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Former Railway Bridge over Copperhouse Creek at NGR SW566382

A Grade II Listed Building in Hayle, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.194 / 50°11'38"N

Longitude: -5.4102 / 5°24'36"W

OS Eastings: 156701

OS Northings: 38235

OS Grid: SW567382

Mapcode National: GBR FX05.BMQ

Mapcode Global: VH12N.5DP3

Plus Code: 9C2P5HVQ+JW

Entry Name: Former Railway Bridge over Copperhouse Creek at NGR SW566382

Listing Date: 14 January 1988

Last Amended: 16 July 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1143706

English Heritage Legacy ID: 70153

Location: Hayle, Cornwall, TR27

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Hayle

Built-Up Area: Hayle

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Phillack

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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A former railway bridge of 1830s date, the pioneering period for railway construction. The Hayle Railway served the industrial port of Hayle.


Former railway bridge over Copperhouse Creek, now serving as part of a public footpath, and built in 1837 for the Hayle Railway.

MATERIALS: constructed of Killas and granite rubble with dressed granite voussoirs to the road arches and granite hogs-back copings to the parapets.

DESCRIPTION: a three-span bridge built obliquely over a tidal stream and with rounded cutwaters on the upstream side. There are three equal spans of round arches. It is 7.64m long and 3.67m wide.


The Hayle Estuary was an important focus for trade and the movement of people and ideas in the prehistoric period, but rapid decline set in during the later medieval period as the estuary became choked by silts from tin extraction along the valleys feeding into it. From the mid-C18 this decline swiftly reversed as Hayle serviced the tin and copper mining industry of West Cornwall. Hayle and Copperhouse developed around two rival foundries owned by the Cornish Copper Company and Harvey’s (of Hayle).

The Hayle Railway opened in 1837 as a single-track rail system for the conveyance of minerals to and from the mines at Redruth and Camborne. It ran from Penpol in the west across Copperhouse Creek via a swing bridge to Riviere Quay (now North Quay) and then re-crossed the creek via a bridge and continued to Angarrack via an incline plane. The bridge across the creek dates to the opening of the railway and, therefore, may be the earliest standard gauge rail bridge in Cornwall.

The line was superseded by the West Cornwall Railway in 1852 and parts of the Hayle Railway were reused. The northern branch over the creek was maintained throughout the C19, and the bridge became a footpath in the C20, which continues to be its use in the C21. Some of the parapet blocks had been removed by 1983 and the parapet was repaired in 1999 and later. In 2018 the bridge is being maintained.

Reasons for Listing

The former Hayle Railway bridge at NGR SW566382 in Hayle, Cornwall is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as an integral part of a railway built in the 1830s, the pioneering period for railway construction;
* for the good survival of historic fabric, including the original Cornish granite and killas stone structure.

Historic interest:

* as a surviving component of the railway that served the historically significant industrial port of Hayle, an internationally renowned centre for the production of steam pumping engines.

Group value:

* with a number of designated structures in Hayle Harbour including bridges and quays.

External Links

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