Infrastructure to Support Mining

Isframweyth dhe skoodhya balweyth

Everywhere you go in Cornwall, 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. 

Infrastructure to Support Mining

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Engine Houses

One of the most iconic features of the Cornish landscape. There are over 300 engine house sites in Cornwall and west Devon, and approximately 200 within the WHS boundaries. As their name suggests they were built as houses for engines not people, so what purpose did they serve?
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West Wheal Owles Ainsley Cocks

Mineral Tramways and Railways

Cornwall was once laced with a network of tramways and railways, used to bring coal to power the mine engines and take the ore away.
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Liskeard & Caradon Railway at Pontins Piece Minions Ainsley Cocks

Mineral Ports and Quays

Sea transport was crucial to the Cornish mining industry. Proximity to the coast counterbalanced the industry’s geographically peripheral position in the far south-west of Britain, opening it up to the world.
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Portreath Harbour Barry Gamble

Bridges, Viaducts and Aqueducts

The expansion of the mining transport network meant dramatic changes had to be made for the landscape to be navigable. This led to the construction of some of the region’s most technically advanced bridge structures.
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Treffry Viaduct Luxulyan Valley Ainsley Cocks

Industrial Settlements

Large scale industrial development in the mining industry created employment opportunities which boosted rapid population growth. Settlements sprang up in and around mining regions, where rows of terraced houses were built.
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St Just  Emma Parkman

Public Buildings

Along with the rows of terraced cottages and engine houses that survive to this day, Cornwall and west Devon have a number of impressive public buildings that were built from the wealth that copper and tin production brought to the area in the 19th century. 
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Bedford Square Tavistock Ainsley Cocks

Associated Industries

The explosion in growth of the Cornwall and west Devon mining industries created a demand for a number of supporting industries to supply both the mines and its workforce, as well as processing its output.
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Mount Foundry Tavistock Ainsley Cocks