St Mellion: trees, wooden and family

St Mellion near the Tamar in south-east Cornwall is now home to an Australian-owned up-market golf resort with its hundreds of holiday lodges and periodic controversial planning disputes. In the 1800s it would have been much less manicured. It’s another in what sometimes feels like an endless run of smallish rural parishes that were mainly … Continue reading St Mellion: trees, wooden and family

St Martin in Meneage: the state of agriculture in the ‘Great Depression’

As we saw in the previous blog, farmers in south-east Cornwall were getting along relatively well in the face of the so-called ‘Great Depression’ of British agriculture that began around 1873. Were farmers in the west at St Martin in Meneage equally fortunate? On the Lizard it was reported in 1882 that more farms were … Continue reading St Martin in Meneage: the state of agriculture in the ‘Great Depression’

St Ive: riding the rollercoaster

Outside Cornwall the east Cornish parish of St Ive is liable to be confused with the better-known St Ives in the west. But St Ive experienced a much more dramatic change in the Victorian period than did the stereotypically picturesque St Ives. Within the space of one generation St Ive had been transformed from an … Continue reading St Ive: riding the rollercoaster

St Gluvias: return migration at Penryn

As we saw in the previous blog in the case of Eliza Bennett, short stays overseas were by no means unknown in Victorian Cornwall. Temporary sojourns in North America seem to have been particularly prevalent in the Penryn district. Often these involved stonemasons and quarrymen, presumably taking advantage of higher wages in American quarries when … Continue reading St Gluvias: return migration at Penryn

St Erme: two-stage migration

Now hosting one of Truro’s commuter villages, St Erme was a rural parish in the 1800s. Although a mainly farming parish it provides us with a classic example of two-stage migration. This involved moving first to an industrial region of northern England or Wales before then departing overseas. The process of two-stage, or indirect, emigration … Continue reading St Erme: two-stage migration

St Cleer: to stay or not to stay, that is the question

Whether to stay overseas or return to Cornwall was a question that many Cornish emigrants grappled with. Some seem to have found it very difficult to answer. The engine of St Cleer's long-forgotten industrial boom times was South Caradon mine. Its remains stand as brooding testimony to its short 50 year existence, to the riches … Continue reading St Cleer: to stay or not to stay, that is the question