Cornish Mining

An image of the Towanroath pumping engine house, Wheal Coates, Cornwall








My doctoral research (UCL, 2012) examined local residents’ perceptions of deindustrialised metalliferous mining landscape in Cornwall, UK including sites which are part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. The aim of the research was to better understand the changing interrelationships between industrial landscape, perception and policy, set within the socio-economic history of deindustrialisation and the introduction of a neo-Conservative heritage policy during the post-war period (1950-2010). Alongside archaeological survey, a variety of social science methods and perspectives were adopted, such as ethnography and visual data research methods, to consider multi-dimensional aspects of transition. Over 40 walking interviews were conducted with former miners, members of heritage organisations and societies, local business owners, artists and key public workers.

As well as exploring the impact and legacy of deindustrialisation in Cornwall and attitudes toward World Heritage Site status, a number of thematic aspects emerged including changing perceptions of risk, societal acceptance and resistance toward industry and deindustrialisation, and industrial folklore and myth. My research found that industrial landscapes are commonly perceived by the public according to demonic, romantic or heroic tropes and are often refracted through identity politics, particularly notions of the outsider (authority or stranger), the incomer and the local. A redacted copy of the thesis is available via UCL Discovery.


Orange, H. (2021) forthcoming. ‘(Un)even ground: embodied encounters with Cornish mining heritage.’ In G. Jaramillo & J. Tomann, (eds). Transcending the Nostalgic. Berghahn Books.

Orange, H (2019) Cornish Identity and  Industrial Heritage in S. Berger (ed.), Constructing Industrial Pasts: Industrial Heritage Making in Britain, the West and Post-Socialist Countries. Berghahn Books

Orange, H. (2015) Reanimating Industrial Spaces: Conducting Memory-Work in Post-Industrial Societies. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, CA.

Orange, H. (2014) Changing technology, practice and values: What is the future of industrial archaeology? In Patrimonio: Arquelogia Industrial, Vol. 6, 64-69.

Orange, H (2012) Cornish Mining Landscapes: Public Perceptions of Industrial Archaeology in a Post-Industrial Society UCL Thesis, Redacted thesis available via UCL Discovery.

Orange, H. (2011) ‘The end of a moving staircase’: Industrial archaeology of the past, present and future. In Cornish Archaeology, Vol. 50, 137-139.

Orange, H. (2010) Exploring sense of place: An ethnography of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, in J. Schofield and R. Szymanski (eds) Sense of Place: Local Heritage in a Global Context. Ashgate Publishing, 99-118.

Orange, H. (2008) Industrial Archaeology: Its place within the academic discipline, the public realm and the heritage industry. In Industrial Archaeology Review. Vol. 30(2), 83-95.