The History of Golant

MINING Although tin had been mined in the Eastern part of Cornwall since the Bronze age, it was not until the 1800's that tin and copper were mined close to the parish of St Sampson. There were at least two attempts to prospect for minerals in the parish. These were in 1836 and 1843. Later in 1843 William Rashleigh of Menabilly granted a licence to search for minerals on Golant Common and other land within the parish for a period of 21 years. By the 1800's however both the tin and the copper industries were on the way to total collapse, the main reason being the importation of cheap tin and copper from overseas. St Sampson on the edge of the mining area must have felt this decline but nothing like the neighbouring parishes of Twyardreath and St Blazey. AGRICULTURE Almost coincidental with the collapse of the copper and tin mining industries in Cornwall was the depression in the farming industry, due mainly to the start of importation of cheap corn from America. Cornwall was less affected than other parts of England as the climate favoured dairy farming. At the present time Golant has a mixture of active dairy and mixed farms and a commercial grower of chrysanthemums. RAILWAYS The opening of Brunels bridge across the river Tamar in 1895 enabled the railways to connect Truro with London. Par which is 3 miles from Golant is the nearest main line station. In 1863 the construction of the Fowey to Lostwithiel mineral railway was commenced. The line which runs along the whole of the river, the boundary to the parish, was built in the first place to carry goods traffic and iron ore from the Restormel iron mine to Fowey for shipment by sea. The line enclosed a stretch of water in Golant now known as Golant Pill. The railway was completed in 1869 and in 1883 passenger traffic commenced. In 1896 a staion was built at Golant. As no roads traverse the Fowey valley the halt was a of great value to villagers, not only for pleasure but for employment opportunities in the Fowey area. Steam trains ran the line until 1964 when diesel units were first introduced The station finally closed as part of the Beeching cuts on 2nd January 1965 and since then the line has only carried cargoes of china clay.
7th September 1964 Summer of 2002
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