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Royal Cornwall Museum – Cornwall and Devon Mining

Royal Cornwall Museum

the Museum displays an internationally important collection of minerals, a high proportion of which is Cornish. At its heart is the eighteenth century collection of Philip Rashleigh, with further early manuscripts and other documentation available in the Courtney Library by appointment. The Museum also houses many interesting mining photographs, which can be viewed by appointment. These include the Burrow’s underground photographs which used artificial light to show working conditions underground at the end of the Victorian era. The archaeological displays show examples of the very earliest mining activity in Cornwall. 01872 272205

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.