Sir Christopher Hawkins built this railway, which opened in 1829, to support the growing china clay industry. It ran from just outside St. Austell to the port of Pentewan, four miles away and was worked by horse-power until 1874. At the start of its life about a third of the clay produced in the St Austell area was shipped via Pentewan, but the port became badly silted-up and this restricted shipping access. Clay companies became more and more reluctant to transport their clay by horse and cart to the terminus at St Austell and, as more convenient routes developed, the Pentewan railway declined until it eventually closed in 1918.
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