Clay me old china?

Ever since the discovery of China Clay at Tregoning Hill by the Rev Cookworthy, Cornwall has long been famous for producing very fine quality clay. Most of this has been produced in the so-called Clay country around St Austell where the landscape can sometimes look like a moonscape of large open pits of white clay.

Clay was exported from a number of ports and harbours along the coast, notably Charlestown and Pentewan. Later, Par and Fowey became the main ports and thankfully the records for Fowey still exist. Volunteers such as Richard in the Bartlett have been transcribing the records of the shipments out of Fowey which are providing insights into the growth and decline of the clay industry.

For instance …