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World Heritage Site Revisited

— 21 Feb 2023


The site prior to regeneration


John and Jonathan touring the site on a recent visit


The steel head frame prior to restoration. The steel frame replaced the original wooden frame, on the right.


John with the restored steel head frame behind


Top: the carpenter’s workshop is now home to a café, and below: prior to the regeneration work.

Architects Cornwall historic heritage project 594 2

While on a site visit in Cornwall recently, Directors Jonathan Rhind and John Alexander called into Heartlands in Pool near Redruth to see one of Jonathan Rhind Architects’ historic projects - Robinson’s Shaft mining complex, which is at the core of Heartlands.

Heartlands forms part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage site which recognises the global importance of the Cornish and West Devon tin mining industry and its heritage. The area around Redruth and Cambourne in which Heartlands sits is known as the capital of Cornish Mining where pioneering technologies were developed, captains of the industry were based, and a high concentration of mines were located.

Back in the early 2000s Jonathan Rhind Architects won a competitive interview as part of a consortium of architects for the regeneration of the Robinson’s Shaft site. The site was still in operation up to the mid-1990s, meaning it retained a significant number of historic buildings and industrial machinery, and was uniquely placed to be conserved as a celebration of Cornish mining.

The work, up to planning and listed building consent, included careful conservation of the 1903 pump house – which still contains a Cornish pumping engine from 1854 (currently under restoration), carpenter’s workshop and forge, whilst new buildings provided innovative interpretation of the mining heritage as well as facilities for the local community and visitors.

The project was undertaken thanks to funding from the “Big Lottery” which it won against stiff competition.

As historic building architects it is useful for us to be able to revisit projects and see how the conservation and regeneration work we have contributed to has weathered over time and to see the positive effects of such a project on the local area and wider community.

For more information on other conservation work we have undertaken please see our project pages.

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