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Latitude: 50.1854 / 50°11'7"N
Longitude: -5.4248 / 5°25'29"W
OS Eastings: 155617
OS Northings: 37318
OS Grid: SW556373
Mapcode National: GBR DXZ6.3Y1
Mapcode Global: VH12M.XLHR
Entry Name: Carnsew Quay
Listing Date: 14 January 1988
Last Amended: 13 September 2018
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1160051
English Heritage Legacy ID: 70206
Location: Hayle, Cornwall, TR27
Civil Parish: Hayle
Built-Up Area: Hayle
Traditional County: Cornwall
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall
Church of England Parish: St Erth
Church of England Diocese: Truro
10/105 Carnsew Quay
Quay walls. Circa 1740, extended early C19. Granite and elvan rubble with
granite dressings, some granite ashlar ; iron cramps to copings.
Plan: Causeway quay which forms a barrier damming water behind it between
tides so that it could be released through sluices to remove silt from the estuary channels. One sluice between the neck of the quay Carnsew Dock and
South Quay q.v. is now blocked ; the other sluice is fed by a 2-span bridge opening and the water flows under a projecting sluice quay through 4
openings. Quay walls opposite South Quay are scalloped on plan and have 2
loading bays. The walls are battered and on the estuary side have dressed
granite copings. The walls surrounding the exit sluices are granite ashlar
and the openings are spanned by granite lintels. The inner walls of the quay
are random rubble. The entrance to the sluices is 2 spans of round arches
with rubble voussoirs.
On December the 27th 1834 there was a ceremonial opening of the sluices when
the mines adventurers and other customers and friends of the Company were
invited to a breakfast at the White Hart Hotel.
Source: The Harveys of Hayle, by Edmund Vale ; Hayle Town Trail by Brian Sullivan.
Listing NGR: SW5562937422
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
A mid-C18 quay with later alterations and extensions including refurbishment in the C21.
A quay with walls of mid-C18 date, extended and altered with sluices inserted in the early C19.
MATERIALS: constructed of granite and elvan rubble stone with granite dressings, and some granite ashlar. There are iron cramps to some copings.
PLAN: a causeway quay which in part forms a barrier damming water behind it between tides so that it could be released through sluices to remove silt from the estuary channels. The estuarine water flowed down a narrowing channel to the south sluice gates (replaced in the C21). The gates were opened to allow the tide to fill Carnsew Pool and then closed to retain the water. The sluices at the north end of the quay were then released to flush out the narrow channel. The gates also gave vessels access to the quays of Carnsew Pool. The quay extends approximately 70m to the west of the southern sluice.
DESCRIPTION: the walls are battered and on the estuary side have dressed granite copings. The walls surrounding the four exit sluices are granite ashlar and the openings are spanned by granite lintels. There is a flight of granite steps from the quay to the south of the ashlar wall. The inner walls of the quay are random rubble. The north end the quay wall reduces in height and terminates approximately 18m north of the exit sluices. To the south, the wall has C19 upper courses and a loading bay infilled in granite blocks. The wall curves into the south sluice entrance to the Pool, at which point there is an intact loading bay with granite steps. On the opposite bank is a similarly aligned curving wall that creates the channel into the Pool. Attached to this wall is the north/south orientated pound wall to the former dock and slip to the Harvey’s Foundry, which adjoins South Quay (separately listed at Grade II).
The Pool entrance is spanned by a C21 concrete footbridge, on a similarly alignment to one shown on the 1842 Tithe map. The modern timber sluice gates are set in a granite ashlar walled channel and jambs. The sluice pound beyond has coursed and random rubble walls. The south wall has projecting quoins at the start of an approximately 70m section of quay wall, which has four irregularly-spaced infilled loading bays inserted into the coping. To the west of the second loading bay an infilled area of the Pool encloses the wall.
The north wall of the sluice pound has quoins and granite coping and curves to the north and then has either been removed or survives in part as buried remains. The Pool-facing side of the quay is been infilled, partly with concrete slab, and to the north granite rubble walls have been rebuilt and adjoin the bridge that carries the north sluices. The entrance to the sluices is two spans of round arches with rubble voussoirs and the water flows under a projecting sluice quay through four openings (the sluice gates do not survive). The rubble wall of the sluice entrance extends approximately 8m to the north.
On the quayside overlooking the Carnsew channel there are three granite mooring posts.
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. However, continuing problems with silt deposition was compounded by the rivalry between Hayle's two major industrial firms, the Cornish Copper Company and Harvey's, who actively fostered obstructions and means of keeping their respective shipping channels clear to disadvantage their rival's maritime access.
Carnsew Quay was first built on the south side of the estuary in 1758 as a result of these needs and tensions. To reduce silting problems, the channel's west bank was reinforced in about 1780, giving the core for the later New Pier (the narrow peninsular of land adjoining Carnsew Quay to the north, shown on the 1842 St Erth Tithe map). In 1789 the Cornish Copper Company obtained the lease of Carnsew Quay, denying Harvey's the use of it. The Company also claimed extended foreshore rights to deny Harvey seaborne access as well as quay facilities. This reversed in 1817 when Harvey's gained the Carnsew Quay lease and began to refurbish it and the adjacent deep water channel. With Carnsew foreshore rights, in 1819 Harvey’s built the very large South, or Penpol, Quay between the Penpol River channel and the Carnsew channel.
Soon afterwards the Cornish Copper Company constructed East Quay, which caused the deep water channels on the Harvey’s side of the river to silt over. In response, Carnsew Pool was created in 1834 to impound tidal waters and flush out the river channel adjacent to the foundry via sluices built into Carnsew Quay. This would ensure that Harvey’s shipping channels could be maintained silt-free independently of the Company’s Copperhouse floodgates. Banks of rubble and slag were constructed to enclose the pool and New Pier was built to direct water from the pool out into the Estuary. Some C18 stone walls of Carnsew Quay were left intact by the construction of the Pool and some are partly buried in C20 fill. The rubble stone sluices constructed at the north end of the quay survive without their gates. On 27 December 1834 there was a ceremonial opening of the sluices when the mines adventurers and other customers and friends of the Company were invited to a breakfast at the White Hart Hotel.
The success of the tidal pool scheme allowed access to the southern quays for vessels carrying the foundry's international exports besides promoting the ship-building and ship-breaking industries that later flourished, and the general merchant trade that extended into the C20. Harvey’s fleet of 79 ships built at Hayle in the C19, including the largest ship ever built in Cornwall (SS Ramleh of 1891; 4,000 tons) were launched from Carnsew.
In the early C20, industry in Hayle underwent serious decline. Carnsew Quay and dock fell out of use and the sluice gates became partly buried in silt. The dock at the south end of the quay became blocked by the end of the C20. Restoration works in and around Carnsew Quay in the early C21 reopened the channel, repaired the quay walls and replaced the sluice gates. A new bridge spanning the dock provides pedestrian access to the open land around the former New Pier.
To the south-west, Harvey’s Quay and the adjacent quayside areas went out of use in the early C20 and survive as either buried remains under C20 fill or have been removed. There is little visible C19 structure above ground in 2018. Some areas of foreshore to Carnsew Pool are littered with scoria block and a section of quay wall that has been shored up with concrete fill survives in front of 3 Carnsew Meadow. In the C21 these former quayside areas include the route of the South-West Coast Path.
Carnsew Quay, Hayle is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as a robust mid-C18 quay structure with strong regional distinctiveness built using substantial quantities of good quality Cornish granite and elvan stone;
* the C19 adaptations and extensions, and surviving features such as mooring posts and infilled loading bays, contribute to the architectural interest by indicating the regular changes made to the harbour and its structures as part of their long period of use.
* as an historically significant quay of mid-C18 origin that is integral to understanding the development of Hayle into a major industrial port and an internationally renowned centre for the production of steam pumping engines.
* together with the other principal quays in Hayle (all separately listed at Grade II) Carnsew Quay forms a group of historic built structures that is an important element of this historic mining port.
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