|Harvey's Foundry and Copperhouse Foundry were together principal drivers of the technological revolution that made 19th century industrial Britain a world leader in trade and influence.
While almost all sign of the Copperhouse Foundry has been lost, several key buildings associated with the Harvey's Foundry have survived. Their repair and re-use has been the inspiration for the Townscape Heritage Initiative/Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme and its backbone.
Mechanization drove Harvey's principal business in exporting mining equipment and machinery to many parts of the world. But much of the work of moving materials and goods around the foundry site and the quays was undertaken by heavy horses; and the farm provided foodstuffs for the animals and the workforce. Indeed, agriculture and haulage were an important economic mainstay of the business for Harvey & Co over many years.
The works to the Harvey's Foundry complex have so far been prioritised into three phases.
Foundry Phase I
The first buildings to be tackled (Phase I) were the company offices and showrooms at 24 Foundry Square, where the Harvey's Foundry Trust project office is located.
The remaining buildings include The Foundry Farmyard (Phase II) and the Granary (Phase III).
The second phase of works to the buildings of the historic Harvey's Foundry included the repair of the surviving fabric of the farmyard structures. The repair and re-use of the farm was critical to the success of Hayle Townscape. As such, its funding was ring-fenced so that funders' contributions to the costs of repairing and bringing foundry buildings back into viable use could only be spent only for those purposes, and not re-allocated to other buildings or projects. This cluster of farm buildings frames the foundry farmyard which closely adjoins the foundry. The group includes the east and west stables, a cart or wagon shed and the foundry's fire engine house. Several structures remain largely unaltered and are constructed of stone, brick and cob.
Works began in 2004 to remove fire damaged material and to stabilise unsafe masonry in the east stables and granary. The finished works will conserve the historic fabric of the original farmyard buildings; but they also added new floors,doors and windows and a new access balcony to the first floor workshop units in the west stables.
The east stables now provide three live-work units, essentially small studio/workshops for artists and craftspeople with associated living accommodation over them. This element of the project was undertaken with the cooperation and financial assistance of the Guinness Group Trust which shares their management.
The stables have been roofed in Cornish slate and the farmyard paved in a mix of original setts and new granite flags. The fire engine shed has been repaired and houses a small jewellery workshop. The cart or wagon shed has been converted to provide additional work/shop space (musical instruments) and has a green, planted roof.
The future objectives of the Harvey's Foundry Trust include creating a vibrant business, educational, cultural and community focus at Foundry.
Phase 3 will create a heritage and education centre, managed 'grow-on workspace', expand the office provision and create a purpose-built archaeological research centre.
The Granary Barn and Engine House will be transformed into a heritage and education centre that explains the history of the site and Hayle, as well as providing flexible exhibition, performance and community space. The Plantation Store and Pattern Shop will be used to expand the workshop and office provision. The Pattern Shop and Old Cart Sheds will be combined as link buildings that also provides managed workspace. The Forge Site has the potential to open up the rest of the development; this large site will house the Archaeological Research Centre, and extended office provision.
Bids for funding the works to Phase III and, perhaps, further phases beyond that are to be prepared by the Harvey's Foundry Trust, which has taken on the ownership and management of the Harvey's Foundry buildings from Penwith District Council.
The Harvey's Foundry Trust's Project Development Manager, Ms Laura Christon, is managing the Trust's assets and developing the bids for future resources for Phase III.