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Redruth is a small commercial town, with a population recorded in 2001 of 12,352. It is twinned with Plumergat and Meriadec in Brittany, France and Mineral Point, Wisconsin in the United States, where Cornish immigrants built many of the stone buildings still standing. A museum organised by the Old Cornwall Society is housed in the Town Council office at the bottom of the main street.
Scholars and philanthropists The historians Kenneth Hamilton Jenkin and Charles Thomas were also born in Redruth, and the Victorian philanthropist John Passmore Edwards was born in the neighbouring village of Blackwater.
Heartlands visitor park Just outside the town is a European funded visitor attraction, themed on the Robinson Shaft Mine, it offers parking, an adventure play ground for older children and a pleasant restaurant. At times the last working Cornish pumping engine can be seen working. The museum is an Anchor point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage.
The former post office in Alma Place is now known as the Cornish Studies Centre: also housed there is the collection of Tregellas Tapestries which depict the history of Cornwall in embroidery. The Mining Exchange building is now used as a housing advice centre (it was built in 1880 as accommodation for share brokers).
As you walk around Redruth there are echoes of its prosperous and important past with many grand commercial buildings lining the streets like the old Mining Exchange where bidding for copper and tin took place, the Victorian theatre and the Coffee Tavern. Today these buildings are home to many antique, curio and vintage clothing shops.
Nearby Gwennap Pit is where John Wesley preached his sermons. Tolgus Tin Stream Works is an ancient monument to Cornwall’s old tin industry. Carn Brea Leisure Centre is close to Redruth. The town is ideally situated for visits to both the north and the south Cornish coasts. Tehidy Country Park is not far away and offers a good day out for the whole family.
A short-list of five artists was selected to create further drawings and models which were exhibited in the Cornwall Centre in December 2006 for public consultation. The feedback from the many visitors to the exhibition was overwhelmingly in favour of David Annand and one other artist. The final decision to commission David was taken by the Mining Art Group with the addition of young art ambassadors from Redruth School.
Redruth R.F.C. are Redruth's highest-level sports team. They currently play in the National Division Two.
The village of Redruth began to take shape in the 12th century. It developed around the ford, some distance away from the parish church. This was typical of many Cornish parishes. The church with its surrounding cottages, is overlooked by Carn Brea across the parish boundary. The oldest part of the present building is the tower, built in 1490. The body of the church was enlarged in 1756 to accommodate a growing number of parishioners.
Murdoch House was the home of inventor, William Murdoch, and is believed to have been the first house in the world to have been lit by piped coal gas. Today, it houses the Global Migration Project and tourists call there to trace their Cornish ancestors.
Miscellany It is home to Cornwall's first ILR Radio Station, Pirate FM. On 20 June 2008, the town held its first regular Farmers' Market in Market Place: the Market will now be held every Friday throughout the year.
Environment awards On 7 November 2007, Redruth jointly won (with Luton) the annual UK town centre environment awards, which are run by the BCSC (a retail property consortium). The judges praised the cast bronze 'dogs' and also liked the large amount of work that had been done to the town in terms of landscaping the central area (mainly Fore St & the opeways).
Redruth School, a Technology College, is a secondary school and sixth form college, for ages 11–18.
The general public's response has been mixed. Some[vague] have said that the statue looks as though the miner is about to launch himself into the air and down Fore Street. Others[vague] remain perplexed at the miner's pose and angle. However, many[vague] have welcomed this addition to the public realm designs in the town, and feel that it should encourage casual visitors to learn more about this important aspect of the town's and Cornwall's heritage.
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Redruth is twinned with Plumergat et Meriadec in Brittany, France, Mineral Point, Wisconsin, USA and Real del Monte, Hidalgo, Mexico.
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Murdoch House has since been fully restored and is now regularly used by the Redruth Old Cornwall Society, as well as the Cornish-American Connection and the Redruth Story Group. Next door are St. Rumon's Gardens.
During the summer months, Redruth holds several continental markets. The Redruth Town Trail is a short walk through the town, featuring places of historical and other interest. There is a cinema in the main street and several restaurants and cafés in the town.
By the end of the 19th century, the Cornish mining industry was in decline and Britain was importing most of its copper ore. To find employment, many miners emigrated to the newer mining industries in the Americas, Australasia and South Africa. Cornwall's last fully operational mine, South Crofty at Pool between Redruth and Camborne, closed in March 1998.
The house now called Murdoch (or, sometimes Murdock) House in the middle of Cross Street was erected in the 1660s as a chapel and it afterwards became a prison. William Murdoch lived in it from 1782 to 1798. During this time, he worked on local tin and copper mines, erecting engines on behalf of Boulton and Watt. He fitted the house out with gas lighting from coal gas – this was the first house in the world with this type of lighting.
Welcome to Redruth! Once the urban centre of the Cornish Mining industry, Redruth is now at the heart of the World Heritage Site. Browse the Visit Redruth website to find out what you can see and do in and around the town. When you visit Cornwall make sure Redruth is on your must see list.
The Curnow Community Special School caters for students with special needs.
The Lamb and Flag Emblem is used by Redruth Town Council as the emblem for the town. It was originally a mark used by Cornish tin smelting works to stamp the ingots of tin. The symbol seems to have been used first in the woollen trade during the Middle Ages. By the 19th century, it was suggested that the lamb represented purity, obviously a good selling point for the local tin smelters.
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Sport Redruth also has an increasing reputation in sport, with Redruth Rugby Football Club currently at the higher part of the national 2 league. Players such as Phil Vickery and Rob Thirlby have both passed through its ranks. Redruth Soccer club has not enjoyed as much success but still thrives in its regular fixtures. On the high street there is a Tang Soo Do (Korean Karate) and Kickboxing Academy named ISK Martial Arts.
A new road, the Barncoose by-pass, has now (March 2008) opened between the Redruth Community Hospital and the Barncoose Industrial Estate. It is intended to reduce HGV traffic using the main Camborne road and provide a direct access to the Industrial Estate. It has, however, provoked some controversy, as some residents in Barncoose have lost their parking spaces to make way for the new road. It may be extended further towards Camborne in the near future.
Redruth’s recently restored railway station is early nineteenth century. Many of the buildings on Fore Street, the main shopping area, are of a similar period. The street is dominated by the old clock tower.
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In the 19th century, the house was used as a tea room, run by a Mrs Knuckey. In 1931 Mr A. Pearce Jenkin, a leading citizen of Redruth purchased the house and gave it as a gift to the Society of Friends (Quakers).
The name Redruth is said to be derived from the fact that by the 14th century the stream running along the bottom of Fore Street was so discoloured with iron oxide from tinning activities that it ran red. Hence Redruth, the cornish for ford is rhys and red is ruth. Another (dubious!) story is that the town is named after the colour of a St Ruth’s cloak. It was said that no child baptised with the water from St Ruth’s Well near Protreath would ever be hanged.
Redruth is also home to Carn Brea, which has most historical interest. The Carn however is not the highest point in Redruth, beaten slightly by Carnmenellis, south west of the town centre.
Primary schools within the town include Pennoweth School, Treleigh School, Treloweth Community Primary School, Trewirgie Infant School and Trewirgie Junior School.