Caradon cover

ISBN 978 0 906294 82 6
168 pages, 223 illustrations. Soft back with full colour cover. £18.00


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Also by Michael Messenger:

Steam South & West, £16.00

North Devon Clay, £18.00

The Culm Valley Light Railway, £15.00


Caradon pic

Caradon & Looe : The Canal, Railways and Mines

by Michael Messenger

Some of the richest copper mines in the United Kingdom, a rare Cornish canal and a railway uniquely engineered to convey the minerals by gravity combine to make a fascinating story. The wealth brought by copper, as well as by tin and granite, extracted from this corner of Bodmin Moor, built the town of Liskeard and the harbour of Looe that we know today. It gave us a unique transport system, built to service the bonanza of Caradon copper, a mining discovery that germinated, blossomed, withered and died all within fifty years, but left us the picturesque railway line to Looe. It is a story of ingenuity and capability, of independence and interdependence, of hope and despair. It could only have happened in Victorian Britain.

This is very much a local story, for it was all achieved by local people; people like engineers Robert Coad and Silvanus Jenkin, like mining entrepreneurs Peter and James Clymo and like the banker Lewis Foster who was receiver of the Caradon line for twenty-eight years.

The definitive history of the Liskeard & Looe Union Canal, the Liskeard & Caradon Railway and the Liskeard & Looe Railway was first published in 1978 and has not been bettered for its depth of research and historical accuracy. It is also a very full history of the Caradon copper mines. This fourth edition has, like previous editions, been updated with the benefit of new information and the author’s most recent research on the railways and canal. Cumulatively a considerable amount of new knowledge has been added since the original edition of 1978.


'It remains the definitive work on the area and the first port of call for reliable information on it.' Trevithick Society Newsletter

Reviews of previous editions:

'This is, in all respects - content, reproduction, design and style - a superb book. Michael Messenger's text is clear and readable, Alan Kittridge's design is classy and easy on the eye.' Archive, September 2001

'An extremely well produced and illustrated book with many previously unpublished photographs.' Industrial Archaeology News, Autumn 2001



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