Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 134,001 pages of information and 212,817 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Charlestown Foundry

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Exhibit at the China Clay Country Park in Cornwall.
Exhibit at the China Clay Country Park in Cornwall. 35ft water wheel.
Exhibit at the China Clay Country Park in Cornwall.
Exhibit at the China Clay Country Park in Cornwall.
A flat rod tunnel at the China Clay Country Park in Cornwall.
Exhibit at the China Clay Country Park in Cornwall. A smaller wheel still in operation.
Small waterwheel at the Tregargus Valley. Used at the Wheal Arthur Works. Made at the Charlestown Foundry.
Charlestown Foundry works badge found on the smaller wheel in the Tregargus Valley.

Charlestown Iron Foundry and Ironworks Co was sited higher up the hill from Charlestown Harbour, on Charlestown Road, St. Austell, Cornwall. [1]

Founded c 1827.

Charlestown Foundry made the enormous 35ft pitchback water wheel, which was in production at Wheal Martyn by 1884. It was used to pump clay slurry up to the surface from the bottom of the china clay pits. The power from the wheel had to travel large distances via the ingenious system of connecting rods made of iron called flat rods. They travelled uphill for over half a mile and through narrow tunnels on a system of pulleys.

At some point between 1870 and c 1900 it provided at least one, but probably several waterwheels to the Tregargus Valley China Clay Works of Wheal Arthur, near St. Stephens.

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