The Cornwall Centre

Please note, the Cornwall Centre is now permanently closed to enable staff to pack up the Cornish Studies Library collections ready to move to the new Kresen Kernow site. Further information is available on our Kresen Kernow project page or please contact us for more information. 

The Cornish Studies Library has been based in the Cornwall Centre building at Alma Place since 2001.  This multi-use building is also the home of the Redruth Visitor Centre, which shares the ground floor with the Library.  Below is Market Way, an arcade of shopping units and a café, and above are accommodation and training facilities for young people funded by the Devon and Cornwall Housing Association.

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The Cornish Studies Library has outgrown its space at Alma Place and will move to the new purpose-built Kresen Kernow in 2019.

The Cornwall Centre building is owned by Redruth Town Council and when the Cornish Studies Library moves, the Town Council will make the building their administrative centre, basing their town chambers and offices on the ground floor.  The Town Council is now also managing Redruth Public Library and there are plans for the Public Library to move from Clinton Road and join the Redruth Visitor Centre in the Cornwall Centre.  This will make Alma Place a hub for the Town Council's services.

The site consisted of the shells of two adjoining buildings, gutted by fire in 1983, which had lain derelict for 17 years. They were originally the Meat Market and the Post Office. The proposed mixed use of the Alma Place building is particularly apt, for that seems to have been its story from the start. The surrounding area, land belonging to the influential Basset family of Tehidy, was being redeveloped in the late 1870s and early 1880s. The Meat Market was rebuilt and enlarged in 1878 at a cost of £2500 by Gustavus Lambert Basset; the Mining Exchange was erected in 1880 at a cost of £500; and the Post Office and Savings Bank opened in about 1882. 

The first edition of the Ordnance Survey 1:2500 scale map (1880) does not show the Post Office building,  but an 1889 plan of the Manor of Tehidy shows the southern half of the Alma Place building occupied by the Savings Bank, and the northern half by the Post Office.

From the early 1920s until at least 1939 Arthur Pearse Jenkin of Trewirgie, Surveyors, Estate Agents, &c., occupied Bank Chambers, accessed by the southernmost doorway, and possibly only on the first floor.

Use of the major part as a Post Office continued until 1957, when a replacement building was opened in Fore Street. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food then used the old building for many years. The former Meat Market was in use before the 1983 fire as Dowty's carpet warehouse.