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Cornish mining landscapes: public perceptions of industrial archaeology in a post-industrial society

Orange, H; (2012) Cornish mining landscapes: public perceptions of industrial archaeology in a post-industrial society. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis considers local residents’ perceptions of Cornish mining landscapes, with a particular focus on tin and copper mining. The aim of the thesis is to better understand the changing economic, political and cultural values which Cornish mining sites and features have embodied during the post-war period (from 1950 to 2010). This research has focused on the familiar and the everyday including industrial remains of the later 20th century. The three case studies examined, Botallack, St Agnes, and Minions, are part of the Cornish Mining Landscape World Heritage Site (designated in 2006). This research has been strongly informed by the social archaeology of industry and contemporary archaeology, and a number of complimentary ethnographic and statistical techniques have been utilised, supplemented by archival research and visual data methods. The themes which have been examined include: site descriptions; paths and networks; metaphors of industry; significant features in the landscape; time and change; contention in the landscape; and World Heritage Site status. This research has concluded that public perceptions on Cornish mining landscapes are strongly informed by romanticism whilst the use of demonic, heroic and romantic tropes is another key theme. Since mine shafts were closed for health and safety reasons perception is now focused on the surface of mines and the subsurface world is largely out-of-sight and out of mind. Changes in the landscape are often defined around concepts of the ‘local’, the ‘incomer’ and the ‘outsider’; the latter largely standing for external authority. Statistical analysis has shown that longevity of residence is a significant factor in shaping perception, whilst qualitative data has demonstrated different ways in which incomers become ‘local’. There are many different connections to Cornish mining landscapes and these relict industrial sites are not dead or derelict spaces.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Cornish mining landscapes: public perceptions of industrial archaeology in a post-industrial society
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Confidential or sensitive information has been redacted from the e-thesis
Keywords: Archaeology, Industry, Cornwall, Mining, Ethnography, Deindustrialisation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1417864
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