Page:The parochial history of Cornwall.djvu/90

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
48
ST. AUSTELL

leigh; a gentleman who will long be remembered, as uniting strong abilities with energy of mind, and liberality as well of practice as of sentiment. His name is perpetuated in the port and in the buildings surrounding it, which have received by public acclamation the appropriate distinction of Charlestown. [The spot was formerly called Porthmear, and was too inconsiderable to be mentioned in Martyn's map. In 1790 it contained only nine inhabitants. In consequence of the commodious harbour, the docks, and shipwrights' yards, and the pilchard fishery established by Mr. Rashleigh, it has gradually increased to be a large village. Lysons.]

More recent inventions have suggested an iron railway from St. Austell along the descending vale to a new harbour at Pentewan. The works are just now completed (1832), and they promise to add still greater facilities to commerce than those at Charlestown.

The other principal villages in this parish are Carvath, Corbean, Pentewan or Pentuan, Porthpean, Rescorla, Tregonissy, Tregorick, Trenarren, and Trethergy.

The church and town of St. Austell are well worthy of notice. The church is much decorated on its exterior surface of freestone by figures and scrolls worked on the stone; and over the south porch is an ancient inscription, KYCH INRI, never explained (engraved in Lysons, p. ccxxxii). The tower, although not so lofty as that at Probus, is perhaps more elegant in its form and proportion. The inside of the church presents a light and pleasing appearance, in consequence of the large space occupied by the windows.

The font is in the form of a bowl, carved with rude monsters, standing on a round column, and supported by four small pillars, which have monks' heads for their capitals. It is engraved in Lysons, p. ccxxxiii.

An almshouse, with six apartments for poor persons, was erected in 1809.