Interactive Heritage MapWorld Heritage Sites South West


Gwennap Pit – Cornwall and Devon Mining

Gwenaap Pit

Gwennap Pit is an open air amphitheatre, possibly a hollow created by sunken mine workings. Having remarkable acoustic properties, it was a favourite preaching place of John Wesley, the eighteenth century founder of Methodism, thousands from the mining communities gathering. Remodelled in 1806 as a memorial to him, it seats 2,000 on 13 circular grassy terraces, the top tier being 34 metres across. Used since then for the annual Whit Monday/Spring Bank Holiday gathering, other events are held - music, drama, worship, weddings. Alongside is a visitor centre.

Gwennap Pit telephone: 01209 820013 or 01326 372084

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.