Geology and Local History
This month see a new feature on the PLHG website. We are often asked for information and advice on local history so April sees the start of a series of Local History Primers which provide an introduction to different aspects of the subject. Appropriately enough we start with geology, the underpinning of our landscape, the source of our minerals, the provider of stone for our homes, rock for our walls and chippings for our roads. Local History Primers will be an irregular series appearing up to four times per year.
On This Day
This project reaches the 150 mark on 12 April when we bring you news of the very first sale of copper ore from Levant Mine, reopened in November 1820. Also on a mining theme there is the birth of Joseph Carne, doyen of the Royal Cornwall Geological Society, on 17 April. From the same period in the history of Penzance there is the birth of Samuel Pidwell on 3 April, brewer, mountaineer and builder of Morrab House. The 5th of April sees Richard Warren's extravagant entry into Redruth in 1826 while extravagant action of a different sort is the subject of the overthrow of the Logan Rock by Lieutenant Goldsmith in 1824. On 14 April a Newlyn man was at the wheel of the Titanic while on 8 April 1812 Penzance's most famous son became Sir Humphry Davy. OTM April starts with the reorganisation of local government in 1974, briefly looks at the 1861 and 1871 censuses, chronicles a visit by the king, details the laying of the foundation stone(s) for the Penzance Public Buildings in 1864, identifies the date for the fall of St Michael's Mount in 1646 and ends with a rescue from a blaze in Tregeseal. Thirty gems from the everyday story of Penwith folk.
This month's Penwith Paper follows on from the flamboyant doings of Richard Warren (OTD 5 April) by looking at the heroism of his brother John, renowned wrestler. In passing it's interesting to note that this story reveals that Cornish miners were already setting off to the Americas in 1825.
The Tin Coast
The coast of St Just has recently been christened "The Tin Coast" by the National Trust. This is really a branding exercise which seeks to draw together a variety of different sites and visitor attractions in the Trust's ownership and present them as a single destination. These sites include Cape Cornwall, Wheal Owles, Kenidjack Castle, Botallack, Levant and all the coast from Cape to Pendeen Watch. A Tin Coast Manager is now in post, Jo Warburton, previously on Cornish Engines, being the incumbent with the job of looking after some of Cornwall's most celebrated views, most famous mining sites and several miles of coastline which is home to a growing population of our national bird, the chough. Lots of opportunity, huge responsibility - good luck Jo!
The Tin Coast is now backed by the Tin Coast Partnership which is a collection of of groups including the National Trust, Geevor, St Just Town Council, Cornwall 365 and the World Heritage Site. The partnership exists to "coordinate the development of a destination in the far west. Its aim is to become a place to see the best of the legacy of Cornish Mining. Their focus is on developing tourism in the area in a sustainable way that respects and promotes its heritage as well as benefitting the local economy." The Partnership has published a draft "Destination Management Plan" which is a revealing read.