The Local Area

As we are situated just outside Redruth, near to the A30, we are in a perfect position to explore Cornwall and its amazing Coast lines.

Here are just a few of our favourite places...

Portreath...
Portreath is a small village about 5 minutes drive away which is centered on the harbour and beach.  West of the harbour entrance and breakwater are two sandy beaches which are popular with holidaymakers and surfers.

Portreath lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  Almost a third of Cornwall has AONB designation, with the same status and protection as a National Park.

The name Portreath (meaning 'Sandy Cove') was first recorded in 1485 and tin streaming in the valley was recorded from 1602.  Devon contractor Samuel Nott was engaged to build the first mole (or quay) in 1713 on the western side of the beach.  The quay was destroyed by the sea before 1749 but the foundations can be seen occasionally when the sea washes away the sand.  The harbour we see today was started in 1760 to service the expanding ore industry in the Camborne and Redruth are.  The quay was extended and the inner basin constructed in 1846 and in the 1860's New Dock, now known as Little Beach, was constructed.

In the late 1770's, during the American Revolutionary War,  Lieutenant-Colonel of the North Devon Militia,  Francis Basset, commanded local miners to fortify the port which helped counter a Franco-Spanish invasion fleet gathered as part of the European theatre of the war, some of them are still standing to this day.

By 1827 Portreath was described as Cornwalls most important port and was one of the main ports for sending the copper ore mined in the Gwennap area to Swansea for smelting.  The ships returned with Welsh coal to fire the steam engines used on the mines.  The peak of this enterprise was around 1840 when some 100,000 tons of copper ore were shipped out each year.

With a growing population a church was built in 1827,  the Portreath Hotel (1856),  Methodist Chapel (1858),  Basset Arms (1878) and the School (1880) all followed.  A cholera outbreak in 1878 caused the death of almost half the population.  The copper trade collapsed by 1886 and the port was almost bankrupt, although trade of domestic coal, cement, slate and potatoes continued until after World War Two.  In June 1980 the owners donated the harbour to Kerrier District Council and it is now leased to the Portreath Harbour Association by the present owners, Cornwall Council.

The Portreath Tramroad, the first railway in Cornwall, was started in 1809 to link the harbour with the copper mines at Scorrier and St.Day.  By 1812 the tramroad reached Scorrier House, on of the financiers houses, and was completed by 1819.  It was horse-drawn with wagons on an approximate 4ft gauge using L-shaped cast iron plates on square granite blocks.  The line was little used after the Poldice mine closed in the 1860's and the tramroad was closed in 1865.

The Portreath brance of the Hayle Railway was opened in 1838.  To the south of the harbour, and on the west side of the valley,  are the remains of the old cable-worked incline which linked the harbour to the mainline at Carn Brea.  The Portreath incline was one of four on the Hayle Railway and was 1,716 ft long with a rise of about 24o feet.  It was worked by a stationary steam engine, used as a winding engine.  Part of the main line of the Hayle Railway was incorporated into the route of the West Cornwall Railway in 1852 and the branch line finally closed in 1936.

The railways and Portreath tramroad associated with the minerals trade today form the Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast,  a long cycleway and footpath extending 15 miles from Portreath to the south coast.

RRH Portreath,  on Nancekuke Common to the north of the village is now a radar station operated by the RAF but was originally built in 1940 to be the RAF's main fighter airfield in Cornwall during WW2.

Nance Wood,  1 mile to the south east of the village,  is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its biological characteristics.  The woods are one of only two sites in Great Britain to contain Irish Spurge (Euphorbia Hyberna),  a Red Data Book of rate and endangered plant species.

(all information:  Wikipedia)


Sunset in Portreath

Tehidy Woods...
Tehidy consists of 250 acres of woodland and lakes to explore any time of year, although my favourite is Spring when all the blue bells are out.

Gwithian & Godrevy...
Dogs are allowed all year on this beach so we are here quite a lot. The towans (dunes) are host to various different specimens of flora and fauna from orchids to glow worms! The towans and beach are about 5 miles long,  and is extremely popular with surfers.



Indie, our puppy on Upton Towans (She had to get a mention somewhere!)
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