Sunday, 27 October 2019


Whilst in Cornwall we visited Newquay, a popular seaside town.  There are twelve beaches around the area all with golden sand and being on the Atlantic coast they are favourites with surfers. We were lucky with the weather as the sun finally came out and we were able to enjoy walking on the sand in the warm sunshine.

A bridge links these two properties. I think the large one on the right is a hotel.

There is a small harbour at Newquay.

The lobster pots, neatly stacked on the quay, waiting to be taken out to sea

In the afternoon we drove along the coast to the town of Padstow.
A lovely little town with a small harbour.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

China clay quarry

Whilst visiting the Eden Project we stayed in the Cornish town of St Austell. It is around this area that many china clay quarries were worked. The clay was of good quality and was used for making porcelain. However, I didn't realise that 80% of all china clay produced is used in the manufacture of paper and board. We decided to visit a disused clay works which is now a museum. 

This is a flooded china clay pit. It was last worked around 1930. This is one of many pits that were worked in this area in the 19th century. The clay that was produced her came to the Victorian clay works at Wheal Martyn which is now a museum.

This 35 ft water wheel was used to pump clay slurry to the surface of the china clay pit.

Wheal Martyn was built on a hillside to help the clay slurry move around the site by gravity for each stage of the refining process

From the top of the pit the clay slurry flowed down the hill through pipes to the refining works. The slurry contained china, water, sand and mica. The aim of the refining works was to separate out the clay from the mixture.

In the settling tanks the clay was allowed to stand for anything up to three months so that it could continue to dry. By the end of its time here the clay was very thick and looked like clotted cream. Small trucks on short lengths of rails were pushed out into the tanks and the clay was shovelled into them to be taken inside the pan kiln for drying.
The low building at the back was the pan kiln which continued the drying process.

Behind Wheal Martyn is this modern china clay quarry. The processing works are at the other side of the quarry.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Eden Project

Earlier this month a friend and I drove down to Cornwall in the SW of the country. One of the main reasons for the visit was to see the Eden Project. I had heard much about it but had yet to see it for myself. The Project is sited in a disused clay pit. By the middle of the 1990s there was not enough clay remaining to make it a viable quarry so it was the perfect site for building the two giant domes that would house thousands of plants from around the world. There are two biomes (eco domes), one being Tropical and the other Mediterranean.

The tropical biome covers 3.9 acres and is 55m high, 100m wide and 200m long. It has giant bamboo, rubber, coffee and fruiting banana plants.

There is a walkway going across the top part of the dome where they have created a cloud forest. cloud forest.

Roul roul birds ran in and out of the undergrowth. Many insects and lizards have been introduced into the environment to control some of the pests.

We left the Tropical Biome and went to have a look at the Mediterranean Biome. This dome is smaller but still covers 1.6 acres and measures 35m high, 65m wide and 135m long.
I didn't find this dome as interesting as the other one.

Examples of fruit and vegetables are grown within the dome including these black tomatoes. The difference only seems to be in the colour and not the flavour.

The two biomes are surrounded by other garden areas. Sadly it had started pouring with rain but undeterred we walked up and down through the different areas.determined to see all that was on display.

'Eve' amongst the greenery.

A very soggy end to the day!