World Heritage Site

Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

Much of the landscape of Cornwall and west Devon was transformed during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as a result of the rapid growth of pioneering deep-lode copper and tin mining. Its mines, engine houses, new towns, smallholdings, harbours, foundries and other ancillary industries together reflect prolific innovation in a region which, in the early nineteenth century, was to produce two-thirds of the world’s supply of copper.

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The substantial remains are a testimony to the contribution Cornwall and west Devon made to the Industrial Revolution in Britain and to the fundamental influence the area had on the mining world at large. Cornish technology embodied in steam beam engines and mining equipment was exported around the world, concurrent with the movement of mine workers migrating to live and work in mining communities based on Cornish traditions. Numerous migrant-descended communities flourish around the globe and distinctive Cornish-design engine houses can be seen across four continents.

UNESCO World Heritage status is a designation for places of outstanding value to all humanity. These sites have been chosen and ‘inscribed’ on the World Heritage List through their natural and/or cultural significance to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. The Site is the property of the country on whose territory it is located, but its protection and preservation becomes a concern of the international community as a whole and is administered by the World Heritage Centre in Paris.

The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, or ‘Cornish Mining’, was inscribed on the World Heritage List on July 13 2006. World Heritage status gives international recognition to Cornish Mining’s contribution to the development of our modern industrial society.