IHN Cornwall & Devon

Welcome to the Industrial Heritage Network CORNWALL & DEVON (IHNCD) page!

Our inaugural meeting took place at the King Edward Mine Museum on the 28th March 2019. Take a look at the agenda here

Our next meeting was hosted by the Steamship Freshspring Society – SS Freshspring on the 18th September 2019.

The next meeting will be later in 2021. Watch this space for details.

Our members:


AIA logo

The Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) is the national organisation for Britain. The AIA encourages and promotes the public benefit of the study of, and research in, the archaeology of industry and the industrial period, and promotes education in the identification, recognition and conservation of the industrial heritage. The Association funds Restoration Grants; awards cash prizes for research and publications; sponsors new research; lobbies bodies concerned with legislation, planning and funding; unites individuals, local societies, academics and field professionals; represents industrial archaeology nationally and internationally; runs conferences and practical workshops; publishes a biannual academic journal, Industrial Archaeology Review, and a quarterly newsletter, Industrial Archaeology News.




Instow Signal Box
Inside the Instow Signal Box

Bideford Railway Heritage Centre is a Community Interest Company that operates two heritage railway museums within North Devon at former station sites along the former LSWR branch from Barnstaple to Bideford, namely Bideford and Instow. We encompass and facilitate a wide range of activities from maintaining and curating an archive of local transport history to maintaining rolling stock and two signal boxes along with a short demonstration line. We also operate the Tarka Trail exhibition centre and refreshment coach at Bideford on behalf of Devon County Council.




Bodmin Railway Preservation Society


Bodmin & Wenford Railway
Bodmin & Wenford Railway

The Trust was formed in 1987 and is a Charitable Company limited by guarantee. The principle objectives of the Trust are to encourage and support the retention and restoration of our railway heritage and to promote education in the same, especially but not exclusively in relation to the Bodmin area. Most of the land occupied is owned by Cornwall Council which is leased to the Trust who then sub-lease to the Railway PLC which is also supported by the Bodmin Railway Preservation Society. Much of the rolling stock is owned by the Trust, or on long term agreement with the Trust.





Re-watered length, Dunsdon
Re-watered length, Dunsdon

The Bude Canal comprised a mini-network of waterways on the Devon/Cornwall border. It operated between 1819 and the beginning of the 20th century, specialising in transporting lime-rich sand for fertiliser, plus bringing in coal and taking out agricultural goods. It features some of the most unusual and ingenious engineering of the canal-building era. The Bude Canal Trust is a charity which owns a 5-mile length of the network, the so-called Aqueduct branch. This was the original feeder arm of the whole system. The Trust’s aims are to retain the historic interest of its length while managing what has become an important wildlife area.





Clyston Mill
Clyston Mill

Clyston Mill situated on the National Trust estate Killerton and only a short distance from Exeter, was listed in the Domesday Book but the present working mill is Victorian. It was acquired by the Trust in 1944 but did not re-open until 2002. We produce an award winning wholemeal flour from locally grown grain and produce around 6 ton annually. We have regular customers for our flour including a local Baker who has been using it for many years. We are open to visitors from 1st April to the end of October and usually expect to welcome upward of 6,000 folk, many of whom are National Trust members.




Coldharbour Mill
Coldharbour Mill

Tucked away in the Devon countryside, Coldharbour Mill is one of the last surviving Georgian woollen mills in daily production and open to the public. Originally owned by Fox Brothers, the creators of flannel, it is recognised as one of the best-preserved textile mill complexes in the country. Largely untouched since the Industrial Revolution, Coldharbour Mill remains in daily production continuing the tradition of making yarn and textiles on the heritage looms using traditional techniques handed down through generations. At the heart of the Mill is the steam collection which includes a rare Pollit and Wigzell mill engine, Kittoe and Brotherhood Beam Engine and Lancashire Boiler.






Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre

Cornwall Gold – Tolgus Mill


Davidstow Airfield Cornwall at War Museum
Davidstow Airfield & Cornwall at War Museum

The Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War Museum (usually known by the shorter title Cornwall at War Museum) is located on part of the old WW2 airfield RAF Davidstow Moor.  This is not your usual type of museum and it certainly isn’t a large grey building with all the exhibits neatly arranged on shelf after shelf in glass cabinets.







East Pool Mine
East Pool Mine

At the very heart of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site sit these two great beam engines, originally powered by high-pressure steam boilers introduced by local hero Richard Trevithick. Preserved in their towering engine houses, they are a reminder of Cornwall’s days as a world-famous centre of industry, engineering and innovation. Our pumping engine is one of the largest surviving Cornish beam engines in the world, and our restored winding engine can be seen in action daily. Come and enjoy our film, displays, models and knowledgeable guides, and discover the whole dramatic story of Cornish mining.




ERIH logo

ERIH is a membership network and sites pay an annual fee which varies according to the category of membership.  The benefits of membership include enhanced profile, including a presence on ERIH’s well-used website (which currently attracts over 4000 visits per day) and its active social media pages; participation in ERIH conferences, events and initiatives; participation in local and regional routes of industrial heritage; and not least, association with a European organisation that is now recognised by the European institutions as the principle network for the promotion of industrial heritage tourism in Europe. To find out more about ERIH, please contact the UK Coordinator on uk@erih.net.



Finch Foundry
Finch Foundry

The doorway to Dartmoor’s industrial past. Enter Finch Foundry to experience the sights, sounds and smells of three thundering water wheels powering massive hammers, shears and sharpening stone. These wheels fuelled one of the South West’s most successful edge tool factories which, at its peak, produced around 400 edge tools a day. Get an insight into the life of workers in the 19th century and learn about the enterprising Finch family.





Friends of the Luxulyan Valley

Geevor Tin Mine


Hayle Heritage Centre
Hayle Heritage Centre

Discover Hayle’s mighty industrial past and rich social history in a family-friendly environment just a stone’s throw from the celebrated ‘Three Miles of Golden Sands.’ Our free-entry Heritage Centre is housed within the Grade II* listed former offices of Harvey & Co, the nineteenth-century engineering powerhouse famous for production of the Cornish Beam Engine. The Centre’s new and updated exhibition tells the story of Hayle’s industrial, maritime and social history from prehistory to the present day. We have a fantastic, committed group of volunteers of all ages and are always looking for new people to get involved in our work.





Heartlands Cornwall
Heartlands Cornwall

Heartlands is a resource for the community attracting local people and visitors. Heartlands contributes to the local and regional Cornish economy both financially and culturally helping to secure employment and improve the quality of life of our users set upon a backdrop of Cornish industrial heritage. Heartlands must celebrate the past but reflect the present and look to the future. This has been done by breathing life into the site through regenerating the buildings and mixing modern architecture with restoration of the old, and at the same time giving them a new purpose.





HR Kilmersdon
HR Kilmersdon

Helston railway occupies a 1.5 mile section of the former GWR branch line between Gwinear Road to Helston. Run entirely by volunteers, the organisation is made up of both a charity (Reg. no. 1146711) and a not for profit operating company. All infrastructure was removed by British Railways in 1965, and all track, rolling stock, locomotives, buildings, signals and platforms you see at the railway today have been recreated by the group since 2005. Our aim is not only to preserve this classic Cornish branch line, but keep steam locomotion alive just a stone’s throw away from it’s very birthplace.




Kelly Mine Shaft
The shaft at Kelly Mine

Kelly Mine is a Devon iron mine situated on the eastern flank of Dartmoor near Lustleigh. The mine worked deposits of micaceous iron oxide, also known as MIO, micaceous haematite or ‘shiny ore’, which is a flaky form of iron oxide, Fe2O3. When the mine closed in 1951, the company left the ore processing machinery on site. The mine is of great significance therefore, it has been refurbished, and the machinery and processing plant restored to working order. Members of the Kelly Mine Preservation Society (KMPS), which was given the Dartmoor Society Award 2017, have been restoring and preserving this time capsule for future generations.





King Edward Mine
King Edward Mine Museum

King Edward Mine, a grade 2* listed structure situated on the Cornish Great Flat Load, was established in 1897 as a training centre for student mining engineers from the Camborne School of Mines. Our site includes many artefacts of mining and Cornish engineering history and a mill with mineral separation plant much of which is truly unique, and continues to be operated for visitors. It was saved from extinction by the charitable trust which now runs it. There are many structures related to mining on the 22 acre site and numerous trails for further exploration of local mining history.






Lappa Valley Steam Railway

Levant Mine and Beam Engine

Liskeard Museum

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway


Mills Archive Logo

Established in 2002, we preserve and protect records of milling heritage, fostering the cultural and educational values of mills and the milling community. A Nationally Accredited Archive Service, we are the UK’s specialist archive on the history of milling: the national centre for mill-related research, recording, learning and understanding; the appropriate repository for milling records. We care for over 250 collections of more than 3,000,000 documents and images, recording the rich and diverse crafts, buildings, equipment and people involved with mills. Over 76,000 of these records are freely available online and some 20 volunteers work to make more publicly accessible.

National Trust Cornwall & Devon, Archaeology


Otterton Mill
Inside Otterton Mill

“One of the best places in Britain for afternoon tea” – The Sunday Times. Set beside the River Otter in one of Devon’s most beautiful coastal valleys, a warm welcome awaits you at Otterton Mill – the place in Devon to experience the ancient traditions of flour milling, bread baking and much more. The idyllic setting of our historic working watermill and the stunning surrounding countryside attracts visitors year round from all over the world. They come to enjoy our mill, bakery, cafe-restaurant, local food shop, gift and craft shop, art gallery, live music, and other events.




Robey Trust
Some of the exhibits Robey Trust looks after

The Robey Trust, based at the New Perseverance Ironworks off Pixon Lane Tavistock PL19 9RQ, is a registered charity dedicated to continuing the traditions of the Robey Engineering Company of Lincoln. We restore to working order and maintain many Robey steam engines. Our active membership includes a capable and enthusiastic group of youngsters who are learning how to preserve and operate these machines. Our engines regularly take part in both local and national steam events. We meet at the works every Thursday and Saturday between 11am and 5pm when visitors are most welcome.




Royal Cornwall Museum


Seaton Tramway imageSeaton Tramway is the trading name of Modern Electric Tramways Ltd and is a registered charity (number 1164157). Sited in the UNESCO Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and laid on the track bed of the former British Rail Seaton Branch, the Tramway opened to the public in August 1970. It is the only 2’9″ gauge railway/tramway in operation, with a fleet of 14 heritage trams, including unique open-top double decker trams and single deck heritage trams from the early 20th century. The trams travel a 3-mile stretch between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in East Devon’s Axe Valley, alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves and giving an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life.



Shire Horse Farm and Carriage Museum
Shire Horse Farm and Carriage Museum

This is a working farm and museum dedicated to preserving the tools, vehicles and horses once common in UK farming. Come and meet the gentle giants of working horse world! The farm has Shires, Clydesdales and Suffolk Punches.  A Large collection of horse-drawn private, commercial and agricultural vehicles, including London horse bus and 1902 Gypsy showman’s wagon. Working wheelwright’s and blacksmith’s shop.






SS Freshspring
SS Freshspring

Built in 1946 SS Freshspring is listed as a ship of national historic significance. She is the only surviving one of fourteen Fresh Class Water Carriers steam ships used to replenish naval ships with water for use in boilers. The ship is currently static, berthed alongside Bideford Quay in North Devon and is being restored with the aim of eventually returning her to the sea as a passenger vessel. In the meantime, she is open to the public and is a ‘must see’ attraction in the area. The Steamship Freshspring Society is a charitable trust set up in 2013 with the aim of returning the ship to operation.




Stover Canal
Stover Canal

The Stover Canal Trust was founded in 1999 to promote the restoration of the 2.8 km Stover Canal near Newton Abbot. Constructed in 1792, the canal was used until the 1930’s to transport ball clay to the head of the Teign estuary, and between 1820 and the 1850’s to transport Dartmoor granite from Haytor. Trust volunteers, having cleared almost the entire length of the abandoned canal, reinstated the towpath,  now part of the  ‘Templer Way’, and having restored the impressive granite structure of Graving Dock Lock, are now restoring the Ventiford Basin and planning to partially re-water the canal and restore Teigngrace Lock.




Telegraph Museum

The Castle Heritage Centre, Bude


Tiverton Museum photo by Amanda Hartman
Inside Tiverton Museum (photo by Amanda Hartman)

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life is a much loved, award winning local museum. Galleries show everything from lace making to laundry, bicycles to brewing and carts to costume. There are literally thousands of items on display which give an insight into how people lived and worked in our part of Devon. One of the most popular objects is the ‘Tivvy Bumper’ GWR steam locomotive which worked the local line until the 1960s. The museum runs a lively events programme and is very family friendly check our website for up to date details.





Trevithick Society


Wheal Martyn
Wheal Martyn

Wheal Martyn is the UK’s only china clay mining museum, situated just outside of St. Austell.  The museum is set within two Victorian china clay works, now a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and tells the story of the industry which shaped the landscape and lives of people in mid-Cornwall, and was a driver of the Cornish economy for over 100 years.  The museum includes an interactive Discovery Centre, Historic Trail, woodland walks and nature trails as well as spectacular views at the peak of the site into a modern working clay pit.  The 26-acre site includes working waterwheels, tools and machinery, vintage lorries as well as nature and wildlife.