photo credit unsplash

Cornish Mining

On 13th July 2006 select mining landscapes across Cornwall and west Devon were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Cornish Mining

The landscape of Cornwall and West Devon were radically reshaped during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by deep mining for predominantly copper and tin.

The deep underground mines, engine houses, foundries, new towns, smallholdings, ports and harbours, and their ancillary industries reflect prolific innovation which, in the early 19th century, enabled the region to produce two-thirds of the world’s supply of copper.

The substantial remains are a testimony to the sophistication and success of early and large-scale hard rock mining and also show the contribution Cornwall and West Devon made to the Industrial Revolution and to the fundamental influence the area had on the development of mining globally.

Official website

Did you know..?

That Cornish miners emigrated across the globe and there are connections with mining in the Americas, Australia, South Africa, and elsewhere

Nearly half of all immigrants in South Australia by 1865 were Cornish. Cornish workers had a big impact not only on Australia’s mining industry but also on the culture we associate with the country today.

Cornish miners spread the game of rugby union, Cornish pasties and even maypole dancing to Australia! The Kernewek Lowender (Cornish happiness) Festival claims to be the largest Cornish festival outside of Cornwall!

It was Cornish miners who introduced football to Mexico. The country’s first football club – Pachuca Athletic Club – originally comprised exclusively of Cornish mine workers.


Location: Counties of Cornwall and Devon

Country: England

Year of Inscription: 2006

UNESCO Criteria: (ii), (iii), (iv)

Contact information:

For more information about Cornish Mining, visit the website

Photo credit Cornish Mining WHS / Ainsley Cocks