Cornwall’s Mining Heritage

Cornwall has a rich history when it comes to their Mining World Heritage Status.

The history behind Cornwall’s Mining Heritage

Emma on Aug 17, 2015

Cornwall has a rich history when it comes to their Mining World Heritage Status. The county has 10 distinct areas where mining shaped Cornwall’s impact on the rest of the world.

West Cornwall is home to seven of these areas: St Just, The Port of Hayle, Wendron, Camborne and Redruth with Portreath, St Agnes, Tregonning and Trewavas and The Gwennap Mining District, Kennall Vale and Perran Foundry.

What they did

The hub of the mining industry in Cornwall originated in Camborne and Redruth with their good transportation links to the rest of the country by train and road it became capital for the counties industry. The large granite ridge at Carn Brea made the area a hotspot for mining resource and still remains one of the counties industrial areas.

Wendron was one of the smaller districts which concentrated on tin mining. You can still see the impact that mining had on the area with the mine shaft remains across the hills.

St Agnes was another tin mining district but was also known for its clifftop engine houses and pretty villages full of granite mineworkers’ cottages.

Famous for its undersea mining and unique mineralogy, St Just was the most westerly of the mining sites and at one point was the most concentrated undersea mine in the world.

Tregonning and Trewavas, was the largest mining district in Cornwall. Here you can learn about the extensive wealth of the mine owners’ at the National Trust property and in nearby villages you can see how the mineworkers themselves lived as you’ll find terraces of miners’ cottages.

The richest of the mining districts in Cornwall was Gwennap, which was previously described as the richest square mile anywhere on Earth. The old mills and waterways are still apparent at Kennall Vale which was one of the largest gunpowder works in the UK and the Perran Iron Foundry has now been lovingly transformed into waterside homes and businesses in Perranworthal.

The Port of Hayle was the most important mining port and steam engine manufacturer in the country back in the 19th century due to its shipping links and a good resource of materials in the cliff side surrounding the port.

If you want to learn more about the Cornwall Mining World Heritage Site and its history there are a number of attractions where you can hear more.

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