Iconic mining houses near St Day, that once stood in the ‘richest square mile on earth’ have been restored
ICONIC mining engine houses that once stood in the heart of the ‘richest square mile on earth’ in Wheal Maid Valley have been restored to their former glory.
The Taylor’s and Davey’s sites, near Crofthandy, St Day, have been preserved using £270,000 Natural England funding and support from Gwennap Parish Council.
The Wheal Maid Valley, and specifically Consolidated Mines, was described in the 19th century as ‘the richest square mile on earth’ for its copper riches, and also as the ‘copper kingdom’.
Few buildings survive on site today but the engine houses are among the oldest surviving examples within the World Heritage site (WHS).
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Natural England invited Cornish Mining World Heritage Site research and information officer, Ainsley Cocks, and historic environment senior archaeologist, Ann Reynolds to identify potential sites which could benefit from its Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) funding.
HLS is a ten year agreement that includes options to protect historic and archaeological features.
Following discussions with the partners in 2010 the Taylor’s and Davey’s shaft sites were earmarked for funding.
The Truro based architectural conservation consultancy firm, pdp Green, were appointed as project managers and work started in January this year.
The conservation builders Darrock and Brown Ltd replaced timber lintels, did extensive re-pointing, and limited reconstruction.
Ainsley Cocks said: “It is fantastic to see another important part of Cornwall’s internationally known mining heritage preserved.
“The Cornish Mining World Heritage Site partnership extends its gratitude to Natural England in particular for making the much-needed funding available, and also to Gwennap Parish Council for giving so much support to the project.”
Kevin Furnish, chairman of Gwennap Parish Council, praised the scheme, saying: “The results are outstanding. The conservation work will last many years and provides a foundation upon which to continue to enhance the industrial heritage to be found in Gwennap parish”.