Luxulyan, Cornwall

luxulyn cornwall towns

Luxulyan village contains a number of granite cottages, a 15th century church with a turreted tower. Luxulyan, the name of the parish is pronounced 'Luksillyan' and lies on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Other villages in the parish include the Churchtown, Bridges, Treskilling, Rosemelling, Higher Manedue, and Bedwith.

The Luxulyan Valley offers great natural beauty, and has thickly wooded, steep granite slopes running down to the fast-flowing River Par. There is a concentration of early 19th century industrial remains there today as a mining and mineral railway was built through the valley to connect with mining area around Bugle. A massive viaduct was built by the mine owner, Joseph Treffry in 1842 to take ore to the port at Par.

A railway was completed in 1844, with an inclined plane from the canal basin, past the Carmears Rocks, to the level of the top of the valley, then had level run through Luxulyan and on to its terminus at the Bugle Inn near Mollinis. This needed a high-level crossing of the river, which is why the viaduct, 650 feet long and 100 feet high, needed to be built. Stone from the Carbeans and Colcerrow quarries was used to build it. The viaduct carried both rails and a water channel to bring more water for the Fowey Consols mine. As the water fell it was used to power the Carmears incline with a waterwheel, 34 feet in diameter.The last improvement Joseph Treffry made was a continuation of the railway alongside the canal to Par Harbour, but this was not completed until after his death in 1850.

The Luxulyan History website records that two more granite quarries were at work within the Valley, Rock Mill and Orchard. In 1870 the South Cornwall Granite company opened a railway linking these to Ponts Mill. This is the Valley Floor Tramway - the Treffry era railways, all horse-worked, were later called tramways to distinguish them from later locomotive-powered lines. The quarries were worked until about 1928 and the last of Treffry's rails were removed in 1940.

In 1872 a group of London businessmen constructed a new route through the Valley, which left the old one below Ponts Mill, ascended the west side of the Valley, crossed the Par River twice on the Ponts Mill and Rock Mill Viaducts, passed under the Treffry Viaduct, approached the village through a tunnel and rejoined the old route at the village station. The new consortium was called the Cornwall Minerals Railway. However, the iron ore traffic did not appear, so in desperation the company tried running passenger services - equally unsuccessfully.

When the CMR began operating in 1874 the Carmears incline was abandoned, so the waterwheel was redundant. To take advantage of the water power still available, the West of England China Clay Company built a china stone mill at the waterwheel and installed a new 40ft wheel to drive it. It ran until 1908 and then lay disused until the beginning of World War II, when it was demolished. The wheel was smashed on site and pieces of it are still there.

The old line continues in use to serve Ponts Mill, which was a busy little industrial village. In the lower part of the Valley were two large clay drying plants: Prideaux Wood, which closed in 1912, and Ponts Mill, which closed in 1992. The site of the latter is now used by a small works for painting railway wagons. By 1989 English China Clay formally abandoned their rights to exploit the minerals beneath the land and presented the Valley to the Restormel Borough Council and Cornwall County Council, so that it could be preserved for enjoyment of the community.

William O'Bryan (or Bryant) of Luxulyan began a breakaway Methodist movement around 1815 called the Bible Christians. Many towns and villages had both a Wesleyan and a Bible Christian Chapel.

St Cyor's Holy Well, under a stone canopy at the lower end of the village, is now dried up.

There is a local vantage point at Helman Tor

Luxulyanite, a beautiful and rare type of Cornish granite, is found in this area, and was used for the sarcophagus of the Duke of Wellington at St Paul's cathedral.

Today the village is the first station out of Par on the branch to Newquay.

Luxulyan, Cornwall, genealogical information on Genuki


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