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Redruth, Cornwall

Historical Description

Redruth, a town and a parish in Cornwall. The town stands on the West Cornwall section of the G.W.R., at the junction of the line to Perran Arworthal, 9½ miles SW of Truro, and 311 from London. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Redruth is conjectured by some antiquaries to be one of the most ancient towns in England, and to have been originally called Tre Druith, this signifying "Druids' town." It is believed by less sanguine writers not to have originated till after the division of the county into parishes; was for some time called, and is still occasionally called, St Uny; appears to have been built around a chapel dedicated to that saint; seems to have acquired its present name by a corruption of Tretrot, signifying "the house on the river's bed;" is situated chiefly on the side of a hill, rising to the altitude of 414 feet, amid a dreary tract of country, bare of vegetation and strewn with rubbish, but remarkably rich in mineral produce; consists chiefly of one long street, carries on extensive trade in connection with neighbouring mines of tin and copper, and is the seat of county courts. It has a bank, two chief inns, a town-hall, public rooms, a masonic hall, a market-place with a clock-tower at the entrance, a theatre, a literary institution, a school of art, an extensive brewery, safety fuse manufactories, an iron foundry, and publishes two weekly newspapers. The railway station is on the hill, and the railway in its neighbourhood passes along a lofty viaduct. The public rooms were erected at a cost of £2000. The church stands about a mile distant under Carnbrea Hill, is a modern edifice with a tower, and was thoroughly restored in 1878. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Truro; net value, £490 with residence. The church of St Andrew was erected in 1884, and is a granite building in the Gothic style. There-are Baptist, Methodist, Wesleyan, and Bible Christian chapels,. a meeting-house of the Society of Friends, and a chapel of ease. The Mining Exchange was erected in 1880, and is a stone edifice in the Gothic style. Acreage of the civil parish, 4006; population, 10,324; of the ecclesiastical, 8455. The West Cornwall Mines' Hospital, situated in this parish, was, established in 1863. Markets are held on Tuesday and Friday, and fairs on Easter Tuesday, 2 May, 3 Aug., and 12 Oct.

Redruth is the mining capital of Cornwall, and the bulk of the population in the town and the adjoining districts of Illogan, Carnbrea, and Camborne are employed in tin mining and the tin streaming works which abound; the principal mines in the neighbourhood are Dolcoath, East Pool, Wheal Agar, Wheal Grenville, South Condurrow, Tincroft, West Frances, and Wheal Bassett. The Dunstanville Pillar is on Carnbrea Hill. Antiquities of the kind called Druidical are in various parts, but have been much damaged or destroyed, and a stone circle now demolished gave name to Plengwary. Dr Pryce the antiquary was a native.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyCornwall 
Ecclesiastical parishRedruth St. Uny 
Poor Law unionRedruth 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Redruth from the following:


Online maps of Redruth are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Cornwall papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

We have a copy of The Visitations of Cornwall, by Lieut.-Col. J.L. Vivian online.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtTR15
Post TownRedruth