Granite

Moorstones, taken from the surface or shallow diggings, were used in Constantine from prehistoric times. Piskey’s Hall at Bosahan Farm is perhaps the best known example. Later uses include Celtic crosses, local bridges and Constantine Church. The first recorded export of moorstone was for the Eddystone Light in 1756 when the granite was shipped to Plymouth and shaped on site.

The Tolmen Stone, once a local landmark was, much to the annoyance of the community and the wider public, blasted in 1869 to enable the underlying granite to be worked. The event encouraged the drafting of the Ancient Monuments Act. Mining of tin, copper and silver was also an economic activity in the past and dwindled on into the 20th century.

Upper Quay at Port Navas, constructed by Jonathan Mayn in 1830, saved the long and tortuous journey to Penryn. The first leaseholder was Richard Hosken who owned a number of local quarries. In 1840 the Freeman Brothers of London, having secured various contracts including a new basin for steam vessels in Plymouth, decided to buy up local quarries to produce their own granite. In 1856 Freeman took over the lease to the existing quay and in 1865 the larger and better situated Lower Quay was completed.

A late nineteenth century account describes ‘immense numbers of granite blocks piled up forty to fifty feet, waiting to be loaded into the two or three ketches, schooners or smacks moored under the cranes or anchored in the stream’.