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Effects on SSSI:

Reports by Environment Agency:

Reports made available by Save Our Sand:

Plymouth Coastal Observatory Reports on Hayle Beach

Reports by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Coastal Advisory Group:

Reports supplied by the University of Exeter, Environment & Sustainability Institute/Camborne School of Mines:

Reports on Seismic Activity:

Historic Assessments:

Other Scientific Studies:

Council Reports and Studies:

World Heritage Site Reports

Reports on Operations at the Associated Octel Bromine Plant on North Quay by Arthur Fairhurst, former Works Director:

Reports in Support of Planning Applications:

Reports in support of Listed Building Applications:

Reports from appeal decisions:

Hayle Harbour Advisory Committee:

Historical Research and Information:

The above two articles have been made available with the kind permission of Mr. Fairhurst and the editor of the Trevithick Society Journal, Mr. Graham Thorne. (1 November 2013)

Other reports:

Tidal Power:


  Climate change related sea-level rise and coastal erosion a problem for the future? Hayle, Cornwall a case study. 9/2012. Anne-Marie Rance, MSc Report

Climate change induced sea-level rise poses a serious threat to the human population. Low lying coastal areas will be submerged and there will be extra pressure on finite resources, such as food, water, and housing. The rate of sea-level rise over the last century has increased markedly. Over the last decades the rate of global mean sea-level rise has doubled. Furthermore, the last 5 years has seen another increase in rate. Global mean sea-level rise is at present 5 mm per year. At Newlyn and St. Ives, UK, the rate of mean sea-level has almost quadrupled the rate of global mean sea-level rise over the same period to 19.4 mm per year and 17.9 mm per year respectively. This rate rise is equivalent to those predicted by Jevrejeva et al. (2012), who projects that the maximum rate of SLR by the year 2100 would be 17 mm per year (this is for the high emission scenario). They also predict that the maximum rate of SLR at around 2150 would be 20 mm per year in the high emission scenario. The rates for Newlyn and St. Ives are comparable to these figures now. To date there has not been a study that examines the erosion of a site that is experiencing the larger rates in sea-level rise. This study serves as a case model into how a coastline responds to the effects of increased sea-level rise. The effects of anthropogenic perturbations, such as dredging and sluicing are also examined against the historic cycle of erosion and accretion at Hayle, illustrating the need for sustainable methods of channel clearance to be implemented. The benefits of sluicing as a sustainable way to maintain a navigable channel in a working harbour has not been studied before. This paper provides a foundation for future research into sustainable methods of harbour maintenance.

Click here for the full report. [2.1Mb]

  Reports Made Available by Save Our Sands:
  2005 Report on the Use of Compulsory Purchase at Hayle Harbour

"It is quite clear from the files that the District Council, the County Council, English Partnerships (now the RDA), the Government Office and the local people consider the regeneration of Hayle Harbour to be a major and important project. The draft District Plan formalises this position. The project will significantly assist the economic regeneration of the area, secure existing jobs, promote  environmental improvements and the restoration of derelict land, encourage development onto brownfield sites, help to meet the targets for new housing in the district, and promote tourism and leisure opportunities for local residents and holiday makers. It will take pressure off greenfield sites in the area for housing and commercial development. It is adjacent to public transport. I therefore have no doubt that the project is of sufficient importance to justify the use of compulsory purchase powers in the public interest, if necessary."

Click here for the full report. [104k]

  2002 Hayle Harbour Hydrodynamic Modelling Report. Babtie Group

This report describes studies undertaken by Babtie Group Ltd on behalf of Penwith District Council to assess estuarine and coastal processes at Hayle Harbour. A need was identified at an early stage for mathematical modelling to investigate the impact of tides, currents and waves on sediment transport mechanisms within the estuary extending into St.Ives Bay.
The modelling study was targeted to investigate:
• Rapid accretion of sediment in Hayle Harbour.
• Effect of dredging on sediment transport processes.
• Erosion and retreat of the Hayle Towan dune system.
• Reduction in level of Hayle Beach.
• Interaction between retreating dunes, lowered foreshore and current dredging activities

Click here for the full report. [2.2Mb]

  1983 Hayle Estuary Sea Sediment Dynamics Report

"It was recognised at an early stage by the Planning Department of Penwith District Council that a prerequisite of successful redevelopment along these lines would be the minimisation of conflict between local, tourist and the various commercial demands on the Estuary, and that decision making in this respect would be best based upon a scientific understanding of the Estuary and the processes active within it. In December 1981 Sea Sediments were approached and asked to provide specifications and provisional costings for a survey of the physical environment."

Click here for the full report. [2.7Mb]

  1978 Hayle Harbour Study - An Assessment of Probable Causes of Siltation and Possible Remedies. Bates

"At the risk of stating the obvious, it should be pointed out that the hydraulics of the Estuary is complex and an accurate analysis would require a more detailed study than time has allowed here. In consequence, general assumptions, based upon the author's observations and experience have been necessary. Whilst these assumptions are believed to be valid, they lack scientific confirmation.
The object of this report is to study one specific problem, namely the reducing water depth at the harbour entrance. In the long term a much broader study of the entire tidal system and its potential benefit to the community is indicated. The tidal lakes and industrial relics which currently tend to spoil the area's aesthetic appeal, could, with sympathetic treatment, become a significant recreational asset."

Click here for the full report.  [220k]

  Reports supplied by the University of Exeter, Environment and Sustainability Institute and the Camborne School of Mines:
  2010 Hayle Baseline Survey, Aquatonics, Dr. Phil Smith

This report presents the results of the baseline surveys of algae (seaweeds), lower saltmarsh plants (Salicornia europaea & Salicornia anglica), invertebrates and fish at various locations in the Hayle estuary complex.
The baseline surveys were carried out to fulfil the Section 106 requirements for the proposed developments at Hayle. Fish populations have been reassessed in September 2011, during the construction of the temporary causeway in Copperhouse Pool. Further surveys to assess the impacts of various developments are planned for 2012 and 2014.

Click here for the full report. [11Mb]

  2009 Role of Automated Mineral Analysis in the Characterisation of Mining-Related Contaminated Land. Pirrie et al

Pirrie, D., Rollinson, G.K. and Power, M.R. 2009. Role of automated mineral analysis in the characterisation of mining-related contaminated land. Geoscience in South-West England, 12, 162-170.
The characterisation of soils or sediments contaminated as a result of historical metal mining activity is commonly carried out either by analysing the bulk geochemistry, or through methods which are aimed at assessing the biologically available component of the contaminant, such as physiologically based extraction techniques (P-BET tests). However, an understanding of the mineralogy or phase composition of particulate contaminants is critical in understanding both the long term geochemical stability of the contaminated sediments/soils, and also the development of potential remediation strategies, where required. Providing statistically robust mineralogical datasets based on traditional techniques is commonly dif?cult. However, modern advanced automated SEM-EDS mineral analysis systems have considerable potential in the characterisation of contaminated soils/sediments.
Six sediment samples collected from a single shallow core, recovered from the Hayle Estuary, Cornwall, UK have been analysed using QEMSCAN® automated SEM-EDS analysis. This estuary was significantly contaminated as a result of the release of mine waste tailings, principally from tin, copper, arsenic and zinc mining operations particularly between the 1850s and the 1890s. The samples analysed contain between ~2 and 6% sulphide and other ore minerals. In addition, there are significant depth-related changes in the overall bulk mineralogy of the samples reflecting the change in sediment supply to the estuary. For some elements (e.g. Sn) there is a reasonable correspondence between the measured bulk geochemistry of the sediments, with calculated elemental concentrations based on the measured mineralogical data. In this case study, Sn is probably occurring in cassiterite and possibly Sn slags and is relatively geochemically immobile. Other elements, such as arsenic and zinc show greater variance between the calculated elemental concentrations and the measured bulk chemistry, although the down-core trends are consistent. This can be interpreted as reflecting the increased geochemical mobility of these elements, resulting in them being under-reported. The data from automated mineralogy are however, extremely relevant in the assessment of metal contaminated land.

Click here for the full report.

  2007 Rollinson, G.K., Pirrie, D., Power, M.R., Cundy, A. and Camm, G.S. 2007. Geochemical and mineralogical record of historical mining, Hayle Estuary, Cornwall, UK. Geoscience in south-west England, 11, 326-337.

Rollinson, G.K., Pirrie, D., Power, M.R., Cundy, A. and Camm, G.S. 2007. Geochemical and mineralogical record of historical mining, Hayle Estuary, Cornwall, UK. Geoscience in south-west England, 11, 326-337.
The release of particulate waste as a result of major historical mining activity within the polymetallic Cornubian ore field, Cornwall UK, has locally caused significant contamination of estuarine sediments. In this study the impact of historical mining on the southwest Hayle Estuary, Cornwall, UK, was evaluated by examining the sediment geochemistry and mineralogy of nine shallow (<1 m) cores along with surface sediment sampling throughout the intertidal areas of the estuary. The sediment geochemistry of all of the cores shows very elevated levels of tin and copper (maximum Sn value of 7041 ppm and Cu 29,869 ppm). Surface (uppermost 5 cm) sediment samples are also contaminated, with up to 4520 ppm Cu, 5455 ppm Sn, 2292 ppm As, 522 ppm Pb and 1777 ppm Zn. Core dating indicates that the sediments currently exposed at the surface were deposited prior to 1880. The detrital heavy mineral assemblage is dominated by cassiterite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite, sphalerite and pyrite along with minor galena, monazite, zircon, stannite, wolframite, plumbogummite, covellite, bornite and ilmenite. In addition, man made slag and smelt products are common. Diagenetic pyrite, chalcopyrite and atacamite are also present. The sediment geochemistry and mineralogy are interpreted to represent (a) the input of historic mine waste tailings and smelt waste into the estuary probably prior to 1880, and (b) the subsequent exposure of these contaminated sediments as a result of recent erosion.

Click here for the full report.

  2003 The spatial distribution and source of arsenic, copper, tin and zinc within the surface sediments of the Fal Estuary, Cornwall, UK, Pirrie et al. (for comparison)

Estuarine sediments commonly form major sinks for contaminants released during industrial activity. Many industrial processes lead to the release of metals initially in solution, which can then be adsorbed on to, for example, Fe hydroxides or clay minerals. However, in the mining industry, there are two major contaminant waste streams: (1) metals discharged in solution via mine drainage; and (2) particulate grains of the ore-forming or related minerals released after ore processing. The release of particulate waste can have a major long-term impact on environmental geochemistry. In this study, we have mapped the distribution of arsenic, copper, tin and zinc within the surficial sediments of the Fal Estuary, Cornwall, UK, an area that drains a historically important polymetallic mining district. There are clear spatial variations in the contaminants, with the highest levels (> 2800 p.p.m. As, > 5000 p.p.m. Cu, > 3000 p.p.m. Sn and > 6000 p.p.m. Zn) within Restronguet Creek on the western side of the estuary. Mineralogical studies show that small (< 20 lm) grains of detrital arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, cassiterite and sphalerite are very abundant within the surface sediments. Most of the sulphide grains are fractured, but mineralogically unaltered, although some grains show alteration rims caused by oxidation of the sulphides. The geochemistry and mineralogy are indicative of sediment supply from the discharge of particulate waste into the estuary during historical mining activity. Subsequently, this particulate waste has been largely physically and biologically reworked within the surface sediments. Although considerable effort has been made to minimize contaminants released via mine drainage into the estuary, the potential flux of contaminants present within the intertidal and subtidal sediments has not been addressed. Benthic invertebrates living within the area have adapted to be metal tolerant, and it is likely that the dominant source of bioavailable metals is a result of alteration of the particulate mine waste present within the intertidal and subtidal sediments.

Click here for the full report.

  2002 Pirrie, D., Power, M.R., Rollinson, G., Cundy, A.B. and Watkins, D.C. 2002. Impact of mining on the sediment geochemistry and minerology of the Helford River, Cornwall. Geoscience in south-west England, 10, 323-328. (for comparison)

Pirrie, D., Power, M.R., Rollinson, G., Cundy, A.B. and Watkins, D.C. 2002. Impact of mining on the sediment geochemistry and minerology of the Helford River, Cornwall. Geoscience in south-west England, 10, 323-328.
The geochemistry and mineralogy of the intertidal sediments of the Helford River, Cornwall have been examined to assess the potential impact of mining activity on sediment supply. Cores from Polpenwith and Polwheveral creeks show a pulse in Sn (1000-1100 ppm), Cu (800-900 ppm) and Zn (500-600 ppm) at a depth of 30 cm below the present day sediment surface; As and Pb values are typically low and show little down-core variation (<130 ppm As and <78 ppm Pb). Two cores recovered near Gweek have generally low and invariant down-core geochemical signatures, except for a single sample from the base of Core 2 which shows a sudden increase in Sn to >1800 ppm. In addition, two cores were collected from the mouth of Mawgan Creek. Core 4 shows a low but invariant geochemical signature but Core 3 shows a significant down-core increase in Sn (>1900 ppm Sn), Cu (588 ppm) and Zn (1297 ppm). The heavy mineral assemblage is dominated by cassiterite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite, along with less abundant zircon, monazite, ilmenite, rutile/anatase, sphene, wolframite, barite and rare slag products. Diagenetic pyrite, bornite and Fe oxides also occur. The geochemistry and mineralogy are consistent with the historical release of mine waste tailings into the Helford River. 210Pb dating of two cores suggests that the sediments are younger than 1880. Based on these data the most likely sources of the mine waste are from Wheal Caroline and Wheal Vyvyan to the north of the Helford River which are documented as being active between 1827 and 1864.

Click here for the full report.

  2001 References Relevant to Mining Pollution in Hayle Estuary, Rollinson

Reference list from a paper "The Environmental Impact of Historical Mining on the Hayle Estuary", Rollinson, unpublished at June 2013.

Click here for the list.

  2000 Pirrie, D., Power, M.R., Wheeler, P.D. and Ball, A.S. 2000. A new occurrence of diagenetic simonkolleite from the Gannel Estuary, Cornwall. Geoscience in south-west England, 10, 018-020 (for comparison)

Pirrie, D., Power, M.R., Payne, A., Camm, G.S. and Wheeler, P.D. 2000. Impact of mining on sedimentation; the Camel and Gannel estuaries, Cornwall. Geoscience in south-west England, 10, 021-028
The mineralogy and geochemistry of the inter-tidal sediments in the Camel and Gannel estuaries on the north Cornwall coast has been examined to test the importance of mining on sediment supply. In the Camel Estuary there is a clear stratigraphical geochemical anomaly for Sn, W and Zr which corresponds with abundant cassiterite, wolframite and zircon. This sediment was supplied to the estuary as a result of the release of mine waste tailings from hard rock mining of main stage mineralisation, probably from mines such as Mulberry and Wheal Prosper in the area around Lanivet. In contrast the sediments in the Gannel Estuary contain very high concentrations of Pb and Zn. In one core, maximum Pb concentrations are in excess of 8500 ppm, along with over 1600 ppm Zn. This same stratigraphical interval also has very significant enrichment in Zr, Ce, La and Y along with high values for Ag. The geochemistry of the Gannel Estuary sediments is reflected by the mineralogy with abundant galena, sphalerite and plumbogummite (Pb-P-Al phase). In addition to these detrital grains there are abundant diagenetic phases precipitated within the sediments, including authigenic Pb, Zn and Cu-Fe minerals. Early diagenetic calcite-siderite-Fe monosulphide concretions are also present. The likely source for this Pb-Zn-Ag mine waste is from the area around Newlyn Downs. In both cases, the release of particulate mine waste, possibly following mine closure in the latter part of the 19th century or early 20th century, had a significant impact on down stream estuarine sedimentation. However, in the Camel Estuary the presence of abundant cassiterite is unlikely to have had a significant impact on the biosphere, whilst in the Gannel Estuary the presence of significant Pb and Zn and the mineralogical evidence that there is diagenetic mobility of Pb, Zn and Cu, is indicative that these elements were, and may still be, bioavailable.

Click here for the full report.

  1999 Pirrie, D., Beer, A.J. and Camm, G.S. 1999. Early diagenetic sulphide minerals in the Hayle Estuary, Cornwall. Geoscience in south-west England, 9, 325-332.

Pirrie, D., Beer, A.J. and Camm, G.S. 1999. Early diagenetic sulphide minerals in the Hayle Estuary, Cornwall. Geoscience in south-west England, 9, 325-332.
The Hayle Estuary, Cornwall, acted as an effective sediment trap for mine waste tailings and smelt waste released into the river catchments draining into the estuary. The stratigraphy of two 3 m cores recovered from Copperhouse Pool, Hayle comprises interbedded muds (interpreted as mine waste slimes) and sands in the upper 50 cm, passing down into sands composed predominantly of carbonate shell debris. Vacuum resin-impregnated core plugs sampled from more organic-rich intervals in the upper 150 cm of both cores were examined using scanning electron microscopy. Detrital heavy and opaque minerals include abundant grains of cassiterite, chalcopyrite, Fe oxides, arsenopyrite, sphalerite, polymetallic slags, detrital angular pyrite, ilmenite, monazite, zircon, wolframite, ?loellingite (As-Fe), galena, chalcocite/bornite and pyromorphite. Abundant diagenetic sulphide minerals also occur in these samples, and include Cu-Fe-(As) sulphides (probably chalcopyrite), As sulphides and pyrite. The precipitation of chalcopyrite occurred under reducing conditions with the reaction buffered by the Fe system. Possible copper concentrations in equilibrium with the authigenic chalcopyrite are so low that it is likely that there was an influx of more oxidising pore waters carrying higher levels of copper, which was then precipitated on reaching more reducing conditions. The precipitation of the As sulphides occurred from pore fluids with a high arsenic concentration under less reducing conditions than the chalcopyrite.

Click here for the full report.

  1974 Effects of Mine Drainage on the River Hayle, Barbara Brown (Not available for download)

Concentrations of copper, zinc and iron were measured in waters, sediments and invertebrates collected from the River Hayle. In river waters at least 70% of copper and iron was associated with the 'particulate' fraction whereas 80% of zinc was in the 'soluble' form. Although total concentrations of zinc in water exceeded those of copper approximately ten fold, copper predominated over zinc in the sediments by a factor of approximately three. Iron was the most abundant metal recorded in both water sediments.

Seasonal differences in 'total' metal content of waters suggested that concentrations of copper, zinc and iron increased during periods of high flow and decreased during lower flows. Copper concentration in the sediment, unlike zinc and iron, showed markedly higher values during the summer sampling period when flows were minimal.

In the 'free-living' Trichoptera larvae, concentrations of copper and zinc in the tissue appeared to follow copper and zinc levels in the water. Similar relationships in Odonata and Plecoptera larvae were not obtained. Factors affecting animal metal relationships are discussed with particular reference to adaptation shown by organisms exposed to high concentrations of heavy metals in their environment.

Published in Hydrobiologia Vol 53, 2-3, pp 221-233, 1977

  1973 Heavy Metal Accumulation in Estuarine Sediments in a Historical Mining of Cornwall, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol 7, No 8, August 1976. W W-S Yim (Not available for download)

Sediments in the Hayle estuary in a historical mining area of Cornwall have been found to contain exceptionally high concentrations oftin, arsenic, copper, lead, tungsten and zinc. In this study, the distribution of these heavy metals is correlated with pollution from past mining activity through mine waste discharge into streams, and changes which took place at the time of the development of the Upton Towans.

This study has demonstrated the important role played by the Hayle estuary in trapping land derived detritus due to mining operations. In the past, marine pollution through tin and copper mining on the hinterland has significantly altered the composition of the estuarine sediments. Here, it is shown that variations in the vertical distribution of tin and other associated heavy metals may be correlated with changes in the intensity of mining activity and changes taken place in the geomorphological evolution of the estuary.

Published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol 7, No. 8, August 1976, pp 147-150

  Reports on Seismic Activity:
  2006 British Geological Survey UK Earthquake Monitoring

The British Geological Survey (BGS) operates a network of seismograph stations throughout the UK in order to acquire standardised data on a longterm basis. The aims of the Seismic Monitoring and Information Service are to develop and maintain a national database of seismic activity in the UK for use in seismic hazard assessment, and to provide near-immediate responses to the occurrence, or reported occurrence, of significant events.

Click here for the full report.

  2005/6 1996 British Earthquakes, Alice Walker

The largest earthquake in 1996 occurred near Penzance, Cornwall. It had a magnitude of 3.8 (Richter Scale) and was felt over an area of 14,000 square kilometres throughout Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and in parts of Devon. Felt reports included "bottles on a shelf shook and fell off- and that people "ran outside to see if an explosion had demolished a house". A survey, with 900 replies, showed a maximum intensity of 5 EMS (European Macroseismic Scale) close to the epicentre where minor damage (cracked plaster) occurred. This is the largest event to have affected mainland UK since the 15 February 1994 Norwich earthquake (magnitude 4.0), which was also felt with an epicentral intensity of 5 EMS. Around 25% of our earthquakes occur in coalfield areas and most of those are caused by present-day mining.

Click here for the full report.

  2000 Musson, R. M. W., The seismicity of Cornwall and Devon. Geoscience in SW England, 10, 034-036

Musson, R. M. W., The seismicity of Cornwall and Devon. Geoscience in south-west England, 10, 034-036
In the 36 years since ATJ Dollar presented his paper on the seismicity of the Cornubian Peninsula in relation to structure, a great deal has changed in the understanding of British seismicity, both in terms of knowledge of its distribution and parameters, and in terms of its geological and tectonic setting. This is as true for Cornwall and Devon as for other parts of the UK. Since the late 1970s a large amount of effort has been directed into research on historical earthquakes in the UK, undertaken with a critical approach to the appraisal of historical sources, something previously lacking yin studies of historical earthquakes. During the same period, modern instrumental monitoring has been improved. The need for seismic monitoring of the geothermal energy project at Rosemanowes led to a dense local network capable of recording and locating even very small natural events. In terms of average UK seismicity rates Cornwall and Devon are neither as seismic as the most active areas (such as NW Wales) nor as quiet as the most inactive areas (such as NE England). While earthquakes in the area occasionally cause public alarm, they seldom exceed 4 ML in magnitude and have caused very little damage in the last 250 years. The distribution of seismicity is irregular; most activity is concentrated in three zones: the Penzance-Helston area; an area running from off the north coast of Cornwall, through eastern Cornwall to south Devon, and the Barnstaple-Ilfracombe area. Relating this distribution to geological structure is a contentious issue. Some major structures such as the Sticklepath Fault, (which has a reputation as being "active" seismically) do not show up at all. It is likely that the distribution is influenced by the interaction of local structures and reactivation along lines of old E-W thrust faults of Variscan age.

Click here for the full report.

  Historic Assessments:
  2005R041 Harvey's Foundry Farm - Historic Building Survey

Harvey’s Foundry was instrumental to the creation and development of Hayle as an industrial centre in the later 18th and 19th centuries. The foundry itself once covered a substantial area (see Fig 1) but much of the former complex was demolished after the site closed in 1903. An extensive urban regeneration programme is currently being undertaken within Hayle centred on the old foundry buildings. The second part of the regeneration scheme comprises buildings within the former foundry stable yard (centred at NGR SW 557 372), including the Wagon House, Stables and Fire Engine Shed. These will be refurbished as offices, workshops and other employment facilities.
The Historic Environment Service (HES) was commissioned by Stride Treglown Limited to carry out a programme of archaeological recording work in advance of and during the refurbishment works. Work was undertaken according to the terms of a planning condition imposed as part of the consent given by Penwith District Council. This report contains the results of the fieldwork recently undertaken by HES.
Survey of the building exteriors was carried out in 2000 (Sturgess and Thomas 2001). Access to the interiors of these structures was not possible at that time due to safety issues and vegetation/collapse that filled the northern part of the Wagon House. The 2004 building survey has created a comprehensive record of the buildings and has also contributed to an understanding of their evolution and functions.
The Wagon House is demonstably multiphase, with a first floor added to what was previously a loftier but single storey interior. The recesses in the rear wall may relate to earlier stalls, or perhaps were associated with a different function. This building had assumed its present footprint by the later 19th century, by which time it had become physically linked to the Foundry Barn and Boring Mill.
A similar level of complexity was shown in the stable block. The north west wing of this building is evidently earlier. Removal of modern render in the ground floor of the north-east wing revealed that this part originally had doorways which faced away from the stable yard and towards Foundry House. This wing had evidently later been reversed, with the original rear cob wall pierced with new openings and faced with brickwork.
Review of historic mapping suggests that the late 18th century foundry is likely to have been in the area of Foundry House, with expansion north to the river early in the 19th century.

Click here for the full report.

  2004R108 Harvey's Foundry Farm - Watching Brief

The stable building at Harvey’s Foundry is not at present a Listed structure. It is located at NGR SW 5576 3703, and is an L-shaped building, first depicted on maps in 1828 and forms the southern corner of the stable yard. This is a former stable block (and is named as such on plans dated 1853 and 1864).
HES was commissioned by Philip Smith of Stride Treglown to carry out a watching brief during the excavation of six test pits within the stable block at Harvey’s Foundry. The test pits were excavated by Stride Treglown to investigate the make-up of the underlying strata, and examine the nature and depth of the footings of the building. All six test pits were archaeologically monitored during excavation. This work was carried out on 21/4/04. A further test pit was excavated in the stable yard immediately to the north of the kerbed area of cobbles in the yard on the following day (22/4/04). This test pit was not monitored.

Click here for the full report.

  2004R062 24 Foundry Square - Historic Building Analysis

No 24 Foundry Square (NGR 5582 3716) once formed the offices and showroom of Harvey’s Foundry in Hayle, Cornwall. This 18th and 19th century foundry site is of international significance for the role it played in the production and export of mining equipment such as beam engines, waterwheels, compressors and ore processing machinery. The Harvey company also had links with steam engine pioneers such as Trevithick, Woolf and West.
The building has now been refurbished under a regeneration scheme to house Hayle Community Archive and a branch of Cornwall Record Office, and the ground floor of the building restored as a shop/showroom facility. Planning permission for the conversion and refurbishment of the building was given by Penwith District Council, with Listed Building consent from English Heritage, subject to conditions for appropriate historic building/archaeological recording to be undertaken while work progressed. Archaeological investigation of the standing building and brief examination of related structures to the rear of the property was carried out by the projects section of the Historic Environment Service, Cornwall County Council, during the winter months of 2002-3, when contractors commenced work on site.
Archaeological investigation revealed at least 6 building episodes or phases of use. The earliest structures were found at the rear of the property, and represent fragments of the early foundry complex, probably dating from the late 18th century. The majority of the office building and shop frontage dates before 1842, and seems to be associated with a period when the foundry was rapidly expanding. Although the footprint of the building did not change significantly in the late 19th century, there is abundant evidence of internal changes of plan. The most significant (and certainly the most visible) external alteration was the addition of the first floor wooden drawing office, built on cast-iron piers above a tramway that ran through the rear yard of the building.
The archaeological work confirmed earlier observations of the significant rise in ground level to the rear of the property, and underlines the potential for buried remains in this area of the former foundry complex.

Click here for the full report.

  2004R015 Hayle Causeway Bridge - Archaeological Assessment

HES were commissioned by the Design and Maintenance Consultancy of Cornwall County Council to carry out an archaeological assessment of Hayle Causeway Bridge. It is a Grade II Listed Building.
Built in 1825, the bridge was widened in the 1970s at the same time as other road improvements in this area. The new section of bridge, immediately to the north of the original, was constructed of concrete with a killas wall parapet.
The proposed works are to replace the ‘modern’ part of the bridge, the condition of which has deteriorated since it was built. There will be a limited impact on the original bridge.
It is recommended that a photographic record should be made before and during the progress of the works and that copies of the photographs and accompanying records should be lodged with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Record.

Click here for the full report.

  2002R010 Harvey's Foundry-Blocked Opening in Pattern Shop

CAU were commissioned by Stephen Taylor of Stride Treglown Architects to carry out a small-scale archaeological evaluation of a blocked opening in a retaining wall on the Hayle Founchy site (see Figs. 1 and 2). An evaluation of the yard surface above the retaining wall had been carried out by CAU in 2001 (Thomas and Sturgess 2001) and this revealed that clay and decayed killas (mudstone) was present in the area behind and above the opening.
It was therefore considered likely that a subterranean feature might be present mnning into the bank from the retaining wall.

Click here for the full report.

  2001R040 Harvey's Foundry-Historic Buildings Survey and Archaeological Evaluation

The development of Harvey's Foundry complex in the later 18th and 19th centuries was instrumental to the creation of Hayle as an industrial centre. Although the foundry and associated buildings of the Harvey's business once covered a considerable area, much of the former complex has been demolished after the foundry closed in 1903. The remaining buildings of the foundry and its former stable yard are now subject to plans for their redevelopment as part of an urban regeneration scheme for Hayle. A project funded by the Land Reclamation Fund was set up to establish the condition of the structures and carry out initial consolidation work in advance of their redevelopment. Cornwall Archaeological Unit (CAU) were commissioned by Nigel Sumpter of the Land Reclamation Team (CCC) to carry out a programme of archaeological recording work based on the recommendations contained in an earlier assessment of the foundry buildings (Smith 1999). The following report sets out the results of the fieldwork that has so far been undertaken. This includes a photographic survey of buildings recently damaged by fire, an archaeological watching brief during removal of flytipped and other modern debris, an initial measured survey of all the historic buildings and structures within the LRF site, and evaluation trenching on the site of the Rowe Building (within an area once partially occupied by a reservoir, an open yard-like area and a small structure). The results of a separately commissioned survey of the former Harveys office at 24 Foundry Square (Excaliburs building) are also presented in this report.
The project area (centred at NGR SW 557 372) adjoins Foundry Lane in the heart of the western part of Hayle known as Foundry, immediately to the south of the main Penzance to London railway line (see Fig 1). The archaeological building survey has created an initial record of the buildings and structures in their current state and has also led to a greater understanding of their functions and development. The evaluation of the site of the Rowe Building and reservoir revealed slate bedrock less than O.5m below the existing surface, indicating that the ground surface in this area had been reduced by a maximum of 1m, probably immediately prior to the construction of the Rowe Building (during the 1960s). Remains of the reservoir in the northern half of the area were not present and had been removed during earlier ground reduction. Compacted cobbled surfaces were revealed along the frontage of Foundry Lane and in the southern part of the area, probably representing former yard surfaces. Part of a sunken linear feature, probably a ditch, was recorded in Trench2.
In the light of this fieldwork and in line with the requirements identified by the Harvey's Foundry Action Plan (2000), further archaeological work is recommended. These are set out in Sections 4 and 6, and include more detailed recording of standing structures as each becomes part of the redevelopment scheme. In addition, detailed building-by-building historical research should be carried out, and any details of buildings or structures not yet recorded (such as a tunnel leading off from the Plantation Store) should be completed. A watching brief has been suggested to monitor the redevelopment of the Rowe Building site in order to record a sunken feature identified during evaluation trenching, and the investigation of a possible tunnel below this area (visible as a blocked opening in the retaining wall to the east) should be carried out prior to any groundworks.

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  2001R007 St Felicitas Church (Phillack Church)-Watching Brief

Archaeological recording was carried out by CAU at St Felicitas church, Phillack, on behalf of the Parochial Church Council, during groundworks in the churchyard for the construction of a disabled access ramp within the southern entrance adjacent to the vestry, and for the repositioning of the font within the south aisle. St Felicitas Church (NGR SW 5653 3842) a Grade Listed building (9/116) is known to be close to the site of a prehistoric pagan cemetery (PRN 31823.07), with evidence indicating that it has been the focus of Christian activity since the 5th century AD. A Nonnan cruciform church (PRN 31828) stood on this site until it was demolished, and the current church rebuilt in 1856- 1857.

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  2000R057 Hayle Historical Assessment

During the autumn and winter of 1999/2000 an historical assessment was carried out in order to inform proposals for the regeneration of Hayle. Historically one of Cornwall’s most important industrial towns, it is internationally significant for producing the world’s largest steam engines, designed by some of the most famous steam engine engineers, and for exporting the greatest number of mine engines to the world’s orefields. As a key element of the exploitation of the Cornubian Orefield, an integrated mining landscape unique in England, it is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site bid.
Located on the north Cornish coast (Fig 1), within the beautiful natural setting of the Hayle Estuary, this has been a focus for settlement and maritime trade since prehistoric times. From at least the mid 18th century it developed into one of the County’s main industrial ports, serving surrounding mines and becoming home to the Cornish Copper Company and two of Cornwall’s three largest iron foundries. Internationally renowned for the scale of their work and the breadth of their engineering expertise, these rival companies (Copperhouse Foundry and Harvey’s Foundry) were largely responsible for the expansion of Hayle during the 19th century, when the twin settlements of Copperhouse and Foundry developed side by side.
Despite both having ceased operation by 1903, Hayle continued to be a thriving port until the Second World War, when it served as a base for building ships and guns and producing bromide for aviation fuel. Though experiencing decline in the post war years it was active until the 1960s, but commercial shipping ceased in 1977, and the harbour now only supports a small fishing fleet. Some small-scale industrial activities continue, but the town is no longer an important industrial centre.
Nevertheless, despite the demolition of much of Copperhouse Foundry and key elements of Harvey’s, as an historic industrial town and port, Hayle is still largely intact. Much of its harbour infrastructure survives, together with key industrial and public buildings, and a good range of workers’ housing, villas and early shop fronts. There is also considerable potential for the survival of buried archaeological remains.
Most of Hayle’s historical assets are not covered by existing statutory designations, and there is considerable scope for extending the protection these afford and for enhancing the existing character of the town. The latter is distinguished by the contrasting characters of Copperhouse and Foundry, the physical link provided by the extensive quays, the estuarine setting, which affords numerous views in, out of and within the town, and architectural features that are peculiar to Hayle - the use of scoria (copper waste) blocks and a distinct‘Hayle Style’ of render.
What emerges from the Hayle Historical Assessment is a settlement of unique character and great historical significance, contained within a landscape of equal merit. The historic environment is already serving as the catalyst for major investment in Hayle and should continue to underpin initiatives for the regeneration of the town.

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  2000R058 Hayle Historical Assessment Inventory

This is an inventory of the 694 archaeological sites and historic structures identified during the Hayle Historical Assessment. It should be read in conjunction with the main report text (bound as a separate document). Inventory items are cross-referred to in the main text (particularly in Section 7, Surviving historic components).
As well as providing a brief description of each item, together with its PRN and NGR, the inventory records whether it is scheduled or listed and, if so, provides its SM or LB number. 1bis allows cross-referencing with English Heritage's SM records and LB descriptions, which contain additional information about these items.
The numbered items in Appendix 3 correspond to sites plotted in Figures 15 a-h (standing historic structures) or Figures 16a-h (demolished buried and artefact sites), which are located at the back of the inventory.

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  2000R001 Hayle Historic Economic Regeneration Scheme - Implementation Plan

Cornwall Archaeological Unit has undertaken a number of specific archaeological studies, assessments and evaluations in and around the Harvey's Foundry site, most linked to specific redevelopment proposals. In 1999, however, as part of a countywide initiative looking at all types of industrial settlement, CAU, with funding from English Heritage, undertook an assessment of the whole historic settlement of Hayle and its immediate environs (Hayle Historical Assessment, forthcoming). This will include suggestions for widening the CA as well as proposals for enhancement and further protection of sites within the study area.
Following the appointment of consultants to produce a new Action Plan for the Harvey's Foundry Site, CAU was commissioned to produce the archaeological input to the Action Plan. CAU's contribution summarises the history and development of the site, and gives an assessment and inventory of surviving structures and archaeological potential, outline costings for recording and stabilisation of structures and archaeological investigation, and suggesting broad principles for redevelopment and interpretation of the historic sites.

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  1999R086 Harvey's Foundry Business Plan

Cornwall Archaeological Unit was commissioned to provide a report, consisting of both text and draft quality figures, to be included in the business plan/ action plan being prepared by Gordon Lewis Associates for the Harvey's Founchy complex in Hayle. This report includes a sununary of the history and development of the site, an assessment and inventory of the standing remains and the potential for buried archaeology, and an assessment of the importance of the site in both a local and a wider physical and historic context. Some broad suggestions have also been given for the costs of recording and consolidation of the site.
Owing to the constraints of time and cost, this report is a limited exercise, drawing on the results of survey work currently being undertaken throughout Hayle by CAU as part of an historic settlement assessment, together with collating previous studies and reports on various different elements of the site (see references below). The suggestions for interpretation and presentation, and the various themes that might be explored have been arrived at by discussion between the author and CAU staff. The castings for various works are outline budget figures that may need substantial alteration once detailed survey work has been done on the site.

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  1999R043 Harvey's Foundry-Archaeological Assessment

A Land Reclamation Fund (LRF) scheme has been approved in principle to acquire land and buildings once part of Harvey's Foundry. This application for funding is based on the need to address the public safety aspects of the buildings on the site, whilst at the same time following the planning and archaeological guidelines in relation to the future conservation and sympathetic redevelopment of the site. This Assessment survey attempts to identify the sites of all significant structures and areas, as well as those which have little historic importance and could (if required) be removed or redeveloped without having an adverse impact on the integrity of the site.
The study includes the identification of any areas of particular significance within which development should be resisted or should be accompanied by full archaeological consultation, as well as recommendations for any necessary future recording, evaluation and mitigation strategies. The assessment comprised two phases, a desk-top study which gathered the existing documentary sources for the site together, and examination of the site and structures in the field. The project area straddles Foundry Lane in the heart of Hayle (Foundry), immediately to the south of the main Penzance to London railway and is centred on NGR SW 557 372. It comprises a small part of the total area of Harvey's Foundry, to the west of the original 18th century foundry of John Harvey. The area covered by the project is ca 5687 square metres.
The study area represents only a small part of the works of Harvey & Co, which covered many acres at this end of Hayle. Within this larger area surprisingly little survives of the Foundry as it was circa 1880. The structures which do exist are all the more precious as they represent a direct link to the time of Henry Harvey and T revithick. Detailed recommendations for the conservation and management of the structures affected by the LRF proposals cannot be made in full until vegetation removal and a full condition survey have taken place. All the surviving structures included in the Inventory (Section 4) are of historic significance, with the exception of the Rowe building. All should at the very least be conserved and retained within the setting of Foundry Lane, and some are at the time of writing being considered for adaptive re-use.

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  1998R021 Loggans Mill-Archaeological and Historic Building Assessment

There is a long history of milling at Loggans Mill - a mill was first recorded here in 1684 and the site may have been used for milling from as early as the ll'h century. The present mill, a Grade II Listed Building, dates from 1852 and is very rare in Cornwall in terms of both its size and character and the type of the milling operation that it represents. This was one of only a few mills in the county to be developed as a roller mill and it also has the distinction of having a strong historical association with a highly successful westcountry enterprise (Hosken, Trevithick, Polkinghorn & Co.).
Though in a ruinous condition and stripped of much of its internal-machinery and fittings, the building retains its distinctive historic character and forms a prominent local landmark at the eastern approach to Hayle. Many of the associated structures that previously surrounded it have been demolished, but a number of significant features survive - for example, the millleat and tailrace and the original boundary walls and gateways. Given the 19'h and 20'h century development of the site and the degree of recent ground disturbance, the potential for the survival of buried remains of earlier activity on the site is not considered to be very high.

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  1995R043 Foundry Square-Archaeological and Historical Evaluation

In October 1991 Penwith District Council approved an outline application for the redevelopment of land at Foundry Square, Hayle. The application consisted of an outline plan for low-cost housing and associated car parking. The area affected by the proposal was until 1903 part of Harvey's Foundry, the oldest, largest and most important engineering works in Cornwall. As a condition of consent for detailed planning approval, the Applicant was required to commission an Archaeological Evaluation and Site Investigation.

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  1993R024 A30-Archaeological Sites Within the A30 Corridor at Hayle, Connor Downs and Polyphant

Cornwall Archaeological Unit was asked to provide information on archaeological sites along the three stretches of the A30 corridor at Hayle, Connor Downs and Polyphant. The specification from Babtie, Shaw and Morton required a map showing the position of relevant sites together with a brief description of the feature, its grade, and the sensitivity of its landscape setting. The information source was to be the County Sites and Monuments Record (SMR). Additional to the original specification was a request for a provisional indication of areas which may require additional surveys, how detailed these surveys would need to be, and whether there were particular timing constraints to these surveys.

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  1993R014 Foundry Square-Archaeological Assessment

The Cornwall Archaeological Unit was asked on 22nd June 1993 to carry out an archaeological assessment of the Foundry Square site at Hayle on behalf of Andrew Downie and Partners and Mowlem (E Thomas Construction). The object of the study is to assess the foundry site for its
archaeological potential and historical importance in advance of a proposed housing development. Outline permission for the housing development was granted by Penwith District Council in October 1991 subject to the provision of "a programme of archaeological work" of which this report forms part.
The assessment briefly outlines the historical significance of the site; considers the major phases of development; examines the extent and nature of present-day surviving buildings; considers the location and possible survival of remains below the present ground surface; and makes recommendations for further site recording and research.

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  Other Scientific Studies:
  2012 Does the use of arsenic (As) contaminated, dredged harbour sediments, as an agricultural soil improver in Hayle, Cornwall pose serious implications to human health? Literature Review, Anne-Marie Rance

The long history of metalliferous mining and processing activities in Cornwall is well known. Hayle
was at the forefront of these activities and has World Mining Heritage Status. As a result of this
industry, large parts of Cornwall, (and in particular Hayle), has high levels of heavy metal
contamination. As levels are especially high in this area. Soil As values of over 110 mg kg-1 are found
on 722 km2 of land in the Cornish region (Warren et al. 2003). Poor waste management after the
mining industry ceased, has led to the As contamination of land and it’s continual build up in
estuarine deposits via fluvial sediment transport.
In recent history, dredging of Hayle Harbour and areas of the estuary has been undertaken and the
sand obtained has been sold for a number of purposes. The largest of these was the sale of sand for
agricultural purposes, as animal bedding with the subsequent use as a soil improver, (Buro Happold,
This review examines the As contamination of the soil in the Hayle area, and discusses the As levels
in the dredged sediments along with additional As that could be added whilst being used as animal
bedding. A number of additional factors are taken into consideration to evaluate whether the
hypothesis that human health is at serious risk from a diet of crops grown in soils where As
contaminated dredged harbour deposits are used as a soil improver, is correct. Factors, such as the
mobility, the bioavailability and the differing species of As are all taken into consideration with
reference to the specified area. This study also examines the uptake of soil As into differing crop
plants, the ability of a plant to transfer the As into the edible parts, and the dilution within the food
There has been no published information on whether the use of As contaminated dredged sand on
already heavily contaminated land has serious implications for human health. This review attempts
to address the fact.

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  Council Reports and Studies:
  2010 Assessment of Retail Planning Policy - Proposed Retail Stores at South Quay and Marsh Lane, CC

GVA Grimley assessment of the proposed retail stores at South Quay and Marsh Lane in light of planning policy.

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  2007 Penwith Retail Study

Hayle's retail and commercial performance has been influenced by the weaknesses of the local economy and the decline of the town's industrial and maritime base. The town has the smallest level of retail and service provision in Penwith, with it being dominated by local independent operators and split between the two defined centres at Copperhouse and Foundry plus the recently developed West Cornwall Retail Park. Importantly, comparison and convenience retail provision is not currently able to retain a significant amount of locally generated shopping trips, with provision being oriented towards top-up shopping and day-to-day shopping needs. However, vacancies in the centres are lower than the national average, indicating that there is a reasonable level of demand for property in Hayle. In terms of shopping patterns and financial performance, only about a third of locally generated convenience expenditure (about one quarter of main food shopping trips and half of top-up food shopping trips) is at present being retained in the town, with significant amounts of expenditure leaking to Penzance and outside the District. This leakage appears to be consistent with the level and type of provision which is currently available in Hayle, which at the moment is limited to medium-sized Co-op and Lidl stores. These appear to cater for top-up food shopping trips and only a small proportion of main food trips. Similarly, comparison retail provision in Hayle is only able to retain about a tenth of locally generated trips, although this market penetration rate may increase as the West Cornwall Retail Park reaches a settled trading pattern.
Apart from the national multiple retailers present at the Retail Park, Hayle has a relatively low level and range of comparison retail provision. The household survey indicates that there is a public desire to improve the level of shopping facilities in Hayle.

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  2007 Penwith Retail Study Appendices

Data in support of the Penwith Retail Study.

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  Reports in Support of Planning Applications:
  2010 Impact of Hayle Harbour Development on Seals

This report outlines Cornwall Seal Group’s (CSG’s) position statement on Hayle Harbour Development, information about the current locations of seal haul out sites and the movement of seals, possible anticipated impacts of this major development on Grey Seals, an outline of the conservation status of Grey Seals in the UK, as well as an acknowledgement of help. Cornwall Seal Group (CSG) members’ aim is to ensure that any impact on seals in the surrounding area by the development of Hayle Harbour and Marina is minimised.

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  2010 Cockle Bank Quantitative Risk Assessment

Cocklebank is located within Hayle Harbour, part of the coastal estuary of the Hayle and Angarrack Rivers. Two tidal water storage lagoons, Copperhouse Pool and Carnsew Pool, are located to the south east and south west of Cocklebank respectively and are classified as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). To the east of Cocklebank, the quay area (North Quay) is located, primarily used by fisherman and a dredging vessel (operating under license). Recent investigation has showed Cocklebank to comprise alternating fine to medium grained sands and silty sands in the upper 1.5m, with lenses of silty clays noted throughout. This sequence is underlain by medium grained sands. The northwest and southeast ends of the bank feature gravel, boulders and cobbles at the surface. Gravel is also present at depth within the Bank. The main contaminants of concern within Cocklebank sediments are arsenic and to a lesser extent copper and zinc. Contaminant concentrations generally decrease with depth and increasing grain size with concentrations recorded in coarser sand, below the low tide level (i.e. >2m bgl) being comparable to background concentrations found in Hayle Harbour/ Estuary, Harvey’s Towans and the adjacent beach. Maximum concentrations are highly elevated, recorded within the finer grained materials (silty clay and silty sand). Arsenic, copper and zinc are highly leachable within all materials types.

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  2010 Rationale For the Selection of Dune Mitigation Sites

The Draft Heads of the Section 106 Agreement for the proposed Hayle Harbour development includes the following provisions:

Before commencement of works to implement construction of the Hilltop Car Park, including any groundworks, the Developer shall submit feasibility studies with detailed proposals, including a programme for implementation, for the restoration of the dune habitat on the area shown on the attached plan [the existing car park at Hayle/Harveys Towans] for approval by the Local Planning Authority and upon approval the Developer will implement the scheme in accordance with the approved programme and detailed proposals. The details to be submitted shall also include proposals for monitoring and management of the restored area.

Before commencement of works to implement construction of the Hilltop residential development, including any groundworks, the Developer shall submit feasibility studies with detailed proposals, including a programme for implementation, for the creation/restoration of dune grassland habitat on the area shown on the attached plan [the two northernmost fields at Riviere Farm comprising 2.5 to 3 hectares] for approval by the Local Planning Authority and upon approval shall implement the scheme in accordance with the approved programme. The details to be submitted will also include proposals for monitoring and management of the new/restored area and the Developer will be responsible for undertaking monitoring and management of that area for a period of [ ] years following completion of the creation/restoration works.

These habitat creation provisions are put forward in order to mitigate for the loss of 3.3 hectares
of dune grassland and associated scrub habitat which will occur at North Quay as a result of
proposals within the Hayle Harbour development scheme.

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  2010 Retail Assessment - Strategic Perspectives - ING
  2010 Harbour Walls Condition Survey - ING
  2009 Assessment Of The Species and Biotopes Likely To Occur On Newly Created Habitat in Hayle Harbour
  2008 Proposals For Habitat Compensation For Hayle Harbour Development Scheme
  2008 Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
  2008 Buildings Structure Archaeological Remains Inventory
  2008 Air Quality
  2008 Ecology
  2008 Water Resources
  2008 Ground Conditions
  2007 Hayle Harbour Development, Hydraulic Studies Phase 2, HR Wallingford
  2007 Carnsew and Copperhouse Pool Level Factual Information
  2006 Grubb Report on Copperhouse Pool Flood Control Gates
  Reports in support of Listed Building Applications:
  2011 South Quay Heritage Statement - Levrant-ING
  2011 South Quay Heritage Statement - Levrant-ING
  2011 South Quay Heritage Impact Assessment - Levrant-ING
  2011 South Quay Heritage Impact Assessment - Sainsbury
  2010 South Quay Heritage Statement - Pound - ING
  2010 South Quay Archaeology Report - Northamptonshire Archaeology
  2010 Jewsons Site - LBA
  2010 Hayle Harbour South - Map of Historic Environment Records

Reports in support of Listed Building Applications:


Other reports:


2008 Beach Dog Guide

Download map and guidelines in pdf format (201kb).

Area Map Showing Celtic Sea


Area map showing Celtic Sea


Footpath Map 2007(click on the map for 5.2Mb version)



Parish Data


Parish Populations 1997-2000


A Handbook of the Cornish Language



The complete document in pdf format (3.2Mb)

The complete document in searchable pdf format (6.6Mb)


© Copyright 2017, John Bennett