St Agnes Mining District
Iconic clifftop engine houses and much more
Famous for its spectacular coastline and well-preserved Cornish engine houses perched on rugged cliffs – like the iconic Wheal Coates - this Area also has a rich heritage to explore inland, from the tin treatment works in narrow stream valleys to the pretty village with its granite mine workers’ cottages, fine public buildings and luscious gardens. Come here for great walks, breathtaking sunsets, dramatic mining remains and stunning beaches.
If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the dolphins that play off the coast in the summer. Look out for peregrine falcons, which nest on many of the headlands, and gannets flying low over the sea a few hundred yards from the coast.
St Agnes reflects the influence of mining on the settlement, with its shops, pubs, hotels, chapels and public buildings like the Miners and Mechanics Institute (built to serve a growing population employed in the industry). Also look out for the pretty rows of granite cottages, like the famous Stippy Stappy cottages, which were built for ships’ captains sailing from Trevaunance Cove.
• Walking around the stunning cliff-top engine house at Wheal Coates: pictured on hundreds of postcards, but must be seen for real
• Visit St Agnes Museum to discover more about the area’s mining heritage
• Visiting the site of the old harbour at Trevaunance Cove, now in ruins, with a lovely beach and some great eateries
• Exploring the lively and historic village of St Agnes, with its pubs, cafés and pretty rows of granite cottages like Stippy Stappy
• Walking the stark coastline around Cligga Head, world famous for its outstanding mineralogy and cliff workings
• Visit Wheal Tye/West Towan Mine on the coast path west of Porthtowan, where the remains of mining dating from the 1920s have recently been conserved
• Surfing the coastline between Porthtowan and Trevaunance Cove – or walking and kite-flying on the golden sands