Perran Foundry, Cornwall

Perran Foundry, Cornwall

Perran Foundry at Perranarworthal, Penrhyn, was started in 1791 by the Fox
family of Falmouth. The original lease from the Bassets is still in existence,
and the foundry has been dealt with by Mr. Tregonning Hooper in his paper to
the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society (Proceedings R.C.P.S. Part III, 1939).
Perran Foundry was owned and controlled by the Foxes until 1858 and it ceased
production in 1879 after being sold to the Williams family of Gwenap and Scorrier.

So Perran Foundry operated from 1791 to 1879 and at its peak employed around
140 people. The foundry was one of the largest of its time, capable of manufacturing
very large pieces of machinery. It closed following the decline of the Cornish
mining industry it was adapted for the milling of grain for animal feedstuffs.
Edwards Bros. took over the Perran Foundry premises on its closure.

In 1968 it was bought by J Bibby and Sons and used as a distribution centre
for agricultural products. It closed in 1986. The site is currently included
within the Cornish Mining World Heritage bid.

1795 catalogue from Williams’ Perran Foundry of Cornwall. Pumping and Winding
Engines and other plant used for mining purposes, horizontal, fixed and portable
engines, Cornish and other boilers and general machinery.

The Carnon
Stream Works Company
built large embankments on either side of Restronguet
Creek. The Carnon and Perran Rivers were diverted in order to preserve navigation
to both the Devoran side and to the recently established Perran Foundry at Perran
Wharf, only a mile from Devoran.

Letter. Thomas Wilson (Truro) to James Watt (Heathfield). 28 Jan. 1802.
Neath Co. refuse his shares. Daniell purchases
estate for £850. Expects Foxes to buy his shares in Perran Foundry.
Offers to assign his Neath shares. Has to pay Chalcot £500 out of the
estate sold. Will endeavour to get the mortgage removed. Murdock upon his return
to Soho.

Letter. Thomas Wilson (Truro) to Boulton Watt & Co. (Soho). 11 Mar. 1802.

Obstacles which have prevented the fulfillment
of the promised sale of sundry effects, which were to have been employed to
the liquidation of our debt. Promises to remit the produce of Perran
Foundry
shares and hope to reduce his debt to £1000 in the course
of the year. Cannot get the mortgage removed. The scarcity of money continuing.
Stocks not having risen as he expected. His son William going to the West Indies
as the supercargo of a
vessel.

Letter. Thomas Wilson (Truro) to Boulton Watt & Co. (Soho). 3 May 1802.

Advance upon tin. Interprets our silence favourably.
Prospect of getting the mortgage on the brewery paid off. Bad account of North
Downs. Statement of his profits in Perran Foundry and by his share in Daltons
vessel. Proposal to reduce his debt to £1000 in the course of the year
in case he is not obliged to sell his shares.

Letter. Thomas Wilson (Truro) to James Watt (Heathfield). 31 May 1802.
Cannot get the mortgage on the brewery transferred.
Rejoices at not being forced to sell his share in Perran Foundry etc. Again
promising to reduce his debt to £1000 in the course of the year.

1826 a new railway was built from near Redruth
to Restronguet and a new port, Devoran
, was created. Upstream from Devoran
there was already a busy wharf at Perran Foundry, where all kinds of mining
equipment was produced and transported, including powerful steam engines.

Today it is a decaying grade II listed building. Carrick district council agreed
to release cash to carry out essential repairs to the derelict Perran Foundry
at Perranarworthal, which is in danger of falling down.But the money will only
be released subject to confirmation of similar up-front funding from English
Heritage. The foundry, alongside the busy A39, has lain derelict for many years.

Gwennap Mines