HAYLE (Cornish : Heyl, lit. "estuary") is a small town , civil
parish and cargo port in west
England , United Kingdom. It
is situated at the mouth of the
Hayle River (which discharges into St
Ives Bay ) and is approximately seven miles (11 km) northeast of
Hayle parish was created in 1888 from part of the now defunct
Phillack parish, with which it was later combined in 1935, and
incorporated part of
St Erth in 1937. The modern parish shares
boundaries with St Ives to the west,
St Erth to the south, Gwinear and
Gwithian in the east, and is bounded to the north by the
Celtic Sea .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Early history
* 1.2 Medieval period
* 1.4 The 20th century
* 1.5 21st century
Harbour development and regeneration
* 2.2 World Heritage
* 2.3 Transport
* 2.4 Notable buildings
* 3 Local government
* 4 Twinning
* 5 Notable residents
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 Further reading
* 9 External links
Although there is a long history of settlement in the
area dating from the
Bronze Age , the modern town of
Hayle was built
predominantly during the 18th century industrial revolution . Evidence
Iron Age settlement exists at the fort on the hill above Carnsew
Pool where the Plantation now stands. It is thought that Hayle, was an
important centre for the neolithic tin industry, trading not only
Breton people , but also the
Phoenicians of the eastern
Mediterranean. Evidence of this comes from finds of imported pottery
including Romano/Grecian Amphorae - containers for wine and oil.
Although the Romans never fully conquered
Cornwall they did, perhaps,
have a presence in the
Hayle Estuary, and it is thought that the
rectangular churchyard at St. Uny\'s Church, Lelant on the western
shore of the estuary is built within the outline of a Roman fort.
In those times the estuary looked a lot different from that of today.
It appears that the estuary was deeper and it was possible for boats
to go up the
River Hayle as far as where
St. Erth Bridge is now
situated; the tide used to flow in and out of what is now Foundry
Square in the town, and at
Gwithian reached inland some considerable
Connor Downs .
The departure of the Romans was followed by an influx of Christian
missionaries , most of whom are said to have had Irish origins and
after whom many Cornish towns take their present name. The lives of
Saint Samson and
Saint Petroc report that both saints arrived in
Cornwall at the
Hayle Estuary, indicating that it was an established
port at least by the end of the 5th century. During the mid-6th
century, however, the area was held by the Breton exile Tewdwr Mawr
(Cornish : Teudar or Teudaric), who was said to have martyred many of
them—particularly the members of
Saint Breaca 's mission—before
returning to his patrimony around 577.
A number of inscribed stones from this period have been found in the
area. Two early stones have been found at
Phillack , one bearing a
'Constantine' form of a Chi-Rho cross which may date to the 5th
Century. The most noteworthy inscribed stone is one uncovered during
the construction of a road in the grounds of Carnsew, and is now set
into a bank at The Plantation, a public park. The stone was discovered
in December 1843 by workmen, lying in a horizontal position at the
depth of four feet. When the stone was moved it broke into three
parts. A Mr Harvey had it fixed into the wall of his path on Carnsew
cliff, within a few feet of the spot where it was discovered, and
added a more recent replica which lies next to it, where it has
remained since. The stone bears an inscription in
Latin , but it is
now unreadable. The version that appears on the replica is translated
as "Here Cenui fell asleep who was born in 500. Here in his tomb he
lies, he lived 33 years." However, in her discussion of this
inscription Elisabeth Okasha passes over this transcription in
silence, and mentions only three early drawings of this inscription
and the results of more recent inspections, then tentatively offers
her translation: "Here in peace has rested Cunatdo . Here he lies in
the tomb. He lived for 33 years."
While physical and documentary evidence indicates that the port
continued to be of importance through the
Middle Ages , it was the
Industrial Revolution that saw the town and port of
Hayle grow to
resemble the town as seen today.
Domesday survey in 1086 shows that the town of
Hayle was not yet
in existence. The manor of Connerton ("Conarditone") is recorded as
Hayle Estuary with the manor centred on Conerton, close
to the present day village of Gwithian. This was held by the King and
was the headmanor of the hundred of Penwith. It is from Conerton that
the name of the present day settlement of
Connor Downs is derived. A
number of scattered farmsteads are recorded but no substantial
settlement. By the 13th century Conerton was owned by the Arundel
family until it was purchased by the Cornish
Copper Company in the
early 19th century.
The first documentary evidence of any settlements around the Hayle
Estuary is in 1130 when
Phillack Church and surrounding dwellings were
recorded as "Egloshayle", meaning the church (eglos) on the estuary
(heyl), with the church being dedicated originally to St Felec (as
appears in a 10th-century Vatican codex), from where it is believed
Phillack was derived. At some point in the 17th century,
Felec (a male) was mistaken for
Felicitas of Rome (a female).
The first recorded mention of
Hayle proper is in 1265 but it would
seem even then the settlement was little more than a few dwellings and
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Hayle was initially a coal importing and ore exporting port but Hayle
was initially dwarfed by nearby
Angarrack , where a tin smelter was
built in 1704 and mills and stamps converted/constructed to process
the ore. Hayle's role was simply to serve as a convenient point to
land coal from South Wales, which was then taken to
Angarrack by mule.
In 1710 a copper and tin smelter was built at Mellanear Farm on the
Mellanear stream which prospered for many years
Perhaps the first major development at
Hayle was the construction of
the first modern quay by John "Merchant" Curnow, in the 1740s, to
service the growing mining industry. In 1758 the Cornish Copper
Company (CCCo) moved from
Camborne and set up a copper smelter at
Copperhouse Creek) and this proved very successful, so
much so that a canal was built to bring vessels right up to the works
and additional land was purchased on both sides of the creek for
industrial use and providing housing for the workers.
The smelting process generated large amounts of waste. The copper
slag was cast into large heavy dark bricks or "Scoria Blocks" which
were to prove a very useful building material which were used and
re-used in the town and can be seen in many buildings. The blocks were
sold at 9d (about 3p) for 20 and given free to employees of the CCCo
to build their own houses. Sea Lane or Black Road (and Black Bridge)
as it is now known was built using these and waste used to fill in the
upper reaches of
Copperhouse Creek creating Wilson's Pool and dividing
Copperhouse Pool was subsequently modified
to serve as a tidal reservoir both to allow ships to travel up as far
as the dock, (where the Co-op supermarket now stands), and to flush or
sluice the channel to keep it clear of sand and silt.
In 1779 John Harvey , a blacksmith from nearby
Carnhell Green ,
established a small foundry and engineering works in the area, now
known as Foundry, to supply the local mining industry. The business
flourished and by 1800 employed more than 50 people. It went from
strength to strength through both professional and family partnerships
with a series of great engineers and entrepreneurs, including Richard
Trevithick , William West and Arthur Woolf, giving the firm a level of
expertise unmatched in Cornwall. The firm of Harvey "> Hayle
viaduct from the modern station platform
From 1831 until 1861 the
Bristol Steam Packet Company
operated Steam Packet services which from 1837 connected with the
newly opened Hayle-
Redruth Railway. Designed from the outset to carry
both goods and passengers the
Hayle Railway's terminus was in Foundry
Square under the present viaduct . Steam was introduced onto the Hayle
Section in 1843 but the construction of the railway meant that only
light engines could be used, whilst the incline at
remained a problem. In 1852 a new railway was opened spanning the
valley on the impressive
Angarrack viaduct and passing through Hayle
on a new wooden supports over
Foundry Square which were later replaced
with the current stone pillars. The
Harbour Branch line was closed in
1982 and the station buildings and signal box were demolished at the
same time. The original station in
Foundry Square remained until after
the Second World War when it was demolished.
Hayle reached their peak in the early/mid-19th century
but, along with the other foundries and engineering works in Hayle,
began a long and slow decline. Harvey's acquired the Cornish Copper
Company in 1875 but the downturn continued. The engineering works and
Foundry were closed in 1903 though the company continued to trade as
general and builders merchant, eventually merging with UBM to become
Harvey-UBM in 1969.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution stationed a lifeboat at
Hayle in 1866. A boat house was built for it in 1897, but after it was
closed in 1920 it was moved to a site near the power station where it
was used as a store for about 60 years before being demolished. The
first lifeboat (Isis) was replaced in November 1887; the third and
final boat, the Admiral Rodd arrived in 1906. A memorial to Hayle's
volunteer lifeboat crews has been placed in the Isis Gardens beneath
the viaduct on the site of the town’s first railway station.
In 1888, the National Explosive works were established on Upton
Towans (giving it the alternative name "Dynamite Towans"). Originally
built to supply the local mining industry, it soon grew to supply the
military and, during the
First World War
First World War , employed over 1500 people.
The remote location on the Towans proved a wise move as there were a
number of accidents resulting in explosions.
THE 20TH CENTURY
Hayle in the
Copperhouse Pool at high-tide
Explosive manufacture ceased in 1920, although parts of the site were
used as an explosives store until the 1960s. The area is now a nature
reserve over which people are encouraged to roam.
1910 saw the opening of
Hayle Power Station on Harvey's Towans. It
was coal-fired and the coal was supplied by ship from South Wales
until the station was closed in 1977. At the same time
was also closed to commercial shipping, although a locally important
fishing fleet, specialising mainly in shellfish remained.
Until the early 20th century
Hayle had two very distinct areas of
settlement around the competing foundries but slowly buildings began
to appear between the two communities. St Elwyn’s Church, the
Passmore Edwards Institute and a new Drill Hall all appeared within a
few years of each other, and housing followed. The Passmore Edwards
Institute was just one of a series of institutes and libraries built
Cornwall by its eponymous benefactor, who had made a
fortune in the publishing business. The town council used it for
offices for many years but moved to the Community Centre in April
In the years between the World Wars a number of small works were
established on North Quay, including a glass works, a small oil depot
and an ICI plant for producing bromine –a fuel additive for high
octane aviation fuel. This additive increased the power of aircraft
such as Hurricanes , Spitfires , Lancasters and Mosquitoes . All are
now closed and most of the buildings have been demolished. The
metalworking business of J white-space:nowrap;"> The engineering
tradition continues with the more recent small specialist firms of
Bassett Engineering and Rigibore which specialise in tooling and
precision engineering products from the Guildford Road Industrial
Estate. Rigibore provides tooling to a global market and offers
revolutionary products for hole boring. Bassett Engineering offer a
wide range of engineering services to the Ministry of Defence .
In autumn 2011 there was a large landslip on the North Cliff and the
coastal footpath had to be diverted.
Disused quay in
Hayle's position by the sea and its 3 miles of golden sandy beaches
allowed it to develop as a holiday destination. Indeed,
has much holiday accommodation. The sand dunes or Towans are the
favoured location for a number of holiday villages and caravan and
camping sites. The
Gwithian beach near
Godrevy is not only picturesque
but it is also a favoured area for water-related sports including
surfing, windsurfing and body-boarding.
More reliable sunshine in the Mediterranean, coupled with cheap
flights, saw a downturn in the fortune of
Hayle as a tourist
destination in the 1980s, although it remains a popular destination
for families with young children. Schemes have been proposed for the
regeneration of the town and its harbour but none has yet come to
The local community radio station is Coast FM (formerly Penwith
Radio), which broadcasts on 96.5 and 97.2 FM .
HAYLE HARBOUR DEVELOPMENT AND REGENERATION
Hayle Estuary from Towans.
Since the 1980s,
Harbour has been the focus of several projects
and schemes aimed at regenerating the local economy of
Penwith . In
the 1980s, well-known businessman
Peter de Savary fronted an attempt
to develop the harbour area but ultimately failed to attract financial
support to bring his plans to fruition. Despite several other similar
schemes, today the harbour is still not regenerated. In 2004, ING Real
Estate, an international property development company, became the
Hayle harbour and started to purchase land within the
immediate vicinity of their planned project area. In April 2008, ING
submitted an outline planning application to the planning department
Penwith District Council. As of November 2009, the granting of
outline planning permission still depends on the Section 106 Agreement
being agreed, a sticking point to this is finalising traffic and
transport improvements. Outside of the harbour area,
Hayle has been
the site of a number of successful regeneration schemes; including the
Foundry project which has seen the development of
business and residential units in the hope of attracting employment to
Hayle area; and projects being progressed through the
Plan Partnership. Building has been started on an Asda on the harbour
in recent months.
St Ives Bay Holiday Park in
Hayle is one of many holiday
destinations in the town, this picture features
The townscape of
Hayle and its historic harbour were part of the
initial submission of the
Cornwall and West Devon historic mining
landscape World Heritage bid . On 13 July 2006 it was announced that
the bid had been successful and that the historic mining landscape of
Cornwall and West Devon would be added to World Heritage list.
Hayle railway station is close to
Foundry Square, at the east end of
the viaduct. It is also linked to the harbour area along a footpath
that used to be the branch railway line serving the quays. It is
First Great Western
First Great Western and
CrossCountry with local services to
Plymouth and services to destinations including London Paddington ,
Manchester Piccadilly and beyond.
National Express run 3 daily services from
Hayle stopping at Foundry
Square and Copperhouse, they are:
* 1 x 330 coach to
Nottingham with major stops at
Camborne , Redruth
* 2 x 500 coaches to London Victoria with major stops at Camborne,
St Austell ,
Liskeard , Plymouth,
Taunton and London
Heathrow Airport .
Hayle (St Elwyn's Church in the background)
A famous landmark is
Godrevy Lighthouse , situated at the eastern end
Hayle Towans, said to have inspired
Virginia Woolf 's novel To the
The church of St Elwyn was built in 1886-88 to the design of J. D.
Sedding . According to Pevsner it is "loud outside ... and dull
Trevassack Manor is a house of the 17th to 18th century; there is a
datestone of 1700. Bodriggy House is of granite, ca. 1710.
For the purposes of local government
Hayle is a town and elects its
own town council. The principal local authority in the area is
Cornwall Council .
Hayle is twinned with
Brittany , France.
* John Gilbert Cock DCM MM (14 November 1893 – 19 April 1966) Born
in Hayle, had the distinction of being the first Cornishman to play
football, and score, for the
England national team. Cock played for
Town , Chelsea , Everton ,
-webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type:
* ^ "List of Place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel" (PDF).
Cornish Language Partnership. May 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
* ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN
* ^ Cahill, Nick (July 2000). "
Hayle Historical Assessment
Cornwall" (PDF). Truro, Cornwall:
Cornwall Archaeological Unit.
Retrieved 9 April 2017.
* ^ Olson, Lynette (1989) Early Monasteries in Cornwall.
Woodbridge: Boydell Press, p. 67.
* ^ Ford, David Nash. "King Tewdwr Mawr" at Early British Kingdoms.
2001. Accessed 1 Dec 2014.
* ^ Discussion, photo and bibliography in Elisabeth Okasha, Corpus
Christian Inscribed Stones of South-west Britain (Leicester:
University Press, 1993), pp. 116-121
* ^ Thorn, Caroline et al., ed. (1979) Cornwall; entry 1.14.
* ^ Cornish World timeline 1812
* ^ Leach, Nicholas (2006) . Cornwall's Lifeboat Heritage.
Chacewater: Twelveheads Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-906294-43-6 .
* ^ "Hayle". The Cornishman (77). 1 January 1880. p. 5.
* ^ Leach, Nicholas (2002).
Fowey Lifeboats, an Illustrated
History. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 0-7524-2378-9 .
* ^ Denton, Tony (2009). Handbook 2009. Shrewsbury: Lifeboat
Enthusiasts Society. p. 8.
Hayle Generating Station - a unique connection Histelec News;
No 29 April 2005
* ^ "Painting highlights raid changed war". This is Cornwall.
* ^ Rigibore: company website
* ^ "
Hayle cliff fall "could happen again" experts warn". BBC. 10
October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
* ^ "Volunteer run
Penwith Radio to change its name to Coast FM".
falmouthpacket.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
* ^ A B Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall; 2nd ed., rev. by Enid
Radcliffe. Penguin; p. 80
* ^ "
Town Council. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
* Wigley, Edward (1972) "Hayle: a new industrial town of the West"
in: Todd, A. C. & Laws, Peter The Industrial Archaeology of Cornwall.
New ton Abbot: David pp. 86–102
* Nick Cahill with the
Cornwall Archaeological Unit (July 2000)
Hayle Historical Assessment Cornwall", Report for English Heritage