Cornish Mining World Heritage Site
On 13th July 2006 select mining landscapes across Cornwall and west Devon were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, placing Cornish mining heritage on a par with international treasures like Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China. The largest industrial World Heritage Site in the UK, with over 20,000 hectares spread over across Cornwall and West Devon
The site is comprised of ten unique Areas stretching from St Just in west Cornwall to Tavistock in west Devon. The Areas are;
· St Just- Mining on the edge of the earth
· Hayle- Global mining port with natural wonders
· Tregonning and Gwinear- Diverse landscapes and great houses
· Wendron-Tranquil rural area famed for tin-streaming
· Camborne and Redruth- The capital of Cornish Mining
· Gwennap- Great cycle trails through the Copper Kingdom
· St Agnes- Iconic cliff-top engine houses and world-class tin
· Luxulyan Valley and Charlestown- The creations of two extraordinary industrialists
· Caradon- Boom to bust mining amongst rugged moorland
· Tamar Valley and Tavistock- Nature and history entwined
The St Just area is home to a number of fantastic attractions to visit such as Geevor Tin Mine in Pendeen, which was a working mine until 1990. At Geevor you can go underground in a real 18th century tin mine, explore interactive displays, see the mineral gallery and take part in mining activities. You can enjoy all this (and a delicious pasty) with a view of the sea in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Nearby you will find the National Trust's Levant Mine and the iconic engine houses' at Botallack.
Situated between Cornwall's former industrial capitals, Redruth and Camborne are the two engine houses at East Pool Mine, another reminder of Cornwall's days as a world-famous centre of industry, engineering and innovation. The pumping engine is one of the largest surviving Cornish beam engines in the world, and the restored winding engine can be seen in action daily. With lots of displays and a family trail, it’s a great place to discover the whole dramatic story of Cornish mining. You can continue to explore things nearby at Heartlands in Pool which is a cultural community hub and with a view of South Crofty's headframe (the last mine in Cornwall to close).
In Mid Cornwall the Luxulyan Valley is a lush, peaceful spot for walking with the iconic Treffry Viaduct hid amongst the trees. Full of mining history which nature has now reclaimed, the viaduct is hidden until you are almost upon it. You can follow the ancient leat system past gigantic boulders and over luscious hills for a real wild adventure. The nearby port at Charlestown is also worth a visit.
Godolphin is just one of the grand historic Cornish house's built with riches made from mining, with extensive gardens full of plants brought back from mining funded explorations. This is a different side to mining where you can see where the money was spent. The beautiful house is only open on selected dates but you can visit the gardens and do the Godolphin Hill walk, where you can see Great Work Mine, at any time.
There are many more sites to see, to find out more, visit the WHS website.
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