Cornwall, and join the coast path heading north-east to take in Kenidjack Head (the stream here once powered up to 50 water wheels), Wheal Edward Zawn, Botallack (where you can visit the Botallack Count House and see displays telling you more about mining on this coast), Levant Mine and Beam Engine, and Trewellard Zawn.
  • Take a tour of Geevor Tin Mine – one of the last Cornish mines to close - it is one of only a few mine sites with extensive collections of machinery open to the public in Cornwall. The imposing headframe at Victory Shaft can be seen from miles around. See also Levant Mine, which is spectacularly sited on the cliff edge. Its beam engine has been restored by the ‘Greasy Gang’ volunteers, and is driven by steam again.
  • At the heart of St Just, just off Bank Square, is the Plen an Gwary, a grassed amphitheatre that is one of only two surviving medieval amphitheatres in Cornwall. It has been used as a theatre, sports arena (once famous for Cornish wrestling and hand rock-drilling competitions) and meeting place for the nearby mining communities.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 102 (Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives) (Explorer Series).

 

Wheal Edward Stamps engine houseA stone’s throw from Land’s End, this is the most westerly Area of the Site. An exposed landscape scoured by the elements, St Just is characterised by big skies, jagged rocks, stark moorland, and iconic cliff-top engine houses perched in some incredible locations – no wonder this dramatic setting has inspired generations of artists, writers and photographers. World-famous for their mineralogy, the mining sites here are extremely well preserved, as is the sense of community amongst the people whose lives they once dominated.

Industry & times past

  • The coast path links most of the principal mine sites, which lie on a spectacular four-mile stretch of coastline. Park at Cape Cornwall, and join the coast path heading north-east to take in Kenidjack Head (the stream here once powered up to 50 water wheels), Wheal Edward Zawn, Botallack (where you can visit the Botallack Count House and see displays telling you more about mining on this coast), Levant Mine and Beam Engine, and Trewellard Zawn.
  • Take a tour of Geevor Tin Mine – one of the last Cornish mines to close - it is one of only a few mine sites with extensive collections of machinery open to the public in Cornwall. The imposing headframe at Victory Shaft can be seen from miles around. See also Levant Mine, which is spectacularly sited on the cliff edge. Its beam engine has been restored by the ‘Greasy Gang’ volunteers, and is driven by steam again.
  • At the heart of St Just, just off Bank Square, is the Plen an Gwary, a grassed amphitheatre that is one of only two surviving medieval amphitheatres in Cornwall. It has been used as a theatre, sports arena (once famous for Cornish wrestling and hand rock-drilling competitions) and meeting place for the nearby mining communities.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 102 (Land’s End, Penzance and St Ives) (Explorer Series).

 

Medlyn MoorIn the heart of beautiful countryside surrounded by open moorland and gushing streams, Wendron is one of the smallest Areas in the Site – although its rich tin deposits meant it once had enough inhabitants to rival the combined populations of Redruth and Camborne. This demand led to the creation of a large number of smallholdings around Carnmenellis, which are among the best preserved in the entire Site. Here you can see pretty granite cottages and tiny fields framed by dozens of low walls made from cob and moorland granite respectively.

Mining & times past

  • Take a walking tour around the mine sites of Wheal Ennis, Porkellis Moor, Wheal Ann andBasset & Grylls, which are all near Wendron village. Basset & Grylls was the scene of tragedy in 1858, when a surface pond collapsed straight into the mine, killing seven local workers.
  • Venture down into Wheal Roots – the 18th century tin mine at Poldark – to learn about Cornish mining history and find out what conditions were actually like for Cornish mineworkers, and view the re-sited Greensplat, or Poldark, beam engine, the last to pump commercially in Cornwall.
  • Explore Porkellis Moor – a Cornwall Wildlife Trust reserve, where nature has softened the ancient mining landscape. The surviving smallholdings (small farms) at Carnmenellis are characteristic of the Area. Created to meet the demands of the growing mining and quarrying workforce, the smallholdings forged an important link between the extractive industries and farming that is still relevant today (Footpaths ring Carnmenellis but do not connect with the summit of the hill).

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 103 (The Lizard, Helston and Falmouth) (Explorer Series).

Medlyn MoorIn the heart of beautiful countryside surrounded by open moorland and gushing streams, Wendron is one of the smallest Areas in the Site – although its rich tin deposits meant it once had enough inhabitants to rival the combined populations of Redruth and Camborne. This demand led to the creation of a large number of smallholdings around Carnmenellis, which are among the best preserved in the entire Site. Here you can see pretty granite cottages and tiny fields framed by dozens of low walls made from cob and moorland granite respectively.

Mining & times past

  • Take a walking tour around the mine sites of Wheal Ennis, Porkellis Moor, Wheal Ann andBasset & Grylls, which are all near Wendron village. Basset & Grylls was the scene of tragedy in 1858, when a surface pond collapsed straight into the mine, killing seven local workers.
  • Venture down into Wheal Roots – the 18th century tin mine at Poldark – to learn about Cornish mining history and find out what conditions were actually like for Cornish mineworkers, and view the re-sited Greensplat, or Poldark, beam engine, the last to pump commercially in Cornwall.
  • Explore Porkellis Moor – a Cornwall Wildlife Trust reserve, where nature has softened the ancient mining landscape. The surviving smallholdings (small farms) at Carnmenellis are characteristic of the Area. Created to meet the demands of the growing mining and quarrying workforce, the smallholdings forged an important link between the extractive industries and farming that is still relevant today (Footpaths ring Carnmenellis but do not connect with the summit of the hill).

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 103 (The Lizard, Helston and Falmouth) (Explorer Series).

West Basset StampsThis was the centre of the Cornish mining industry, and home to many of its most important mines and individuals. The impressive bulk of Carn Brea – a high granite ridge with jagged outcrops and fantastic 360° vistas – frames most views of Camborne and Redruth, serving as a reminder of the geology that underpinned their rapid growth. Featuring essential rail links to Portreath harbour, historic mining cottages, the Great Flat Lode (an extensive flat-dipping mineral vein extremely rich in tin), and South Crofty, Cornwall’s last operating tin mine, this Area includes rugged open countryside, a lovely sandy beach, and bustling towns with the remains of its mining history ever-present.

Mining & times past

  • Rent bikes and try out the excellent cycle trail around the Great Flat Lode (try AldridgeCycles, Camborne). The trail, which is generally easy-going, stops off at key industrial locations and has numerous panels with information about the mines along the way. You can also cycle along the Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast route to Portreath, which also passes through a number of significant mine sites.
  • Visit Cornish Mines & Engines, and see the interiors of two complete engine houses with beam engines in place. Walk along the headland at Portreath, and imagine the harbour in its industrial heyday as a bustling copper port. Explore Wheal Peevor, which has three fine engine houses close to the A30.
  • Also witness the unique collection of restored tin processing equipment at King Edward Mine, a former training centre for mining students dating from the turn of the 20th century - one of only a few remaining mine sites with extensive collections of machinery in Cornwall.
  • Take a walk around the streets of Camborne, with its rows of small, terraced cottages built specifically to house a rapidly growing industrial population. In Redruth, look out for some of the grand civic buildings in the town centre, like the impressive Mining Exchange.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) (Explorer Series).

Map of Camborne, Redruth and Portreath

West Basset StampsThis was the centre of the Cornish mining industry, and home to many of its most important mines and individuals. The impressive bulk of Carn Brea – a high granite ridge with jagged outcrops and fantastic 360° vistas – frames most views of Camborne and Redruth, serving as a reminder of the geology that underpinned their rapid growth. Featuring essential rail links to Portreath harbour, historic mining cottages, the Great Flat Lode (an extensive flat-dipping mineral vein extremely rich in tin), and South Crofty, Cornwall’s last operating tin mine, this Area includes rugged open countryside, a lovely sandy beach, and bustling towns with the remains of its mining history ever-present.

Mining & times past

  • Rent bikes and try out the excellent cycle trail around the Great Flat Lode (try AldridgeCycles, Camborne). The trail, which is generally easy-going, stops off at key industrial locations and has numerous panels with information about the mines along the way. You can also cycle along the Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast route to Portreath, which also passes through a number of significant mine sites.
  • Visit Cornish Mines & Engines, and see the interiors of two complete engine houses with beam engines in place. Walk along the headland at Portreath, and imagine the harbour in its industrial heyday as a bustling copper port. Explore Wheal Peevor, which has three fine engine houses close to the A30.
  • Also witness the unique collection of restored tin processing equipment at King Edward Mine, a former training centre for mining students dating from the turn of the 20th century - one of only a few remaining mine sites with extensive collections of machinery in Cornwall.
  • Take a walk around the streets of Camborne, with its rows of small, terraced cottages built specifically to house a rapidly growing industrial population. In Redruth, look out for some of the grand civic buildings in the town centre, like the impressive Mining Exchange.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) (Explorer Series).

Map of Camborne, Redruth and Portreath

Wheal Coates - Towanroath Shaft engine houseFamous for its spectacular coastline and well-preserved engine houses perched on rugged cliffs, this Area also has a rich heritage to explore inland – from the tin treatment works in narrow stream valleys to the pretty village with its granite mineworkers’ cottages, fine public buildings and luscious gardens. Come here for great walks, breathtaking sunsets, dramatic mining remains, stunning beaches and, if you’re lucky, to see the dolphins that play off the coast in the summer.

Mining & times past

  • Follow the mining trail beginning at the famous Wheal Coates tin mine on the cliffs near Chapel Porth, passing the old workings at Polberro and Wheal Kitty, and ending at Blue Hills, Trevellas. Walk around the stunning cliff-top engine house at Wheal Coates; pictured on hundreds of postcards, but must be seen for real.
  • Visit the site of the old harbour at Trevaunance Cove, now in ruins, with the lovely beach and great eateries. Explore the lively and historic village of St Agnes, with its pubs, cafés and pretty rows of granite cottages like Stippy Stappy. Walk the stark coastline around Cligga Head, world famous for its outstanding mineralogy and cliff mine workings.
  • Park at the top of the village (by the library), visit the nearby St Agnes Museum, then walk down past the Miners and Mechanics Institute, St Agnes Church, the St Agnes Hotel, and the famous Stippy Stappy cottages (built for ships’ captains sailing from Trevaunance Cove), following the path down to the old harbour.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) (Explorer Series).

Wheal Coates - Towanroath Shaft engine houseFamous for its spectacular coastline and well-preserved engine houses perched on rugged cliffs, this Area also has a rich heritage to explore inland – from the tin treatment works in narrow stream valleys to the pretty village with its granite mineworkers’ cottages, fine public buildings and luscious gardens. Come here for great walks, breathtaking sunsets, dramatic mining remains, stunning beaches and, if you’re lucky, to see the dolphins that play off the coast in the summer.

Mining & times past

  • Follow the mining trail beginning at the famous Wheal Coates tin mine on the cliffs near Chapel Porth, passing the old workings at Polberro and Wheal Kitty, and ending at Blue Hills, Trevellas. Walk around the stunning cliff-top engine house at Wheal Coates; pictured on hundreds of postcards, but must be seen for real.
  • Visit the site of the old harbour at Trevaunance Cove, now in ruins, with the lovely beach and great eateries. Explore the lively and historic village of St Agnes, with its pubs, cafés and pretty rows of granite cottages like Stippy Stappy. Walk the stark coastline around Cligga Head, world famous for its outstanding mineralogy and cliff mine workings.
  • Park at the top of the village (by the library), visit the nearby St Agnes Museum, then walk down past the Miners and Mechanics Institute, St Agnes Church, the St Agnes Hotel, and the famous Stippy Stappy cottages (built for ships’ captains sailing from Trevaunance Cove), following the path down to the old harbour.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) (Explorer Series).

Charlestown HarbourFrom tranquil green woods to a bustling harbour village, the landscapes of the Luxulyan Valley andCharlestown are very different. However, they share important similarities: both are stunningly beautiful places with fantastic walks and rich mining histories to explore, and both were created by two locally-prominent industrial entrepreneurs. Charlestown, whose picturesque harbour has featured in many films, was developed in the late 18th century by Charles Rashleigh, while the many works in the Luxulyan Valley – including the Treffry Viaduct, leats and tramways – were constructed by Joseph Treffry during the early to mid 1800s.

Mining & times past

  • Visit the China Clay Country Park at nearby Carthew, St Austell, which tells the story of extractive industries in this Area since the decline of tin and copper mining. Gaze hundreds of feet down into the neighbouring working modern day china clay pit from the special viewing platform. See Cornwall’s largest working water wheel (around 35 ft in diameter), or explore the acres of woodland walks and nature trails.
  • Stand atop the imposing granite structure of the Treffry Viaduct (completed in 1842 to carry water and a tramway), and take in the birds-eye view of this beautiful valley. Walk the attractive circular route from Ponts Mill along Par Canal, (around 90 minutes), which was created to transport copper ore from Fowey Consols to Par Harbour. Glimpse also Austen’s Engine House above Penpillick Hill, part of the major Fowey Consols copper mine.
  • The huge water wheel pit on the valley side near Carmears Rocks shows the sheer scale of operations here. Experience the peaceful Prideaux Woods (to the south-west of Luxulyan Valley) – a quarter of which is ancient woodland.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 107 (St Austell & Liskeard, Fowey, Looe & Lostwithiel (Explorer Series).Map of Luxulyan Valley

Charlestown HarbourFrom tranquil green woods to a bustling harbour village, the landscapes of the Luxulyan Valley andCharlestown are very different. However, they share important similarities: both are stunningly beautiful places with fantastic walks and rich mining histories to explore, and both were created by two locally-prominent industrial entrepreneurs. Charlestown, whose picturesque harbour has featured in many films, was developed in the late 18th century by Charles Rashleigh, while the many works in the Luxulyan Valley – including the Treffry Viaduct, leats and tramways – were constructed by Joseph Treffry during the early to mid 1800s.

Mining & times past

  • Visit the China Clay Country Park at nearby Carthew, St Austell, which tells the story of extractive industries in this Area since the decline of tin and copper mining. Gaze hundreds of feet down into the neighbouring working modern day china clay pit from the special viewing platform. See Cornwall’s largest working water wheel (around 35 ft in diameter), or explore the acres of woodland walks and nature trails.
  • Stand atop the imposing granite structure of the Treffry Viaduct (completed in 1842 to carry water and a tramway), and take in the birds-eye view of this beautiful valley. Walk the attractive circular route from Ponts Mill along Par Canal, (around 90 minutes), which was created to transport copper ore from Fowey Consols to Par Harbour. Glimpse also Austen’s Engine House above Penpillick Hill, part of the major Fowey Consols copper mine.
  • The huge water wheel pit on the valley side near Carmears Rocks shows the sheer scale of operations here. Experience the peaceful Prideaux Woods (to the south-west of Luxulyan Valley) – a quarter of which is ancient woodland.

Suggested map

Ordnance Survey map 107 (St Austell & Liskeard, Fowey, Looe & Lostwithiel (Explorer Series).Map of Luxulyan Valley