Stone-built Redruth came to the fore in the 18th century when there was a sudden demand for copper. It quickly became one of the largest and richest mining areas in the country.|
William Murdoch (1754–1839), a founding father of gas lighting, lived here and as early as 1792 is said to have used gas to light his house. In nearby Saltash stands Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s remarkable Royal Albert Bridge, opened in 1859 to carry the railway across the River Tamar. The cottage of Mary Newman, wife to Sir Francis Drake, can also be found in Saltash.