Riverside engine house, Gunnislake, Tamar Valley.  HES.


The story of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site
- 'Cornish Mining'

The 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 pioneering metal mining, to its industrialisation, and to the innovations which occurred here and had fundamental influence on the mining world at large during the nineteenth century. There are ten Areas in the 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. The story of 'Cornish Mining' incorporates the following important elements:

  • Natural Landscapes - the backdrop against which 'Cornish Mining' took place and without whose mineralogical resource it could not have taken place.
  • History - Industrialisation shaped and made possible modern global society. Cornwall and west Devon were one of the areas where this process began.
  • Technological Advances - Remarkable advances in mining and engineering technologies were made during the 18th and 19th centuries and exported all around the world.
  • People and Cultural traditions - Thousands of ordinary men, women and children contributed to the industrial revolution,  transforming the landscape, forging strong community identities, innovating technological advances and migrating overseas.
  • Physical Monuments - the distinctive and authentic remains of  industrialisation can be found throughout the region. Imposing engine houses, mine sites, industrial harbours and tramways, foundries, fuseworks, town and villages, nonconformist chapels, grand houses and gardens of the mineral lords, miners' smallholdings, technology schools and institutes are all recognisable features of the 'Cornish Mining' landscape.