St Agnes Mining District

Ranndir Balweyth Breanek

Iconic clifftop engine houses and much more

Famous for its spectacular coastline and well-preserved Cornish engine houses perched on rugged cliffs, such as the iconic Wheal Coates; one of the most photographed and well known Cornish Engine Houses. 

This Area also has a rich heritage to explore inland, from the tin treatment works in narrow stream valleys to the pretty village with its granite mine workers’ cottages, fine public buildings and luscious gardens.

Come here for great walks, breath-taking sunsets, dramatic mining remains and stunning beaches. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the dolphins that play off the coast in the summer. Look out for peregrine falcons, which nest on many of the headlands, and gannets flying low over the sea a few hundred yards from the coast.

St Agnes reflects the influence of mining on the settlement, with its shops, pubs, hotels, chapels and public buildings like the Miners and Mechanics Institute (built to serve a growing population employed in the industry). Also look out for the pretty rows of granite cottages, like the famous Stippy Stappy cottages, which were built for ships’ captains sailing from Trevaunance Cove.

If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the dolphins that play off the coast in the summer.

Walking around the stunning cliff-top engine house at Wheal Coates: pictured on hundreds of postcards, but must be seen for real

Visit St Agnes Museum to discover more about the area’s mining heritage

Visiting the site of the old harbour at Trevaunance Cove, now in ruins, with a lovely beach and some great eateries

Exploring the lively and historic village of St Agnes, with its pubs, cafés and pretty rows of granite cottages like Stippy Stappy

Walking the stark coastline around Cligga Head, world famous for its outstanding mineralogy and cliff workings

Visit Wheal Tye/West Towan Mine on the coast path west of Porthtowan, where the remains of mining dating from the 1920s have been conserved

Surfing the coastline between Porthtowan and Trevaunance Cove – or walking and kite-flying on the golden sands 

The visitor centre at Blue Hills Tin Streams is now closed. However, Cornish tin continue to make handcrafted jewellery and giftware using locally sourced tin ore. Find out more at Blue Hills Tin – Buy handmade Cornish Tin gifts

This ancient coastal mining district includes a number of important tin and copper mines; Wheal Coates, Wheal Ellen

Tywarnhayle Valley

The mining settlement of St Agnes 

Extensive areas of mineworkers’ smallholdings 

Trevaunance Coombe to Trevellas Porth

Cligga Cliffscapes; The finest example of cliff-side tin-tungsten sheeted-vein workings to be seen anywhere is at Cligga Head. Its in situ mineralogy is of international significance

The Audio Trail guides below explore the St Agnes Mining District and introduce many of the notable features of the area. These guides are only available to our members though, so why not sign up today? 

Information sheets are also available to accompany the Audio Trail guides and please see the links to these below.

St Agnes Audio Trail Delve Deeper

St Agnes Audio Trail Information Sheet

St Agnes Audio Trail Map

St Agnes Introduction
The Miners and Mechanics Institute
The Wheal Friendly Retreat
Wheal Friendly
The Memorial Gardens and Leat
Polberro Mine
The South West Coast Path
Trevaunance Harbour
Trevaunance Cove
Wheal Kitty
Trevellas Coombe
Wheal Kitty Stack
Sara's Shaft Engine House

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