Great Granny’s early home

Great Granny Hall was born in St Just. Her father was a tin miner out in these far west parts of Cornwall and he chanced to be in St Just, with his wife, in 1848 when Great Granny was born. Her name then was Grace Williams.

We are always cautious when talking about the homes of miners. It would be easy to say they were still in St Just in 1851 but that would imply we knew they’d been there in the intervening three years since Grace was born. We’d better just say that they were in St Just at the time of the 1851 census.

The family lived on Chapel Street and it is the first house listed. So we reckon it was this one.


That’s the somewhat yellow looking dwelling between the white car and the white van.

There is clearly a chapel at the end of the street. What isn’t clear is that immediately to the left of what we think was where Grace lived there is another former chapel.

Let’s look up the street the other way.


The other chapel is the tall building just to the right of the red Landrover.

It’s hard, now, to imagine streets like this with the sound of miners’ boots walking along and no doubt with the chatter of children. But these cottages were the homes of miners and that was what most of the working men did back in 1851.


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2 Responses to “Great Granny’s early home”

  1. currentdescendent Says:

    Photos and movies with neighborhoods of this design always surprise me. I haven’t seen buildings set so close to the streets in the states. There are usually porches or fairly wide sidewalks.

  2. locksands Says:

    I’d say its fairly typical of early industrial UK. These days we think of Cornwall as a holiday resort but towns like Camborne, Redruth and this St Just developed very much on the mining business. There are plenty of similar streets.
    Some of my wife’s relatives ended up in Keweenaw in your home state of Michigan. It’s always said that any hole in the ground (ie a mine) will have a Cornishman in it.

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