Hilary Orange

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

My research is examining public perceptions of the remains of Cornwall’s tin and copper mining industries in the post-war period (1950-2010). This includes an examination of the economic, political and cultural values which Cornish mining sites have embodied over the last sixty years and current contestation of their usage and development. The aim of the research is to understand the socio-economic significance of industrial archaeology within a post-industrial context.

The ‘archaeology’ of the hard-rock, deep-shaft metal mining industries in Cornwall can be broadly dated from the 17th century to, very specifically, the 6 March 1998 – the date when the last tin mine in Cornwall, South Crofty, near Camborne, closed. If the story of Cornish mining is conceptualised into a four part drama containing episodes entitled ‘boom’, ‘bust’, ‘decay’ and ‘restitution’ then the last sixty years encompasses the last three episodes. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century closures left a legacy of derelict and abandoned sites which have been transformed in the post-war period into industrial heritage. This process of valorisation culminated in 2006 with the inscription of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site on the UNESCO WHS list.

As the temporal context of this research is the period of lived and living memory, an ethnographic approach has been taken to the research. This includes surveys and interviews alongside visual data collection methods (for instance, mental mapping). More broadly, I am interested in the processes of deindustrialisation and their relationship to industrial archaeology and industrial heritage and within this I am particularly interested in methods of recording memories of work and working practices.

Funding organisation

  • PhD funded through employment (British Museum and UCL)


 Educational background

  • MA, Public Archaeology, UCL, 2006
  • Cert Ed (QTS), University of Plymouth, 2003
  • BA, Fine Art (Printmaking), Loughborough College of Art, 1989


Orange, H. Forthcoming. Mind the Gap: Archaeology and Adult Education in Moshenska, G. and Dhanjal, S. (eds.) Community Archaeology: Themes, Methods and Practices. Oxford: Oxbow.

Orange, H. and Peters, C. Forthcoming. The ‘Expert’ Amateur, Professionalism and Public Engagement: The Changing Face of Archaeology Education in Cornwall from 1986 to 2011 in Cornish Archaeology. Vol 50.

Orange, H. Forthcoming. ‘The End of a Moving Staircase’: Industrial Archaeology of the Past, Present and Future in Cornish Archaeology. Vol 50

May, S., Orange, H. and Penrose, S. Forthcoming. The Good, the Bad and the Unbuilt: Handling the Heritage of the 20th Century. Proceedings of the Heritage CHAT conference, UCL 2008. Archaeopress.


Orange, H. (2011) Exploring Sense of Place: An Ethnography of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site in, J. Schofield and R. Szymanski (eds.) Sensing Place: Local Heritage in a Global Context. Ashgate Publishing.


Orange, H. and Laviolette, P. (2010) The Importance of Being There...A Disgruntled Tourist in King Arthur’s Court in Schadla-Hall, T. (ed.) Public Archaeology. Vol 9 (2). Maney Publishing.


Orange, H. (2008) Industrial Archaeology: Its place within the Academic Discipline, the Public Realm and the Heritage Industry in Gwyn, D. (ed.) Industrial Archaeology Review. Vol 30. Maney Publishing, 83-95.



The Commoners and World Heritage on Minions Moor: A Troublesome

Relationship. Paper given in Mining Politics session at On the Surface: The Heritage of Mines and Mining (conference convenors Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds University/Department of History and European Ethnology, University of Innsbruck), University of Innsbruck, Austria, April 2011.

The Archaeology of De-Industrialisation. Talk at Ruskin Public History Discussion Group (with Dan Hicks, Sefryn Penrose and Lisa Hill (University of Oxford)), Oxford, March 2011.


The Commoners and World Heritage on Minions Moor: A Troublesome Relationship. Paper given at the Postgraduate Conference in Historical Archaeology, University of Leicester, October 2010

Benders, Benches and Bunkers: Recent Contestation and Commemoration at an Industrial (Heritage) Landscape. Paper given in Reanimating Industrial Spaces session (organised by Hilary Orange) at the EAA annual meeting, Hague. September 2010.

Public Perceptions of Mining Heritage on Minions Moor: Heritage, Tourism and Industry in Mining Histories and their Publics session (organised by Eric Nystrom). National Council of Public History Conference. Portland, Oregon March 2010

So who owns the past? A Troublesome Relationship: Mining, Industrial Heritage and the Locals of Minions Moor, Cornwall. Paper given in Archaeology Unplugged seminar, Heritage Studies Research Group, UCL.

Public Perceptions of the Caradon Hill Mining Landscape. Lecture to the Cornwall Archaeological Society, Liskeard, Cornwall, January 2010


Benders, Benches and Bunkers: Recent Contestation and Commemoration at an Industrial (Heritage) Landscape. Paper given in Reanimating Industrial Spaces session (organised by Hilary Orange and Sefryn Penrose) at TAG, Durham. December 2009.

Where does Botallack begin and end? Mines, Names and Boundaries: a Contemporary Perspective on a Mine Site in West Cornwall. Paper given in Mining Archaeology session, 8th International Mining History Congress, Redruth, Cornwall, June 2009.


Mined: Industry and Art Installations in Cornwall. Paper given at the annual meeting of CHAT (Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory group), ‘Heritage’ CHAT, UCL, November 2008.

‘Senses of’ a Cornish Mining Landscape: Perceptions of Place and Industry. Paper given in Sense of Place in European Context session (organised by John Schofield and Rosy Phillipson), at the EAA annual meeting, Malta.


Methods of Presentation and the Presentation of Methods, at the 2nd Annual Institute of Archaeology Graduate Conference, (organised by Hilary Orange, Tobias Richter and Isabel Villasenor) UCL, April 2007.

A Disgruntled tourist in King Arthur’s Court, paper given with Patrick Laviolette in Great Expectations? Anticipation, imagination and expectation in the tourist session (organised by Jonathan Skinner & Dimitrios Theodossopoulos). Annual meeting of the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA) Thinking through Tourism, London Metropolitan University, April 2007.

Archaeology, Identity and Consumerism at Tintagel. Seminar as part of the SARG series at Truro College, Cornwall, February 2007.

“But I want nothing this Society’s got.’ Who buys the past at Tintagel. Paper given in Going Underground: The Public wants what the Public gets session (organised by Sarah McCarthy and Kalliopi Vacharopoulou), annual meeting of EAA, Krakow, Poland.

Mind the gap – Archaeology and Adult Education. Paper given in Education and Community Archaeology session. Archaeology in the Community conference (organised by Gabriel Moshenska), UCL.

  • ‘The base of Californian stamps (foreground) and the restored engine house of Wheal Kitty (background).’ Copyright Hilary Orange.
  • ‘an iconic image – the engine houses of Crowns Mine, Botallack’) copyright Hilary Orange.
  • ‘Shift bosses’ office in the Dry (miners’ changing rooms and offices), Geevor Mine Museum’), copyright Hilary Orange.

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