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Author CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Keep-it-wheal

Joined: 28/07/2012
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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 29/07/2012 10:31:29
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I am interested in tracking down anyone who might be able to answer some questions on the above {CARN BREA monument} & why & how it was constructed.I grew up under its shadow & have become curious about its origins. One local historian said on-line there has always been a debate about it but I can find little or no debate about it at all but I am full of questions.

Firstly, there is the widely held belief it was constructed by local miners in gratitude to Francis Lord De Dunstanville & Basset for the efforts he made to improve the lot of local miners. Yet I can find nothing he did to improve the lot of local miners. He was a mine owner but that scarcely counts (I would have thought)

Moreover, some accounts say he ruthlessly suppressed the Redruth Food Riots in 1785 (or 1796)which were expressly directed against his method of paying miners tokens which were only exhangeable in his shops at prices he decided. He hanged a few & deported others. He really doesn't sound like someone I would want to commemorate, if I was a local miner.

Secondly, the inscription on the monument says it was paid for out of public subscription (which seems to imply local people but, since most locals subsisted on pitifully wages, it seems more likely this was paid for by local worthies)
Somewhere in my researches I came across a female relative of Frances's collecting subscriptions in London for this monument but, unfortunately, I did not jot down her name. Moreover, the legend this monument was constructed by local admirers on their days-off also seems suspect. Firstly, it was designed by a nationally (?) famous sculptor Westmacott, though exactly which Westmacott I have been unable to ascertain. Secondly, the fact that subscriptions were necessary sounds to me like specialists masons were brought in to undertake this quite complex construction.

Thirdly, am I right in assuming the granite was quarried just a few hundred yards away in what we kids called "the bottomless pond." On the other hand, at the Tregrajorran /Chapel Hill end of Carn Brea, there appears a small abandoned quarry & conceiveably the granite blocks came from there. Finally, does anyone know how long it took to construct the monument. The inscription says 1836, a year after the demise of Francis Basset but that could have been added at any time during its construction by a stone mason. It looks like a something which would take longer than a year to conceive, pay for & construct.


If you can answer any or all of these queries I would be most grateful. If you are not able to answer them but know somebody that can, could you please send me their details/ Many thanks for taking the time to consider my requests.
IP: 93.186.31.80 Edited: 30/07/2012 07:11:38 by (moderator)
carnkie

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 29/07/2012 11:26:41
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If it's any help there is an article in the Royal Cornwall Gazette, 5th Feb. 1836 giving a long list of subscribers. The amount required was £1,500 which was for the memorial and a charitable fund to be called The Dunstanville Fund.

If you PM me your e-mail I'll send you the PDF of the relevant page.

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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
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scooptram

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 29/07/2012 12:45:40
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if you look around up therr you will find rocks with feather and wedge holes in them so i would say the stone was local to the carn . the inscription is of very poor quality so i would think it was not done by a skilled letter cutter hope this helps

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carnkie

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 29/07/2012 14:54:39
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From "Excavations at Carn Brea, Illogan, Cornwall, 1970-73 - A Neolithic Fortified Complex of the Third Millennium BC", Cornish Archaeology No. 20 1981.

In 1836 the monument to a later Sir Francis Basset, Justice of the Peace and mine owner, was constructed on the central summit of the hill. A massive quarry to borrow stone for the monument, set just to the west of the central summit outside the rampart of the hillfort, caused considerable further damage at this time.

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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
IP: 84.13.253.83 Edited: 29/07/2012 14:55:30 by carnkie
carnkie

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 29/07/2012 18:08:10
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Keep-it-wheal wrote:


Moreover, some accounts say he ruthlessly suppressed the Redruth Food Riots in 1785 (or 1796)which were expressly directed against his method of paying miners tokens which were only exhangeable in his shops at prices he decided. He hanged a few & deported others. He really doesn't sound like someone I would want to commemorate, if I was a local miner.



I don't think that is quite right. Ham Jenkins (1948) has this to say on the subject.

Lord de Dunstanville said that when assembled in bodies they were rough when moved by some occasion, but individually were sufficiently peaceful. He added, however, that in the year 1795 an insubordinate disposition rose to such a "height as to cause a body of men to assemble and by threats to oblige millers and dealers in grain to do their business at certain prices fixed by these rioters. This happened whilst Lord de Dunstanville was in London, and when his Lordship returned to Tehidy no opposition had been made to their demands, the magistrates being afraid to act. He told them he would show what could be done, and finding their timid dispositions had recourse to his brother-in-law only, who, at his Lordship's request, came over to Tehidy and, after taking the depositions of the Millers, immediately swore in eighty constables, who, according to a plan formed, proceeded to take up from their beds at 2 o'clock in the morning fifty of the most noted of the rioters, who were without delay conveyed to Bodmin Gaol. At the Assizes which followed they were tried, and three of them were condemned to die-some were ordered to be transported and others were sentenced to be imprisoned. After the trials were over Lord de D. had a private conversation with the Judge, who remarked to him that the execution of one of the three might have a sufficient effect and the punishment of the other two might be mitigated. In this his Lordship fully concurred, and there being one more vicious and profligate than the rest, he was left for execution. After the trials were over and sentence had been passed, the Magistrates addressed his L'ship to obtain a remission of the punishment. He replied that they had done that which was very painfull to him, for that in refusing to make the application they wished him to do, it would seem to be fixing upon him the death of anyone who might suffer. He added that notwithstanding this he would not prevent an example being made which was highly necessary for the benefit of Society.

--

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
IP: 89.242.59.76 Edited: 29/07/2012 18:09:07 by carnkie
Keep-it-wheal

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 29/07/2012 19:16:17
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The so called "bottomless pond" was beside a rampart so my initial suspicion was correct, thanks to you, your knowledge & contribution. I am indebted! IP: 82.33.15.78
Keep-it-wheal

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 29/07/2012 19:42:28
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I agree the inscription has not weathered well but would you agree there is something kind of Egyptian in the character of its presentation & format (if you know what mean)
http://www.cornwalls.co.uk/photos/img3510.htm
Everthing Egyptian was fashionable at that time (see Penzance & Plymouth Egyptian Houses for example)...thanks for your contribution by the way!
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scooptram

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 29/07/2012 21:54:08
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if you look at the spaceing of letters and the date nothing is equal i know the guys i used to work with (many years ago) would get the boot for that kind of spaceing so i still think it was done by a local who was "a bit andy" with a chisel !

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mind that rock OUCH
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carnkie

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 00:45:08
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Keep-it-wheal wrote:

I agree the inscription has not weathered well but would you agree there is something kind of Egyptian in the character of its presentation & format (if you know what mean)
http://www.cornwalls.co.uk/photos/img3510.htm
Everthing Egyptian was fashionable at that time (see Penzance & Plymouth Egyptian Houses for example)...thanks for your contribution by the way!


I think you are reading too much into this. There wasn't much Egyptian around Camborne. The Bassets were well into Italian. I suspect scooptram is correct.

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Ty Gwyn

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 01:25:49
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I presume the word CARN is Cornish?

We have several CARN s in Wales,i m wondering if the meanings are the same in English.
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scooptram

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 07:31:56
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think its the same ,hill i think the cornish and welsh are very close all to do with the celtic link

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mind that rock OUCH
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Dolcoathguy

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 08:56:03
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The A.Buckley book on Dolcoath outlines the various acts the Bassetts undertook to improve conditions at this mine, will look up with examples later. From the top of my head, I know there is mention of Lady Bassett promoting the construction of the first miner's dry at this mine (maybe later 1840s?).


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Keep-it-wheal

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 10:15:15
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That is a very generous & helpful offer & I hope to avail of it direckly. Thank you so much! IP: 82.33.15.78
Keep-it-wheal

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 10:54:39
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* The REDRUTH Food Riot 1795
"He added that, notwithstanding this, he would not prevent an example being made which was highly necessary for the benefit of Society...."
I do not want to be appear to be argumentative but "eighty" specially-recruited "constables" raiding the family homes of fifty starving families at two o clock in the morning because they dared to protest at high food prices in Redruth seems quite heavy-handed to me. These men were then carted off to Bodmin & threatened with death or deportation is hardly philanthropic either, in my humble opinion. Then Francis Basset steps in & hangs just the vicious & profligate one as an example to the others and "for the benefit of soiciety" ?
I am sorry but I don't see that as a good reason for a monument on this scale. Help me out here!
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Ty Gwyn

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 10:58:26
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CARN in Welsh,is a site of an Ancient burial mound or a collection of Stones,similar to Stonehenge.

So was not surprised by the Neolithic Fortress found on Carn Brea.
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Keep-it-wheal

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 11:05:24
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TOKEN-ISM

"Moreover, some accounts say he ruthlessly suppressed the Redruth Food Riots in 1785 (or 1796) which were expressly directed against his method of paying miners tokens which were only exhangeable in his shops at prices he decided. "

Is this true that miners were paid in tokens & not in money? Is it true that "tokens which were only exhangeable in his (Basset's) shops at prices he (Basset) decided." ? Someone must know. If it is true there must be evidence of those tokens somewhere.
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Ty Gwyn

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 11:17:20
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Tokens were also used in the Coalmines of South Wales in the early years,only reademable from the company shop. IP: 86.154.229.32
Wyn

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 11:19:01
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Carn is late cornish (Carn/Kern in middle Cornish). It has a variety of meanings (tor, pile of stones, rock outcrop), some of which are the same as Welsh (or Breton - karn). Not suprising as they are all Brythonic (or P) Celtic languages from a common root.

Incidentally the word Brea means hill. Compare with the Welsh Bryn, both are from the earlier Bre.
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carnkie

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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 11:39:11
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The food riots in Cornwall during the 18th and 19th centuries are, to put it mildly, a complicated subject. For anyone who may be interested a good place to start is John Rule's brilliant essay "The Tinners are Rising: Food Rioting in Cornwall 1737-1847," to be found in his book of essays, Cornish Cases.

Impossible here to go into it in any detail but basically the conflict inherent in the food riots was between those who favoured, and had been increasingly operating a free inland trade in grain, and the poor who maintained that the corn trade should be regulated in the interests of supplying them with vital bread corn at a 'just' price. This is very simplistic but I don't think you should concentrate too much on the token issue regarding the riots.

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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
IP: 78.145.140.29 Edited: 30/07/2012 11:54:58 by carnkie
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CARN BREA monument: can you help?
Posted: 30/07/2012 11:47:01
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"CARN, in Welsh, is a site of an Ancient burial mound"

CARN in Irish (what Brits called Gaelic) also means MOUND
BREA in Irish means FINE
Carn Brea = fine hill
However, at the time of naming, it is highly likely that Carn Brea was a wooded hill so some of its contours would have been disguised under a canopy of trees. Does anyone know what type of trees grew there, though?

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