Newquay Golf Club and Hope Terrace

As you leave Fistral Beach, follow the footpath across the golf course. Although hard to believe, this open space was once a commercial lead mine. The main shaft, with its lodes running north-south, was just off the centre of the cliff at Fistral Beach. Over the years this mine had been known by several names; Fistral Mine, North Wheal Providence and finally

Newquay Golf Course photo courtesy of Keith Riley
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Newquay Golf Course photo courtesy of Keith Riley

Newquay Consols. When the mine closed in 1890 its associated spoil heaps were used to fill in the shafts and the whole site was contoured to form the basis of this wonderful 18 hole links course. With its magnificent views overlooking Fistral bay and the luxury of all year round use, it is hardly surprising that it became a major attraction for tourists when it opened in 1894. Ludicrous as it now seems, local children, acting as caddies, could earn through gratuities, twice that of their father’s weekly wage. In 1906, a notice appeared on the course banning members from tipping caddies but soon after the notice had been posted, the boys and girls went on strike bringing the club to a stand-still. Apparently, few members wanted to suffer the indignity of carrying their own clubs. Thankfully times have changed.

Atlantic Road, at the far corner of the golf course, is where the old town cemetery can be found. Recent excavations have uncovered evidence of Iron Age settlements built one on top of the other. This proves that the area had been inhabited for thousands of years. Each of these round house settlements were abandoned after being engulfed in storm blown sand, before a new dwelling was rebuilt on top of the old. Towan Blystra, an early name for the town, means blown sand.

Aerial view over Newquay
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Aerial view over Newquay

The white tower of the golf club was not from the imagination of an eccentric architect but rather the product of various builders. The circular tower was constructed in 1835 for Captain Frederick Rogers RN by John Carne, a builder from St Columb Major. Later the tower was bought, as a holiday home, by the Gregor family. Reverend William Gregor, who gained world fame for discovering the metal Titanium, was responsible for adding the battlements.

This addition was made by John Carne’s son Richard, who later went on to play a major part in the development of Newquay by building the Wesley Chapel, Acland Place and Adelaide Place among others. The succession of the Gregor family passed through cousins and daughters to Sir Paul Molesworth, who built a private chapel onto the building and in 1873 Sir Richard Tangye rented the tower for his holidays prior to purchasing Glendorgal, an impressive house now a hotel overlooking Porth bay.

On the opposite side of the road you will see Tower Garage on the junction of Hope Terrace, this was the site of another fish cellar; the Hope. Next to it is a brick built car workshop surrounded by iron railing, this was the Rocket House, where the Dennetts rockets were used to shoot a line to ships in distress along the coast. Rocket practice day became a local event because on firing they produce gallons of smoke engulfing all present.