Hayle from Phillack
As summer finally appears to have arrived, Sunday afternoon was taken up with a gentle stroll along the banks of the estuary at Hayle. The name of the place derives from the Cornish word heyl, which simply means “estuary”. Looking at the place now, no-one would guess that it used to be a thriving industrial centre with two foundries making goods of copper and other metals mined in West Cornwall. There was a busy port from which the products were shipped.
After the bottom fell out of the tin and copper market, Hayle went into a decline. There have been many schemes over the years I have been coming down here to rejuvenate the place. All of them have come to naught. However, now a new bridge has been built across the estuary to give improved access to a large tract of wasteland in the centre of the town. The intention is to build houses and a supermarket on this site, so maybe Hayle will after all be revived.
The picture above is taken from Phillack. This place used to be called eglos heyl, meaning “estuary church”. The church in question was originally dedicated to a saint called Felec, about whom absolutely nothing is known. The change in spelling from <f> to <ph> took place in the 16th century, but I don’t think anyone knows why.
The path we took used to be a railway running along the north side of Copperhouse Pool. It was turned into a footpath to commemorate the silver jubilee of George V and Queen Mary in 1935. The path was given a face-lift as the town’s main millenium project. I am pleased to see that the promised addition of Cornish to new street signs is under way, but I’m not so sure that it is a good idea to “translate” personal names into their Cornish versions