DCMS news release
Date: July 13, 2006 Time: 12:45
Mining landscape of Cornwall and West Devon becomes a UNESCO World
The mining landscape of Cornwall and West Devon has become a World
Heritage Site, following a decision by the World Heritage Committee,
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced today.
Cornwall and West Devon has supplied much of the western world's tin and
copper over the last 4,000 years and, for a time during the 18th and
19th centuries, the area was the world's greatest producer of these
metals. As such, it contributed substantially to Britain's Industrial
Revolution and influenced mining technology and industrialisation
throughout the world.
It is this influence on the global culture and economy which has been
acknowledged by the World Heritage Committee.
Tessa Jowell said:
"I am delighted that the World Heritage Committee has recognised the
outstanding universal value of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining
Landscape and its important contribution to national and international
industrialisation. This historic area and its people have significantly
influenced the development of mining and engineering culture, not just
in the UK, but across the rest of the world.
"To many, World Heritage status calls to mind such famous monuments as
Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China. But it is important to realise
that sites like the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape are as
deserving of recognition and protection as their more well-known
companions on the World Heritage List."
The addition of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape to the
World Heritage List extends the UK's representation to 27 sites and
heralds the UK's support for UNESCO's aim of widening the range and type
of sites on the World Heritage List to include, among other categories,
the industrial heritage.
Notes to Editors
1. The proposed Site includes all those mine sites and mining landscapes
where there has been an exceptional survival of the physical remains.
These are largely late 18th century, 19th century and in a few
instances, pre-1914 mining remains. It does not include those widespread
areas of tin streaming that survive in Cornwall and West Devon,
associated with a pre-Industrial Revolution technology and therefore not
considered representative of the 19th century boom years.
2. Ten areas have been identified as best representing the many
different facets of Cornish mining: St Just; Hayle; Tregonning; Wendron;
Camborne-Redruth; Gwennap; St Agnes; Luxulan-Charlestown; Caradon; and
3. The Cornish Mining Industry was included in the UK's Tentative List
of sites likely to be nominated in the future, World Heritage Sites -
The Tentative List of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland was published by DCMS in June 1999. Inclusion on the Tentative
List is a prerequisite for formal nomination.
4. The concept of World Heritage Sites is at the core of the World
Heritage Convention, adopted by UNESCO in 1972, to which over 180
nations belong. Through the Convention, UNESCO seeks to encourage the
identification, protection and preservation of the cultural and natural
heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to
humanity. The Convention required the establishment of the World
Heritage List, under the management of an inter-governmental World
Heritage Committee as a means of recognising that some places, both
natural and cultural, are of sufficient importance to be the
responsibility of the international community as a whole. As a member of
the Convention, States Parties are pledged to care for their World
Heritage sites as part of protecting their national heritage.
5. Nominations for inscription on the World Heritage List are made by
the appropriate States Parties and are subject to rigorous evaluation by
expert advisers to the World Heritage Committee, International Council
on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) for cultural sites and/or the World
Conservation Union (IUCN) for natural sites. Decisions on the selection
of new World Heritage Sites are taken by the World Heritage Committee at
its annual summer meetings. There are currently 812 World Heritage Sites
in 137 countries. Some 628 are cultural sites, 160 are natural and 24
6. Inclusion in the World Heritage List is essentially honorific and
leaves the existing rights and obligations of owners, occupiers and
planning authorities unaffected. A prerequisite for World Heritage Site
status is, nevertheless, the existence of effective legal protection and
the establishment of management plans agreed with site owners to ensure
each site's conservation and presentation.
7. The UK's World Heritage Sites are currently:
Stonehenge, Avebury & Associated Sites
Durham Castle & Cathedral
Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey Castles & Town
Walls of King Edward in Gwynned Blenheim Palace City of Bath Hadrian's
Wall Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey & St Margaret's Church Tower
of London Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey & St Martin's
Church Old and New Towns of Edinburgh Maritime Greenwich Heart of
Neolithic Orkney The Historic Town of St George & Related
Fortifications, Bermuda Blaenavon Industrial Landscape Derwent Valley
Mills Saltaire New Lanark Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Liverpool Maritime
Gough and Inaccessible Islands
Dorset and East Devon Coast
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