The Lull after the Storm

Malcolm Chant

Joined September 2008

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Artist's Description

Before 1760 industry in Portreath was very small scale – farming at Rose Villa farm, tin streaming along the red river, small scale mining along North Cliffs and fishing. A small quay had been built at Amy’s side to serve these interests and the line of the old mule track, which dropped down from the cliff tops can still be seen. The remains of what could have been fish cellars at Smugglers cottage probably date to this period. Heavy seas shattered the quay before 1749.

Port outlets were vital for the copper mines as copper ore was sent to South Wales (Swansea area mostly) for smelting where coal was abundant (and a lot was needed to smelt copper ore, far more than for tin). Steam coal would be brought back to raise steam for pumping, stamping, crushing, grinding and so on. All the early copper ports were small scale, some on the Fal, like Penryn, which offered safe harbours but suffered the problem of ships having to navigate around Lands End and the Lizard; some on the North coast, like Portreath, which being a lee shore could be difficult to get in and out of.

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