Mining in Cornwall and west Devon

Balweyth yn Kernow ha Dewnens West

The Cornwall and west Devon mining landscapes are rich in history.

Whether you are interested in the geology of the area which formed the foundations of the mining industry, the people who made their livings from it, or the huge technological advances it brought about, in this section you can dig deeper and find out more.

Mining in Cornwall and west Devon

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Geology, Rocks and 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.
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Cassiterite specimen (Tin ore - SnO2) - Ainsley Cocks

Mining Processes

Do you know how a bal maiden bucked? Or what worked a whim? Or where you’d find the dressing floor? Discover how much more there is to mining than just digging a huge hole in the ground. Follow the ore from the rock to railway.
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Wheal Peevor Stamping Engine House Ainsley Cocks

Infrastructure to Support Mining

Most everywhere you go in Cornwall and west Devon, there’s physical evidence of a region shaped by mining. Roads, railways, towns and harbours were all developed to support and expand this crucial industry. See how mining shaped lives and landscapes.
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Inventions and Technological Advances

Spurred on by the promise of great riches and the rigours of intellectual rivalry, the engineers and inventors who stepped up to the challenges of mining in Cornwall helped shape the modern world.Discover centuries of Cornish innovation.
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Harvey's pumping engine

Mining Characters and Society

From terraced cottages to grand stately homes, rugby to rhododendrons – the stories of lives lived around mining reveal the successes and struggles of Cornish communities. Look into the lives of real Cornish miners.
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Trevithick Statue Camborne - Barry Gamble

The Spread of Cornish Mining around the Globe

Cornwall has long been known as a starting point for famous sea journeys and adventures, but some of the most extraordinary stories are those of ordinary mineworkers seeking fortune far and wide.
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