Par Canal, Cornwall

Par Canal, Cornwall

Par Canal ran for 1 mile 7 furlong with 3 locks from a tramroad at Pontsmill to Par harbour, in St Austell Bay, Cornwall.

1847 Opened for the carriage of tin, lead ore and china clay transhipped in containers onto boats from a tramway.

1873 Closed. The extension of the railway from Ponts Mill to Par Port used the towpath of the canal.

The Par Canal was also constructed by Treffry to take copper ore from the base of the Fowey Consols inclined plane railway to the port he constructed at Par.

Joseph Austen (later Joseph Treffry)started construction of a harbour in 1829 near the mouth of the river; and the harbour was completed in 1840. A 450 feet breakwater encloses 35 acres of water but it has always been tidal with only 16 feet depth of water so cannot handle the large ocean-going ships seen at Fowey.

In 1858 15,154 tons of china clay were shipped out. By 1885 86,325 tons were being handled at Par, but Fowey now had a railway line and handled 114,403. In 1987 the Fowey handled 700,000 tons.

To start the railway and canal were used mainly to service Austen's mines and quarries above St Blazey. Treffry built the Par Canal to serve the harbour by canalising 2.25 miles of the river and digging a new river channel slightly to the east. There was an entrance lock to the canal at the harbour, and then two more between there and its terminus at Ponts Mill, north of St Blazey.

The railway then used inclined planes to carry tramways to Fowey Consols mine and Colcerrow quarry.

Cornwall Railways and Mineral Tramways