Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

Ten Unique Areas - One 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 Cornish Mining World Heritage Site is the largest industrial World Heritage Site in the UK, with over 20,000 hectares spread over across Cornwall and West Devon. There are some outstanding landscapes to explore and amazing stories to tell about how ‘our mining heritage shaped your world’.

The site is comprised of ten individual 'Areas' - stretching from St Just in the far west of Cornwall to Tavistock in West Devon:

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

Here are just a few examples of the amazing places you can visit:

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. Nearby you will find the National Trust's Levant Mine and the iconic engine houses' at Botallack all within this stunning stretch of coast which is part of the Cornwall National Landscape

Situated between Cornwall's former industrial capitals, Camborne and Redruth, 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. With lots of displays and a family trail, it’s a great place to discover the whole dramatic story of Cornish mining. You can also visit King Edward Mine and find out more about Cornwall’s mining past and explore the Mineral Tramways network of multi activity trails.

Godolphin is just one of the grand historic Cornish houses 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. You can discover the wider mining landscape in a network of trails across the Godolphin estate. Head to nearby Tregonning Hill and you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the mining landscape in this part of Cornwall.

In mid Cornwall the Luxulyan Valley is a lush, peaceful spot for walking with the iconic Treffry Viaduct hidden 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 harbour at Charlestown is also well worth a visit and don't miss Wheal Martyn clayworks and museum near St Austell.

Visit the Tavistock Guildhall Heritage Centre just over the border in Devon and discover the mining stories that helped to shape the beautiful historic town we see today. You can explore the Tamar Valley by train on the scenic Tamar Valley Line taking you through the heart of this area of the World Heritage Site, an outstandingly beautiful part the Tamar Valley National Landscape

The iconic Calstock Viaduct takes the train across the River Tamar from Devon into Cornwall as you wind your way up the valley to Gunnislake.

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