Heritage mapping of the Luxulyan Valley

David Skelhorn

A new tool is now available to explore the Valley’s rich heritage features in the form of an online map.  This adventure began a year ago when the Luxulyan Valley Partnership formed a team to evaluate our heritage items under the then lead of Sue Perry.  The initial team fragmented leaving a smaller group out of which I emerged as the lead for the project.  It grew from an initial evaluation of the Gazetteer features to include other recorded heritage assets, so we started to compile a list of what is identified within or adjacent to the World Heritage boundary.  Over a very short time the list grew to a substantial size as sources of information accumulated.   Having compiled a lengthy list, we talked with the Heritage Team leader for Cornwall Council to determine if we could get these all listed on their site and, therefore, acknowledgement of their status.   To my disappointment I was informed that what was asked for was greater than they had capacity to handle as the Luxulyan Valley list was greater than their list for the whole of Cornwall.   However, all was not lost as it was suggested that there was a feature on Google Maps which allowed a stand-alone customised mapping capability available for anybody who wished to use it and were given a couple of examples of work others had completed within the mining area of west Cornwall.  The specific application is called Google My Maps and it works by creating a database which can then be plotted over the standard Google Maps background.  The list had to be structured logically with details of each feature along with Global Map Co-ordinates which must be uploaded to the application.  The program allows a lot of scope for customization.


Now there is already published information about the Valley but most is not in a form which transfers easily to a map.  The sources that were to be included are the following:

  • The 2011 Gazetteer, available on the Friends’ website as a pdf file (see image below)
  • The 1988 Archaeological survey of the valley lead by Mr. John Smith typed and available as a pdf file also on the Friends’ website. (see image below)
  • A similar review for the Prideaux Woods end of the valley from 1998 was found.
  • Items listed on the Council Heritage mapping within the World Heritage Boundary were included
  • Finally, there is a long list of items which are just not recognised as part of the heritage catalogue. These have largely been identified by eye by walking the valley.


It was desirable to keep the formal studies as close to their original format as possible which largely determined the structure.  The most detailed document is the 1988 survey which identifies feature by common function – Leat, Mine, Tramway, Velvet path etc.   After some massaging, 7 out of 10 available groupings were used on this document.  Another for the Gazetteer, another for Prideaux Wood survey and finally, the 10th became a catch all for everything not found elsewhere Under Additional (ADXXX) items.  This is the largest of the groups by far even after elimination of duplicate items.  Groups are opened by clicking the square boxes in the Lising Boxed and then on individual items which are shown on the map.

 The Heritage mapping feature can be accessed by clicking HERE

The above link does NOT WORK with Apple's iPhone or iPad.
It is best viewed from a PC screen but does work from a cell phone but is more difficult to view given the smaller screen.
The original documents are available as follows:
Online as pdf documents:
Link to the Gazetteer is available via this link:    Gazetteer
Link to the 1988 Archaeological survey via this link:    Survey
Other documents are available for loan from the library system.  
1998 A report to Environmental Consultants (CTNC) on an archaeological assessment of Prideaux Wood, Luxulyan. 
Report Number 1998R083, Reference 936.2372
A Richly Yielding Piece of Ground, a history of Fowey Consols Mine 1813 to 1867 by Jim Lewis.  catalogue No.  28009018411685