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South Penquite Farm

The farmyard in 1968.

Post-medieval Period
"...1540 to present..."

Please note all figures relate to a map of the post-medieval sites on the farm which is available here in PDF format (2.5 mb)

Extensions to the existing field system at Penquite are likely to date to this period. Intake 25 would have been extended in to the rough ground of what was once probably part of a large area of common. This could be associated with the 'privatisation' of areas of rough ground whereby former commons were sub-divided and attached to certain tenements or individual farmsteads. Boundary 60 may be an example of this, as is the eastern boundary of 'Rye Downs' which became attached to Watts Penquite, but was once probably part of Kerrow Downs (see 16)

The period is characterised by the further intake of moorland (see 9 and 10), the abandonment of Watts (57) and Best's Penquite (3), and the development of large scale quarrying activity (see 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35)

The farmyard today.The settlement of Watts Penquite (57) had been abandoned by the c1840 Tithe Survey (Fig 3 and Appendix) and the focus of late 19th century improvement and intake appears to have taken place close to South and Black Penquite (1 and 2). For example, attached to the south eastern corner of strip system 6 three enclosures of moorland intake (see 9 and 10) were created in the mid-19th century; the field drains (9) perhaps contemporary or a later attempt to further improve the ground. In the late 19th century the house and farmyard at South Penquite (1) was remodelled

Plantation 18 also dates to the late-19th century and appears to have been planted as a designed feature, positioned in relation to West Rose to which this side of the South Penquite property was presumably then owned

Ponds 11 and 12 were first recorded on the c1881 OS map (Fig 4) and these may have been dug to ensure a water supply for livestock

Some of the stone splitting pits and areas of moorstone splitting (see 28 and 29) with 'plug' marks presumably date to the 19th century perhaps for the remodelling of South Penquite farmhouse and its outbuildings (see 1)

Large scale, industrial quarrying and the development of the De Lank quarry complex dates to the mid to late-19th century and by c1881 'Silver Hill' quarry (33) had been excavated and the De Lank culverted to power turbines for use in the quarry complex (see 33)

Sometime between OS map of 1907 (Fig 5) and the 1946 RAF aerial photograph (Fig 6) the Silver Hill quarry (33) was reworked. As part of this it appears the incline (29), dressing area (see 29), blacksmith's workshop (30), and building (31) with an associated water tank (32) were developed. The position of the features on the upper slopes of 'The Coomb' (see c1840 Tithe Survey) and situated above the main De Lank quarry complex suggest an entrepreneurial small scale operation, perhaps to provide building stone and gate posts for the local market. The extensive stone splitting marks and pits (28) within the nearby rough ground suggests that moorstone also provided a source of granite which may have been re-worked in the dressing area

Quarries 34 and 35 were developed as part of the De Lank quarry complex. These were in operation in the 1946 and were perhaps started during the WW2 to provide roadstone, aggregate or ballast. Analysis of aerial photographs taken in the late-1970s show quarries 33 and 34 being reworked; by the 1988 aerial photograph all three quarry sites had been abandoned and were covered with vegetation

Best's Penquite (3) appears to have been abandoned between the 1907 OS map and the 1946 RAF aerial photograph

Across the South Penquite property little appears to have changed between 1946 and the 1988 (Fig 7) aerial photographs except for the improvement and enclosure of 'Rye Downs' (see 16 for discussion) and the numerous piles of moorstone (see 47 and 61 for discussion). At South Penquite the farmyard was expanded, and in the most recent past mounds 14 and 15 and pond 13 were dug

Dominic & Cathy Fairman
South Penquite Farm, Blisland, Bodmin, Cornwall

Tel: 01208 850491