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Tregonning and Gwinear Mining District

Tregonning and Trewvavas Mining District

Diverse landscapes and great houses

The largest of the ten Areas, Tregonning and Gwinear contains diverse landscapes ranging from the idyllic pastoral charms of the rural farmland in the west of the Area to the atmospheric cliffscapes at Rinsey, with silent woods, exposed hills and subtropical gardens in between

Godolphin House provides a valuable insight into the wealth of some of Cornwall’s most successful industrialists and mine owners.

To the south of the Area, two of the best known undersea mines – Wheal Trewavas and Wheal Prosper – offer a unique glimpse into how treacherous mining could be. Trewavas, which seems to burst out of the cliff edge, is particularly inspiring and, together with its neighbour Wheal Prosper, which sits a little further along the cliff, has now been conserved. 

Many other reminders of the Area’s mining history can be found here, from the terraces of minerworkers’ cottages in villages such as Praze-an-Beeble and Leedstown, to the vast number of mine shafts dotted through the countryside. The Area is also thought to have seen the installation of one of the world’s earliest practical steam pumping engines at Wheal Vor, in around 1710.


• Taking in the breathtaking sights and sounds of Wheal Trewavas and Wheal Prosper – some of the best-known undersea mines, they are perched dramatically on the edge of rugged cliffs

• Visiting Godolphin House, once home to some of Cornwall’s most successful mine owners, and exploring its gardens that are thought to date from the late Middle Ages

• The panoramic views from Tregonning and Godolphin Hills that can stretch as far as St Agnes and Hayle on a clear day

• Exploring the beautiful Rinsey headland and beach (at low tide), and nearby Porthleven (not in the Site), with its spectacular harbour that sweeps right into the centre of the village