Category Archives: Carthew

Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum and Country Park

Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum and Country Park

Until the opening of the Eden Project in 2001, the only holidaymakers that would have been seen wandering around the St. Austell countryside were those that were lost.

The industrial landscape above the town wasn’t one of the things that most visitors to Cornwall had come to see, but anybody who decides to make their way to Wheal Martyn will be rewarded with a fascinating insight into how important the industry has been to the region.

This open-air museum, heritage centre, or whatever it wants to call itself now, incorporates all aspects of china clay from the days when William Cookworthy, a Plymouth apothecary, discovered kaolin at Tregonning Hill near Germoe in West Cornwall in 1746.

He wasn’t the first to find it of course – it had been used in China for thousands of years, but the desire for an equivalent ingredient to manufacture high quality porcelain in England had eluded the aristocracy for ages.

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