Newlyn East: Pennsylvania, Liverpool and Newquay

Known as Newlyn East to distinguish it from the town of Newlyn in the west, Newlyn East in mid-Cornwall was the centre of Cornish lead mining from the 1830s. Mines at Chiverton and East Wheal Rose dominated lead production until challenged by the lead mines of Menheniot in the 1850s. That said, there were as … Continue reading Newlyn East: Pennsylvania, Liverpool and Newquay

Mullion: the roundabout road to (and from) Camborne-Redruth

The rather over-the-top Marconi monument at Mullion In 1861 the residents of Mullion on the Lizard peninsula would never have guessed that the parish would take its place as one of the epicentres of modernity in the coming century. It was from this parish that Marconi transmitted the first transatlantic radio messages in 1901/02, following … Continue reading Mullion: the roundabout road to (and from) Camborne-Redruth

Morwenstow: ‘what Cornish lads can do’ and did (and maids too)

Hawker aged 66. Photo by Harry Thorn of Bude Cornwall c.1858 Morwenstow has spectacularly dramatic coastal scenery framed by its high cliffs and is Cornwall’s most northerly parish. But it’s more likely to be remembered for its association with the Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker, its vicar from 1834 to 1875. Hawker was a somewhat eccentric … Continue reading Morwenstow: ‘what Cornish lads can do’ and did (and maids too)

Morvah: the parish with no labourers

Morvah is easily overlooked. It’s one of Cornwall’s smallest parishes, hidden deep in West Penwith and comfortably tucked between St Just and Zennor. In the 1861 census Morvah unusually recorded only one labourer among its working age men. This was more a result of the very small holdings that needed little help beyond the immediate … Continue reading Morvah: the parish with no labourers

Michaelstow: stay around or seek new ground? Contrasting lives from a farming community

Michaelstow is one of those often-overlooked farming parishes of north Cornwall, in this case situated just south of the small town of Camelford. In the 1800s its people got their living mainly from the farms of the parish, with little to interrupt the annual round of ploughing, sowing and harvesting as one year segued drowsily … Continue reading Michaelstow: stay around or seek new ground? Contrasting lives from a farming community

Mevagissey: from Cornish fishing village to the city that never sleeps

Victorian Mevagissey has been described as a place ‘dependent on the sea’, with the majority of its men employed as fishermen, boatbuilders and mariners. If we include the whole parish rather than just the coastal settlement this is a slight exaggeration. In fact, almost a half of the parish's adult men in 1861 found work … Continue reading Mevagissey: from Cornish fishing village to the city that never sleeps