“We are delighted to be able to support this really important project through our heritage grants scheme with the aim of ultimately seeing the access to the site improve and its removal from the Heritage at Risk Register. Well done to the Tamar Valley AONB for their work to conserve and share this valuable heritage site.”
Cathy Woolcock from the Cornwall Heritage Trust
Gunnislake Clitters is a special place, a hidden gem so evocative of the heyday of mining in the Tamar Valley. It is a great place to immerse yourself in the rich mining heritage of the area and experience the local wildlife in a tranquil place on the Cornish banks of the River Tamar. Located within the Tamar Valley AONB and Area 10 of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, Gunnislake Clitters is designated as a Scheduled Monument, the engine house and chimney are listed buildings and other features across the site are recorded on the Cornwall Heritage Environment Record.
A funding boost from Cornwall Heritage Trust and Historic England has helped to conserve, and improve access to, the Skinner’s Shaft section of this important historic site. The Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is working in partnership with Historic England, the Cornwall Heritage Trust, Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, and the Tamar Community Trust on this Rediscovering Gunnislake Clitters project, to ultimately slow the rate of decline of this scheduled monument, by initially facilitating access for further management works and public access. We are grateful to The Duchy of Cornwall, which owns the site, for its support of this work and in giving permission for the clearing of vegetation to improve access. The initial clearance work was carried out in winter 2020/21. However, due to lockdown restrictions, volunteer involvement was limited to a couple of work days.
Before and after shots around the chimney at Skinners Shaft
“Working on the project at Gunnislake Clitters Mine provided an opportunity to get out in the fresh air and get some much needed exercise during lockdown whilst also improving accessibility to a well known local landmark. It was particularly rewarding to hear passers-by commenting about how much the site has been improved by the clearance work undertaken.”
Trevor – Tamar Community Trust volunteer
Historic England and the Cornwall Heritage Trust have awarded a total of £2,550 for this initial phase of a longer-term project, which will be delivered through the National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme.
“We’re delighted to be working with the Tamar Valley AONB and partners to develop a series of projects which are unlocking the power of volunteers to look after our vulnerable heritage. This grant will help visitors understand this remarkable piece of Cornwall’s industrial heritage and preserve its amazing legacy for future generations.”
John Ette, Partnerships Team Leader for Historic England in the South West
Through the £3.2 million Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme (National Lottery Heritage funded), in collaboration with Historic England, a 5-year Monument Management Scheme (MMS) will be developed and implemented to secure the longer-term positive management of the built heritage elements of the site and removal from the Heritage at Risk register.
“Gunnislake Clitters Mine is part of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site within the Tamar Valley as well as being a scheduled monument. As a partner in the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme, we very much welcome the proposed conservation work at Skinner’s Shaft.”
Deborah Boden, Cornish Mining World Heritage Site Co-ordinator
This is just the start of the Rediscovering Gunnislake Clitters project and we look forward to continuing to help to ensure a bright future for this special place.
“We look forward to offering enriching hands-on experiences for volunteers who wish to engage with the region’s mining history. In doing so, we hope to make Skinner’s Shaft at Gunnislake Clitters a great place for visitors, who come to enjoy its heritage and rich wildlife, whilst managing the site sensitively as a tranquil place in the heart of the Tamar Valley AONB”.
Valerie Darwall, Project Officer for the Tamar Valley AONB