Geology of Cornwall and west Devon

Cornish mining and the natural environment have always been inextricably linked. Geological processes, which took place over many millions of years, determined what minerals and metals were formed and where they were placed, ready for discovery and exploitation.

The geology of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site is dominated by a spine of granite running from Dartmoor in Devon down the centre of the peninsula and out to the Isles of Scilly. 

Other geological features include Devonian slates (or ‘Killas’ as they are known locally); some Carboniferous sandstones and shales in the north of Cornwall; and an area of rare serpentinite – unique in the UK – on the Lizard peninsula. 
Cornwall’s underground backbone of granite, called a batholith, can be seen exposed in several areas – from the outcrops of Bodmin Moor and Gunnislake, and the china clay pits of St Austell (where it appears in its highly weathered or kaolinised state) to the impressive ridge of Carn Brea and the craggy, barren landscape of Penwith

Find out more
 Natural England
 Cornwall Wildlife Trust
 The Cornwall RIGS Group is the geological arm of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, concerned with geology and geomorphology.
      The Devon RIGS Group seeks to promote geological conservation    
      by working with local authorities, landowners and others.
 Geevor Tin Mine
 The Natural History Museum – the museum’s Earth Treasures gallery features a glittering and colourful display of a multitude of rocks and minerals, both familiar and unusual.
       The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences - discover fossils, rocks      
       and minerals from around the world and explore more than 550  
       million years of Earth's history.