Cornwall Industrial Settlements Initiative
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Restormel District Council
Location: South-east Cornwall, 1 mile south-west of St Austell
Main period of industrial settlement growth:
Pre 1809; 1809-41
Study Area: St Austell
NGR: SW 99548 50464 (centre)

Main industry:
Tin, copper mining and elvan quarry

Industrial history and significance

Polgooth developed relatively early. Little survives from the early years of the mine in the 16th- 18th centuries when Polgooth was associated with some of the major county families and prominent engineers. This said, there is a good level of survival from the early nineteenth century in the form of workers cottages, the Inn, Count House and the intricate street patterns and leats developed in association with the mine. One of the most enduring legacies of the settlement’s industrial past, however, comes not from the mine but the quarry to the south of the settlement which provided the material for the majority of Polgooth’s buildings. Polgooth is a classic type of early industrial settlement, an uncoordinated scatter of smallholdings on the edge of common land divided between the two parishes of St Mewan and St Ewe (in fact three if the mine area outside the settlement within St Austell is included). Cottages were fitted in and amongst still-working or recently finished mines and processing sites, all set on the no-man’s land of waste, some distance from their respective churchtowns, in land shared by two or three large landowners, often in dispute over overall control of the area. Services, institutions and crafts that might have been expected to develop in the village were located elsewhere in less marginal (in the sense of being on the edge of territories of control) and disputed settlement centres.


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


Figure 1 Location map Format type: PDF 409kb
Figure 2 Historical development map Format type: PDF 435kb
Figure 3 Surviving historical components map Format type: PDF 289kb
Figure 4 Gazetteer sites, existing designations and recommendations map Format type: PDF 343kb

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