Maps - identification of the property

Click here to view INTERACTIVE GIS MAPS of the inscribed World Heritage Site

The inscribed Site consists of the most authentic and historically significant surviving components of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape from the period 1700 to 1914. This cultural landscape is a testament to the profoundly important process of pioneer metal mining, to its industrialisation, and to the innovations which occurred here and had a fundamental influence on the mining world at large during the nineteenth century.

The Areas now inscribed as a World Heritage Site

There are ten areas (A1-10) in the inscribed Site whose landscapes represent former mining districts, ancillary industrial concentrations and associated settlements. They share a common identity despite having developed separately from one another. Where they border the sea, their boundary extends only as far as the Mean Low Water Mark (as defined by the United Kingdom Ordnance Survey) this being the legal limit as far as the statutory planning responsibilities of local authorities is concerned.

Map gallery


Map showing the distribution of the Areas which together comprise the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

Underground remains

The underground workings of the Cornish mining industry are highly significant. The upper levels of many mines exist above the water-table, often created artificially by adit levels. Those networks which are comparatively close to the surface are, by the nature of lode-mining, some of the earliest worked portions of the respective mineral deposits and may contain important archaeological and mineralogical evidence. Wherever such networks have been identified, they have been included within the inscribed Site. The principal points of access have been established by survey and their significance recorded. Many of them have been secured for safety reasons but in such a way that they could be accessed in the future. Whilst members of the public are only able to visit a few mines underground, there are a great many which are explored by caving and mining groups, both locally and nationally. Such workings provide a vital insight into the technical, environmental and mineralogical aspects of hard-rock mining and form an extremely important part of our mining heritage.

 Barry Gamble.


The Setting of the inscribed Site

The extent to which changes outside the inscribed Site can adversely affect its outstanding universal value has been thoroughly considered. The setting of the Site includes the physical monuments and landscape components which provide additional historical context, and a physical space in which events could affect the visual appreciation of these elements.

The inscribed Site comprises ten discrete, but in the main inter-visible, landscapes all of which encompass significant components. This is an evolving cultural landscape, with the process of change driven by mining technology and economy from 1700 and continuing to the present day and into the future, following a period of decline and now regeneration, with new sympathetic additions and changes to the landscape having a place.

The setting of the Site is extensive. The objective is the protection of the setting of the Site and we have examined whether a formal buffer zone will help provide this protection. Mapping a buffer zone would rely on foresight to predict an area where the visual setting could be a material consideration, thus also identifying an area beyond which the visual setting will not be a material consideration in the view of the planning system. It is not feasible to draw a robust single large buffer zone around the ten discrete areas and there are no obvious natural or administrative boundaries to use. Neither is it consistent or feasible to draw a multitude of small buffer zones around some of the ten discrete areas, as this introduces the risk of limited foresight and the implication that areas without buffer zones do not have a setting.

A formal buffer zone does not bring any statutory protection in the United Kingdom. A buffer zone would only serve to trigger policies in strategic planning documents (including Development Plans) for the protection of the setting of the Site. Provided that there are appropriate policies in Development Plans, these do not need a defined formal buffer zone to be triggered. Instead it relies on the local planning authority and other agencies to decide the setting issue, on a case by case basis, taking into account wider considerations, any possible detrimental effects and applying judgement.

The setting of all the principal forms of statutory designation used to protect, conserve and enhance the inscribed Site (Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Scheduled Monuments and Listed Buildings) is a material consideration in the United Kingdom planning system and appropriate action is decided case by case without formal buffer zones.

A formal buffer zone is not necessary to protect the setting of this Site. For this reason a formal buffer zone was not proposed. The protection of the setting of the Site will be achieved through policies in strategic planning documents, a suite of existing strategic documents for landscape conservation, and the measures contained in statutory designations. The Management Plan includes policy and action to follow through this approach.

Legal protection covering the area of the nominated site.  HES.