Monday, 21 October 2013

Work starts on reopening beach access at Lizard Point

the cliff fall of November 2012
Work has begun at Polpeor, right down on Lizard Point, to clear a sizeable landslip and make the cliff above safe. The cliff fall happened last November, one of many that occurred over the winter, as saturated ground gave way after weeks of rain. The cliff fall at Polpeor has proven to be the most problematic, meaning we have had to shut access to the beach for the public on safety grounds, and the debris has caused an inconvenience to the fishermen who usually store their boats below by the old lifeboat station. Now that the busiest part of the visitor season is behind us, and we are armed with the necessary engineers reports and tender documents, work has begun to find a long-term solution.
scaling back the upper face to enable netting and pinning

The contractors, a specialist mining and tunnelling company with lots of experience of this kind of cliff stabilisation work, have already cleared the debris, which has amounted to over 50 tonnes of material. Some of which has already found a new use as aggregate for a footpath repair job underway at Cadgwith, in a nifty bit of recycling!
The team have now moved on to scooping out any remaining loose material at the top of the cliff, ahead of scaffolding arriving later this week. The cliff will be pinned and netted, which all being well will give us the engineers go-ahead to re-open the beach access below. The barrier will be reinstated at the top.  Please note that parking on the Point will be restricted whilst this work is underway, so please bear with us as this project is completed. Everything should be back to normal by the end of the year, which will be a great relief to all concerned! For further information call the Rangers at Poltesco on 01326 291174


Monday, 7 October 2013

Poltesco Mill under wraps

Anyone visiting Poltesco over the next month or so will be greeted by the unusual sight of the Mill carefully wrapped up in a protective tent of tarps and scaffolding.  This impressive temporary structure is to provide protection from the elements as necessary building work is undertaken to remedy a leaky roof.

An icy January scene from 2010
The mill's slate roof is being completely stripped and relaid and timbers repaired where rotten. Traditional techniques and materials are being used, and the temporary roof will be helpful in controlling the drying of the lime mortar, which is key to the process.

This, the upper mill, is the only survivor of at least 4 mills that have existed in the valley over the centuries. The earliest reference to  'The mill of Poltuske’ was in a document dated 1396 so mills and Poltesco go back a very long way! The other mills, such as the lower mill behind the education barn, are now no more than ruined walls and depressions where there were once wheel pits.

The mill c1870
The surviving mill has the honour of being the Most Southerly Mill on the British mainland, and still contains many of its original cogs, millstones and tools, as well as timbers from wrecked ships, which were used in its construction. It once served the farmers of Ruan parish, and the miller would have lived with his family next door, keeping pigs and running a small holding to supplement his income. Until 1828 tenants of the manor were obliged to use their landlord's mill, and help maintain its leats and workings.

I'm sure all the millers and farmers who have known the mill over the centuries would be satisfied to know it is still there and cared for, and getting a new roof!


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