Cornwall, England
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St Agnes, Cornwall, England         OS Map Grid Ref: SW720507
 The County of Cornwall
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South-West Coast Path

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South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path enters and leaves Cornwall by the Devon coast hugging the whole of the beautiful Cornish coast, only brocken by the county's towns and villages. It offers particularly outstanding coastal walking through an ever changing landscape of picturesque coves, creeks and spectacular cliffs.

However far you plan to walk sturdy footwear and a basic first aid kit are advisable. Allow plenty of time, for coastal walking usually takes longer than you anticipate. Check local public transport times before setting out.

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Blue Hills Cornish Tin Experience

Visit this working mine site producing Cornish tin from rock to metal.
Opening: April 1st - October 31st: Monday to Saturday: 10.30am - 5.00pm
Colin & Mark Wills, Blue Hills Tin Streams,
Trevellas Coombe, St Agnes, Cornwall TR5 0YW
tel:   01872 553341

St Agnes Museum

The museum is run by volunteers of the St. Agnes Museum Trust which was formed in 1983. The trust collects and displays items specifically relating to the parish, and encourages research into topics of local interest some of which it publishes in its annual Journal. The conversion of the disused chapel of rest, built in 1876 and later disused, was completed for the 1992 season. On display are a leatherback turtle, the figurehead of the Lady Agnes, a model of the former harbour which was, unique in being operated over a cliff face. There is also a family history section.
St Agnes Museum, St Agnes, Cornwall
tel:   01872 553228


see also: Museums in Cornwall
  Mining Museums
Tin Mining in Cornwall
Tin Mines in Cornwall

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The origins of the mineral mining industry on which St Agnes was built is lost in the mists of time but it is more than likely that, as is true of the whole Cornish mining industry, minerals were first recovered here by "streaming" of the local streams; the metaliferous ores, heavier than the surrounding rock, tend to remain in the stream bed as the lighter material is washed downstream.

By skillfull and gentle mimicking of this natural process, the ore can be enriched. This is still demonstarted at the 'Blue Hills' tin stream at Trevellas and formed the basis of the commercial operation of Tolgus Tin near Redruth which was a "secondary" mining operation, recovering the black tin which flowed down at concentrations of less than one per cent from the lode mines upstream.

Copper, iron, lead and silver were all mined at St Agnes but the reputation of the town was built on the tin for which the Phoenicians probably came to Cornwall from the Mediterannean to trade in the Iron Age. The folk of St Agnes were proud of the quality of their tin; "Sten sen Agnes yu'n gwella sten en Kernow" ("St Agnes' tin is the best tin in Cornwall").

The mining activities which occured in the area shaped not only the landscape but also the economy and society of St Agnes. Relics of the industry may still be found in the industrial ruins of the area, the skyline of St Agnes itself punctuated by the engine houses and chimneys of the now silent mines; West Kitty, Wheal Friendly, Wheal Kitty and the Polberro Mine which was last worked in 1941. The need to export the ore and import coal cheaply led to several attempts to build an artificial harbour at Trevaunance Cove which broke the Tonkin family who built it and was wrecked by the sea in 1914/15. The wealthy mine owners also left their large houses in the town as another testament to the mining industry.

High on the cliffs above the sands of the Chapel Porth beach stands the granite engine house of Wheal Coates which was worked until 1889. Further along the coastal path over which the engine house towers are to the old workings at Polberro, Wheal Kitty and the last remaining tin production centre in the UK at Blue Hills, Trevellas.

see also: Tin Mining in Cornwall
Tin Mines in Cornwall
Museums in Cornwall

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This time-line has been generated for this page from our general time-line
which you can view by clicking here or on the dates in the left-hand column.

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1632First attempt to build a harbour at Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes during the summer is washed away by winter storms
1684Second attempt to build a harbour at Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes during the summer is washed away by winter storms
1699Third attempt to build a harbour at trevaunance Cove, St Agnes succeeds
It was wrecked by a storm in 1705
1705Third harbour at Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes (1699) is destroyed by a storm
1709Fourth harbour at Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes is commenced
1710Fourth harbour at Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes is completed
1715.May.03Solar eclipse visible in Cornwall excepting in the north and the south-east
1780The Blue Hills mines nr St Agnes close
They became too deep to pump by waterwheel
1792Act of parliament passed for the construction of a pier at Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes and work commenced immediately
1810The Blue Hills mines nr St Agnes re-open (closed 1780), pumped by steam
1846Queen Victoria visits the Polberro Mine in St Agnes, Cornwall
1876Construction of the Chapel of Rest at St Agnes which now houses the Town Museum
1889Closure of the Wheal Coates mine in the parish of St Agnes in Cornwall
1897The Blue Hills mines nr St Agnes close through foreign competition
1903.Jul.06GWR Chacewater to Perranporth branch line (via St Agnes) opened in Cornwall
1914Winter storms destroy the harbour at Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes, Cornwall
1915.Jul.15A storm breaches the North Quay of the harbour at Trevaunance, St Agnes, Cornwall
1928Electricity supply brought to St Agnes, Cornwall
1963.Feb.04GWR Chacewater to Newquay branch line closed in Cornwall
1966RNLI decides a Lifeboat Station is needed between Newquay and St Ives on the north Cornish coast, deciding to place it at St Agnes
1967BBC\'s Blue Peter Appeal for paperback books buys four Inshore Life Boats (ILBs)
Blue Peter IV stationed at St Agnes
1967.Mar.18Tanker Torrey Canyon carrying 119,328 tons of oil runs aground on the Seven Stones Reef, Isles of Scilly, causing fouling of the north and south coasts of Cornwall by oil
1968Blue Peter IV Lifeboat stationed at St Agnes in time for the summer season
1970Permanenet boathouse built for the St Agnes Lifeboat
1976BBC Blue Peter programme provides second Blue Peter IV lifeboat at Sr Agnes
1983Formation of the St Agnes Museum Trust
1985Third Blue Peter IV lifeboat provided by the BBC programme stationed at St Agnes
1992First opening of St Agnes Museum, Cornwall

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  Tin Mining
  St Agnes, one of the Scilly Isles

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. . . . . the inclusion of these links to other sites is for the interest and convenience of visitors to this site only and does not imply any endorsement of the products or services offered by the individuals or organisations involved nor the accuracy of the information contained therein . . . . .
Cornwall County Council

The RNLI is funded entirely by voluntary donations and legacies. For it to continue to save lives at sea and fund its plans for the future of this invaluable service, it needs your help - please support it - for details click on the picture below.


  Royal National Lifeboat Institution
    The RNLI in the South-West


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Porthcurno Telegraph Museum
Eastern House, Porthcurno, Penzance TR19 6JX
Porthcurno was the site of the landfall of the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable in 1970. During World War II, the communications centre here was moved into bomb-proof underground tunnels. The former installation i
72.1 km SE
Bude-Stratton Museum Office
The Castle, Bude EX23 8LG
Canal related displays in the museum show the planning, building and working era of the Bude Canal, and include a working model of an incline plane. Photographs and text also show the decline of the canal and the present-day state of much of its course, t
158.9 km NE
Burton Art Gallery and Museum
Kingsley Road, Bideford, Devon
The Burton Art Gallery and Museum was re-opened in May 1994, after a major extension and refurbishment. The new building has three exhibition spaces, a museum, craft gallery, shop, workshop and lecture area and Coffee Shop.
188.8 km NE
Torrington Museum & Archive
Town Hall, The Square, Gt Torrington, Devon EX38 8HN
Industry, agriculture, dairying, railways, roads, people, costume, bygones, the town, the country and the customs are all featured in our collection.
190.2 km NE
North Devon Maritime Museum
Odun House, Odun Road, Appledore, Devon EX39 1PT
All aspects of North Devon s history from the invasion of the Danes in 878 to present day shipbuilding.
191.6 km NE
Arlington Court
Arlington, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 4LP
Among the displays and furnishings of this mansion are ship models, including Napoleonic PoW work. There is a collection of sea shells. The house was a Victorian period home, set in large gardens and grounds, now belonging to the National Trust.
201.6 km NE

St Agnes, one of the Scilly Isles

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