Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape (2006)
Great Britain

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Much of the landscape of Cornwall and West Devon was transformed in the 18th and early 19th centuries as a result of the rapid growth of pioneering copper and tin mining. 

Its deep underground mines, engine houses, foundries, new towns, smallholdings, ports and harbours, and ancillary industries together 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 contribution Cornwall and West Devon made to the industrial revolution in the rest of Britain and to the fundamental influence the area had on the mining world at large. Cornish technology embodied in engines, engine houses and mining equipment were exported around the world. 

  • Great Britain 1989. Tin Mine, St. Agnes, Cornwall. Note that this stamp also appears on the sheet dedicated to Industrial Ardhaeology, shown on the pages of Ironbridge and New Lanark. 

Great Britain 1989. Tin Mine, St. Agnes, Cornwall.

Cornwall and West Devon were the heartland from which mining technology rapidly spread. When Cornish and West Devon mining declined in the 1860s, large numbers of miners emigrated to work and live in mining communities based on Cornish traditions, in for instance South Africa, Australia, and Central and South America, where Cornish engine houses still survive.

Great Britain. Booklet cover with an illustration of the Tin Mines in Cornwall. It is the third of six illustrations done by Norman Battershill on Industrial Archaeology.

On Saturday, 15th July 2006, The Daily Telegraph had a feature article "West Country tin mines awarded world heritage status", concluding that the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape now officially belongs to the world and [ ... ] are the custodians charged with ensuring that our heritage is preserved for the enjoyment of future worldwide generations. 

Sources and links: 

Many thanks to Mr. Gerry Fisk (Great Britain), and Mr. Peter Smeets (Belgium) for all help and support. 

Other World Heritage Sites in Great Britain (on this site). Inactive links are not described on postage stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, United Kingdom Section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 20 aug 2006  
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