St Agnes is an old mining village on the rugged north coast of Cornwall some 8 km to the northeast of Redruth.
At one time there were numerous tin and copper mines in the area employing hundreds of miners. Today the village caters mainly for holiday makers. There are good beaches at Trevaunance and Chapel Porth and many bracing walks across the surrounding cliffs.
The National Trust maintains the coastal area and the old mining areas have been declared a World Heritage Site. For those interested in industrial archeology there are numerous old mine sites with their romantic engine houses.
Despite being set on the dangerous north Cornish coast, St Agnes was once a busy port. Many attempts were made to construct a permanent harbour at the nearby Trevaunce cove but all efforts failed due to the violence of the winter storms. The last harbour construction was washed away in a great storm back in the early 20th century.
Stippy Stappy is a much-photographed row of 18th century cottages set like steps on a steep hillside. The cottages once belonged to a local ship-owner who accommodated his captains here with the captain of the largest vessel having the top cottage and the remaining captains occupying the lower cottages in strict order of the size of their vessels!
A local landmark rising 629 feet above the village. From the summit a fine view can be obtained of the surrounding countryside.
A group of cliff-top mine buildings maintained by the National Trust. The site offers magnificent coastal views stretching from St Ives in the south-west to Padstow in the north-east. The Towanroath Engine House with its backdrop of sea and headlands is probably the most well-known industrial building in Cornwall. It once housed a great Cornish engine that pumped water from the adjacent shaft. During high tide the sound of distant waves can be heard through the grating that covers the old mine shaft, thrashing against the rocks deep below. Local legend says that Wheal Coates is haunted by the ghosts of the miners who have tragically perished in the depths of the mine.