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The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape was recognised as a World Heritage Site on 13th July 2006, placing it on a par with international treasures like Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China. It forms the largest industrial World Heritage Site in the UK, with over 20,000 hectares spread over across Cornwall and West Devon. The permanent protection of this countryside is important to people all over the world and why the area has been given World Heritage Status.

Tavistock is the ‘eastern gateway’ to the World Heritage Site - the only World Heritage town in Devon - and the ideal place to start exploring the mining landscape of west Devon and Cornwall.

We are unlike any other town within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, transformed during the 19th century after the discovery of rich veins of copper and other metals nearby, such as at Devon Great Consols. Tavistock’s population nearly doubled between 1821 and 1861, and the town’s physical fabric was extensively remodelled as the Dukes of Bedford invested some of their mining profits in new public buildings and ‘model’ cottages for industrial workers. There is also an exceptional mineral transport network here: you’ll find an unparalleled group of industrial mineral river quays (Morwellham), a mine railway, (which served Devon Great Consols), a mineral railway (East Cornwall Mineral Railway) and a mineral canal (Tavistock Canal). The Area also has numerous mine quays, mule tracks and mine roads, many of which have now been opened up as multi-use trails for visitors.

Tavistock forms part of the World Heritage Site along with the Tamar Valley AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Stretching from Kit Hill in Cornwall to the edge of Dartmoor National Park, the area spans the border between Devon and Cornwall.

Tin, copper, silver-lead, and arsenic were all mined here. In places, engine houses and associated buildings are well preserved; elsewhere you’ll glimpse an occasional chimney or fragment of walling emerging through the trees.


Explore the shops, cafes, elegant houses and villas, public buildings and museum in Tavistock, extensively re-modelled in the 19th Century by the 7th Duke of Bedford.

Take a Heritage Walking Tour from the Visitor Information Centre in Court Gate (link to

Walk or cycle the Tamar Trails around Devon Great Consuls.

Ride the train on the Tamar Valley Line through stunning scenery, over breathtaking viaducts and through key mining communities.

Discover Morwellham Quay and Cothele House.

Take in the view from Pork Hill on Dartmoor (SX 531751) towards the sweeping landscape of North Cornwall, Bodmin Moor and over to Plymouth. Then put on your boots and take a walk up Cox Tor and Staple Tor or towards Pew Tor via Windy Cross.

Links to:

And include a JPEG link to the following leaflet:

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