Geology, Rocks, Minerals
Millions of years in the making, the story of the treasures hidden deep underground, where they are found and why they are so sought after is a fascinating journey of discovery.
Dig down to uncover where it all began
In the 18th and 19th centuries Cornwall was one of the richest mining economies in the world. Industries, inventions and communities were built on its wealth of underground treasures.
The history of mining in Cornwall and West Devon stretches back into prehistory when the region was uniquely placed to supply the tin vital for the production of bronze and pewter in Britain.
Undersea lava, earthquakes, extreme temperatures, severe weather and relentless wave action have all played their part in creating the rocks, minerals and metals that make up the geology of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.
The location, structure and orientation of the lodes within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site determined the different characteristics and developments of mining in each Area.
Iconic images of cliff-top engine houses perched in dramatic locations have come to symbolise Cornish mining and Cornwall as a whole.
Cornish mining activity throughout the centuries – from early tin streaming to deep shaft mining and all of the ancillary industries – has extensively transformed the landscape of the region.