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151017 | Connor Downs residents bring historic site back to life | The Cornishman


Connor Downs residents bring historic site back to life

By CMKirsteSmith | Posted: October 17, 2015

CDRA Chairman, Reverend John Fox (front row, left) with Mrs Stella Bransden (front row, centre) with Residents’ Association members and volunteers

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AN INFORMAL unveiling took place last week to mark the renovation of a historic site in Connor Downs

Members of Connor Downs Residents' Association (CDRA) marked the success of an improvement project in the village with an informal unveiling last Thursday

For many years the Horsepool site, at the eastern entrance to the village, had been overgrown with weeds and brambles and the site has finally been cleared and restored

In 2006 the idea of improving it began but it took until 2012 to establish ownership of the land, negotiate with County Highways and other bodies, discover the difficulties of trying to reinstate the pool, and agree a licence

Since March 2012, a band of volunteers, with help from local tradesmen and the support of Gwinear-Gwithian Parish Council, cleared the weeds, levelled the ground, spread topsoil and sowed grass seed

Mary Tipton, on behalf of Connor Downs Resident's Association, said: "We are a small local charity and part of our remit is to improve facilities for the community of Connor Downs

"This project does that in spades; not only is it well used by residents - as a meeting or resting place or whilst waiting for a bus - but large numbers of West Cornwall residents pass this spot daily and notice the change for the better. I wish we had a £1 for every complimentary comment we've received"

A raised flower bed was constructed along with a path leading to a memorial bench donated by a local family. An area representative of a 'pool' was formed from rocks and gravel

Recently the historical significance of the site has been marked with a slate plaque on a granite block. The pool, which was used for drinking by horses drawing farm and goods vehicles, is estimated to be from the 18th century

Records suggest that the site was a medieval extractive pit, where surface working too place and most likely for copper. After the work was abandoned it flooded and became known as "Horsepool"

Now it has been renovated to provide a welcoming entrance to the village and as a place that people can enjoy

CDRA Chairman, Reverend John Fox, thanked all those who had worked on the project and invited Mrs Stella Bransden who, with her late husband John, owns the land, to unveil the plaque while Residents' Association members and volunteers looked on