From its earliest days as a small market town, Redruth became the centre of Cornwall’s former tin mining industry during the 19th century – this was the largest and richest metal mining area in the UK –probably worked since the Bronze Age. Being very much part of the industrial revolution, this part of Cornwall fielded inventors and entrepreneurs such as William Murdoch pioneer of gas lighting, became a radical heartland for Methodism and social change and saw the mass emigration of families taking their mining expertise and Cornish culture right across the world in the 1800s.
As you walk around Redruth there are echoes of its prosperous and important past with many grand commercial buildings lining the streets like the old Mining Exchange where bidding for copper and tin took place, the Victorian theatre and the Coffee Tavern. Today these buildings are home to many antique, curio and vintage clothing shops.
Reasons to visit Redruth
- Steeped in tin mining history
- Grand commercial buildings including the old Victorian Theatre
- Home to the World Heritage Site Gateway – Heartlands
- Restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops
- Three golden beaches nearby – Porthtowan, Chapel Porth and Portreath beach
Things to do in Redruth
- Housed in the Former Butter Market , now the Cornwall Centre in Alma Place, The Tregellas Tapestries are a collection of 58 modern embroideries depicting the story of Cornwall created by a group of skilled spinners, dyers and embroiderers. The tapestries are a unique record of Cornish history and culture from prehistoric to modern times.
- If you’re researching your Cornish family roots, the library housed in the visitor centre at Alma Place has a huge archive of parish and census records along with hundreds of books on Cornish history and heritage
- Cornwall Gold at Treasure Park on the Portreath Road offers a shopping experience like no other. Housing the largest jewellery collection in Cornwall, the Cornish Goldsmiths, Cornwall Silver and Cornwall Pearl are just three of the outlets
- Heartlands is a FREE visitor attraction and World Heritage Site Gateway in Cornwall. Nestled just off the A30 in Pool, near Redruth in the former mining heart of Cornwall, there are 19 acres of family fun to explore. State-of-the-art exhibitions, climb-on sculptures, gardens of epic diversity, a giant adventure playscape for kids, art and craft studios and a funky café in the old carpenter’s workshop. With swathes of green outdoor space for warm, sunny days and ever-curious indoor space when it’s wet, Heartlands is all-year round, all-weather entertainment for anyone and everyone
- Cornish Mines and Engines (National Trust) at nearby East Pool Mine, includes a discovery centre and working beam engine that tells more of the area’s heritage and absorbing industrial story
- Just outside the town Carn Brea is an outcrop standing over 700 ft above sea level where you can see the remains of a 5,000 year old Neolithic hill fort, one of the oldest and largest human settlements in Cornwall. Also perched on top the rock is an imposing castle, an 18th century folly built by the wealthy Bassett family
- The Watersports and Angling Centre at Stithians Lake and Country Park near Redruth provides state of the art facilities for fun on the water. Located 5 miles south of Redruth, the lake is reputed to be one of the windiest inland waters in England so it’s a great location for sailing and windsurfing
- Although Redruth is one of Cornwall’s lesser visited towns, it’s well worth spending some time exploring the area to get an insight into the county’s important industrial past. Pick up a town guide from The Cornwall Centre in the town centre and take a tour of Redruth’s landmarks including William Murdoch’s house which back in 1772 was the first house in Britain to be lit by gas lighting
Redruth Visitor Centre