Cornwall Industrial Settlements Initiative
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Caradon District Council
Main period of  industrial  settlement growth: 1842-1882
Study Area: Tamar Valley
NGR: SX 43250 71632 (centre)
Main industry: Mining, quarries, and brickworks

Industrial history and significance

All the housing chapels, shops, commercial and public buildings in the settlement developed as a direct result of the needs of the industrial workers and their families. More akin to the earlier industrial developments of West Cornwall than most contemporary industrial settlements in East Cornwall, the workers’ housing was built in and amongst the industry, quarries and mine dumps and as a result the industrial and domestic architecture was interwoven, at first lacking any overall or coherent plan. Gunnislake is unusual in the wide range of industries that took place so close to a major river/port facility and a major transport focus. The influence of the quarries, brickworks and terra cotta works is evident throughout the town as used for local building materials. Gunnislake has particular significance, however, in showing the process whereby such disparate, uncontrolled and seemingly random developments could coalesce and create a recognisable and distinctive place. The role of the important and ever-changing road and communication patterns in this process was of paramount importance, as was the addition to the ‘organic’ core area of a planned settlement of smallholdings - a ‘location’ settlement - that places Gunnislake in a particular category of Cornish industrial settlements.

This settlement forms part of the proposed Cornwall & west Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site Bid, and is considered an important part of the context for the Bid.


The downloads offered below represent the different elements of the CISI Gunnislake Report including the core text and the four illustrative map figures.
 Title Description Format Size
CISI Gunnislake report Report text. Format type: PDF


Figure 1 Location map Format type: PDF 678kb
Figure 2a Historical development map Format type: PDF 429kb
Figure 2b " Format type: PDF 331kb
Figure 3a Surviving historical components map Format type: PDF 364kb
Figure 3b " Format type: PDF 324kb
Figure 4a Gazetteer sites, existing designations and recommendations map Format type: PDF 424kb
Figure 4b " Format type: PDF 390kb

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Last Updated: 16/12/2004. © Cornwall County Council, Historic Environment Service.