Gwannap Pit John Wesley

Cornwall's Mining Heritage


With Special Place to Visit


Few counties can claim an industry going back 3000 years or ore but metal mining in Cornwall has an ancient history. The winning of tin has been known from prehistoric times and probably copper too. In the 18th and 19th centuries Cornwall became a world leader in not just metal extraction but in technologies also. Not only was a great wealth won from beneath the Cornish soil but Cornish miners and engineers took their skills the world over. At home, harbours and mineral railways, engineering works and gunpowder factories served the needs of mines.

The other side of the coin was the appalling conditions men worked in, hundreds of feet underground, reached by a daily climb down lengthy ladders and with but a candle for light. When the price of tin and copper dropped, due to foreign competition, miners and their families were forced to emigrate around the world's mines as mines were abandoned. The legacy is a unique landscape studded with reminders of this once great industry. This book will guide the reader around both the history and the remains.

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