James Watt and his Birmingham business partner Matthew Boulton had a strong association with mining in Cornwall.

Watt personally supervised the installation of an engine at Wheal Busy, by the village Chacewater (about five miles from Truro).

By 1790 it is estimated that 45 Boulton and Watt engines were at work at mines across Cornwall.

A number of the old mine buildings still remain – and you can visit the area on a “coast-to-coast” walk, promoted by Cornwall Council and the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

Download a leaflet here (PDF) – and look out for the “Coast-to-Coast” trail.

You’ll also find more visitor information on the Cornwall Council website. 

Watt also rented Cusgarne House – which still stands. It’s a short drive away from Wheal Busy and is now in private ownership.

The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. At the time of writing, the main website for the World Heritage Site is offline. However, you can plan a trip to Cornwall on the VisitCornwall site.

Top picture: Old Mine Workings at Wheal Busy, by Chacewater, Cornwall. Cropped version of an original picture by Tony Atkin. Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0. More details here.