The geography of Hayle and its surroundings is dominated by the estuary of the River Hayle, which flows into St Ives Bay. The town has an industrial past stretching all the way back to Neolithic times, when it was an important centre for the tin industry. The port serviced trade with nations as far away as the Eastern Mediterranean, a fact which is proven by pieces of pottery from that part of the world found in the area. More recently, the town played an important role in the Cornish mining industry, with the foundries of Harvey & Co making the machinery which kept the mines going. A reminder of that time remains in the form of Foundry Square, with a railway viaduct towering over it – the square used to be the western terminus of the Hayle Railway. The estuary is a magnet for birdwatchers, being frequented by rare species such as great northern divers. More exotic species of bird can be found in the long-standing tourist attraction Paradise Park, just off the road leading round towards St Ives. The town itself has always struck me as rather strung-out, mainly running alongside the main thoroughfare. Recently the assortment of small shops, food outlets and other businesses were joined by a massive Asda superstore, dominating the waterfront to the extent that my husband and I were totally disoriented the last time we drove through the town.
Map of the area.
|Photo by Roger Geach, via Wikimedia Commons|