Tregargus Valley1

Work has begun to consolidate the remains of Trevear china stone mill in the Tregargus Valley near St Stephen.

Trevear Mill is one of eight china stone mills that have been recorded in the valley, part of what has been described as the ‘finest assemblage of stone mills in western Britain’ (Conservation Management Statement 2011).

The work is being 100% funded by Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, following recommendations for this work by Cornwall Councils Strategic Historic Environment Countryside Archaeologist. The project is being management by pdp Green Consulting Ltd, Truro on behalf of the Tregargus Trust and the works are being carried out by Heritage Cornwall Ltd, Bodmin.

The mills were used to grind lump stone from the quarries to extract china stone. China stone, when mixed with china clay, creates fine porcelain, so was prized by potters. Trevear Mill is believed to be one of the oldest mills in the valley, dating to around 1870 and is largely intact, including the mill, pan kiln, chimney, tramway from the quarry and the miller’s cottage.

The valley is leased to the Tregargus Trust from Imerys, with the Trust taking on the day to day responsibility of preserving and maintaining the structures in the valley.

In addition to the works at Trevear, small scale ‘holding repairs’ are to take place on Wheal Arthur and Big Wheel mills, while funds are being sought to conserve these buildings in full.

Visitors to the valley will be able to track the progress of the works over the coming weeks. Unfortunately some vandalism has taken place on the mill since the works have started, so the Trust is particularly keen for local dog walkers to extend their evening visits to the mill site as a deterrent.

Story posted 22 September 2014