is one of the great industrial towns of Cornwall's southwest and is so
linked to Pool, in more ways than one. The other two main towns for this
area which were also heavily involved in the Industrial Revolution are
Redruth and Hayle.
Camborne town today is not as prosperous as it once was, when mining and
engineering were at their peak, but it is an interesting place and has
bred many famous people in the nation's history.
Sandwiched between Redruth and Camborne, Pool has now become the
industrial centre for the area and there is a large estate situated on the
flat land under Carn Brea. Here you will find most of the service
industries and superstores; on the other side of the main road is Cornwall
College and the Camborne School of Mines.
The Library, Opened in 1895 and on the pavement outside is a statue
(unveiled in 1932) of Richard Trevithick, inventor of the high pressure
steam engine amongst other things. The Church of St.Martin & St.Meriadocus
is late 15th century and has an altar-slab made of grey elvan said
to be over a thousand years old. Camborne School of Mines
is well worth a visit, having a museum and art gallery. The school is
still very much in the forefront of modern discovery and is the only one
of it's kind in the country. Consequently, students from all over the
world come to study here.
Drive or bus and walk your way to the top of Carn Brea and you will
discover fabulous vistas. There is also an amazing little restaurant in
the old hunting lodge which is partially built into large granite
boulders. In fact the granite up here is very interesting and some of the
tors have rock basins with names like the 'Giant's Crocks and Kettles'.
This is a Neolithic Hill Fort with prehistoric enclosures,
greenstone axes have been found here.
Prior to the advent of the growth of underground mining and it's attendant
industries in the 18th century, this whole area consisted of a scattering
of villages and manor houses. There was no main road as we know it today
and to get to a village like Camborne was a bit of a detour. The situation
changed radically with the opening of the turnpike road in 1839 and
communications improved. Thousands of men and even boys were employed in
the mines as they went deeper and deeper, but mining for tin was a very
hard and dangerous occupation; the pay was poor and there was always a lot
The situation could not endure and with the discovery of rich pickings
began, increasing at a staggering rate when the the price of tin dropped
in the 1860's. In one year alone, it seems that over 3,000 miners left the
Camborne to Redruth district to seek their fortunes abroad. There was gold
in California and copper in Australia to name but two.
A few years ago I came across a town in the outback of Australia called
Burra and it was quite a surprise, I can tell you, because there were the
engine house stacks on the skyline exactly as you can still see them in
Cornwall. Not only that, on entering the town what should we find but
street names including Camborne St., Helston St., St. Dye (Day?) St. and a
Redruth Gaol. The buildings, as well, were built with stone in the Cornish
style. Quite an achievement in the middle of a scrub desert.
Photos copyrighted © Stuart Lindsay. Cornwall
HERE to visit his site.