The Cornwall Centre

Please note, the Cornwall Centre will close from 10 September 2018 when the Cornish Studies Library closes before moving to the new Kresen Kernow site. Further information is available on our Kresen Kernow project page or please contact us for more information. Alternative uses for the Cornwall Centre building are being investigated.

The Cornwall Centre building currently houses the Cornish Studies Library, the Clarence John Langman Room (used for exhibitions and events) and Redruth Visitor Centre, home of the Tregellas Tapestries.

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The Cornwall Centre came about with the realisation that the Cornish Studies Library needed a bigger site. Taken up by the Redruth Regeneration Action Group and developed by the then Kerrier District Council, accumulating funds from a wide an array of bodies (including the Heritage Lottery Fund), the plan evolved for a mixed-use development at Alma Place on the site owned by Charville Estates (Redruth).

The Cornish Studies Library has outgrown itself again and will be moving in the coming years to a new purpose-built facility.

The site consisted of the shells of two adjoining buildings, gutted by fire in 1983, which lay 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 had been 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 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 this 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, etc., occupied Bank Chambers, accessed by the southern-most 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.