Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Cornish Copper Co

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1754 Commenced smelting copper near Camborne under John Edwards

1758 Secured a site on the Hayle estuary

1813 Joseph Carne is managing partner

In 1818, the Cornish Copper Co sought to prevent Henry Harvey from constructing a new quay at Hayle, hundreds of workmen from both sides became involved and an actual clash was only narrowly avert.

In 1829, the dispute between Harvey and Co of Hayle and the Cornish Copper Company again flared over the ownership of the quay and land at Hayle. This was the culmination of years of acrimonious competition between the two companies, with channel diversions, poaching of workers and sharp practices, including the riots in 1818.

After a long legal battle, concerning the St Erth/Phillack boundary line, in 1832 the Harvey's were granted a portion of the quay, which had overlapped into St Erth and Harvey's property.

1832 'Last week a communication opened between the Cornish Copper Company's south and north quays, at Hayle over beautiful cast-iron drawbridge. The bridge was manulactured at the Company's foundry, is 10 feet wide, and 65 feet long, and is sufficiently strong for maintaining any weight that may he necessary to pass over it. Shipping will derive great advantage from the use of this bridge, vessels will not in future be required to come above the flood-gates, either to discharge or take in their cargoes.' [1]

The Cornish Copper Company also entered into direct competition with Harvey's in another sphere, iron-founding and the manufacture of Cornish Beam Engines.

The conflict, which divided Hayle into two warring camps, was not finally resolved until 1867, when the Copper Company - then Sandys, Carne and Co - sold out to Harvey's, which thereby gained sole control of the harbour.

1875 Notice of sale:[2]

"The engine works, brass and iron foundries, hammermills, and premises, constituting the Copper House Foundry, situate at Copperhouse, in the town and port of Hayle, in the county of Cornwall, which has been carried on for upwards of fifty years by the Cornish Copper Company, under the style of Sandys, Vivian, and Company.

"Together with the ship building yard, ropery, gas works, carried on in connection with the above business, and about 140 dwelling-houses and cottages, to most of which gardens are annexed, farmstead, and other buildings, the whole forming a large part of the estates of Trevassack and Ventonleague, containing together nearly 40 acres, of which are held for the residue of a term of 999 years, of which about 904 are unexpired, at a peppercorn rent, with the benefit of a covenant to convey the reversion in fee, and the remaining are held in fee.

"This property is situate at the head of the harbour of Hayle, and in the midst of the Cornish mining district, and possesses all the requirements and conveniences for carrying on the above businesses either as a whole or separately, besides being adapted for carrying on any other extensive mercantile business, such as tin, iron, or copper smelting.

"There is a dock and also wharves immediately abutting on the property, to the use of which the Company have rights for the purpose of bonding or exporting goods at nominal dues. Facilities also exist for railway transit by the West Cornwall Railway, which runs through the property, and into which provisions have been made for carrying a siding from the Company's works."

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Dorset County Chronicle - Thursday 13 September 1832
  2. The London Gazette 26 January 1875