Cornwall Industrial Settlements Initiative
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Restormel District Council
On the south coast of Cornwall on Mevagissey Bay, to the south of St Austell
Main period of industrial settlement growth:
1820 - 1900
Study Area: St Austell
SX 0147
Main industry:

Industrial history and significance

         Ancient and interesting history.

         Quarrying and tin-streaming since the Middle Ages and earlier.

         Pentewan stone quarries one of the most significant historical and geological sites in Cornwall

         Relationship with other china clay ports (Charlestown, Par, Fowey), to St Austell and the china clay area integral part of its character and significance.

         Rivalries of the various ports/railway schemes and their promoters is key element in history and character of the whole china clay industry.

         The story of Pentewan is intimately bound up in the fortunes of a single family, an archetypal feature of Cornish industrial history; the continuing story of the struggle to keep the harbour open is in itself an almost heroic tale.

         Added significance over and above its associations with the china clay trade; first artificial harbour here constructed in 1744 predates that at Charlestown by 50 years, and is indeed one of the earliest such ports in Cornwall. Much wider range of activities than many other mineral ports (for instance Charlestown) fishing, tin streaming, quarrying, railway, milling, grain and general trade, sand and concrete.

         Because of only moderate success as a port, Pentewan stands fossilised with unusual survival of much evidence of how it functioned, the buildings and processes that went on there, the scale of the local trade and industry.

         Pentewan is unique in the area for being set within an almost completely man-made and industrial landscape - the coastline and coastal landscape itself has been significantly altered by industry.

Extremely significant as an industrial settlement in a recognisable industrial landscape, Pentewan has not been swamped by the suburbs of St Austell, nor suffered from major tourist expansion within the settlement (concentrated at the nearby caravan/holiday park). This industrial aspect of its history, character and setting needs to be fully recognised in future policies and schemes to balance the already well-established policies for the natural environment and picturesque scenery of the area.


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


Figure 1 Location map Format type: PDF 1207kb
Figure 2 Historical development map Format type: PDF 399kb
Figure 3 Surviving historical components map Format type: PDF 389kb
Figure 4 Gazetteer sites, existing designations and recommendations map Format type: PDF 501kb

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Last Updated: 08/01/2004. © Cornwall County Council, Historic Environment Service.