Cornwall

Cornwall is a small coal mining town in the Fingal Valley. The Blackwood mine, also known as the Cornwall colliery, is run by the Cornwall Coal Company. It is the only supplier of coal mined in Tasmania. The major consumers of Tasmanian coal are currently the Cement Australia plant at Railton and the Norske Skog newsprint mill at Boyer. Production of raw coal in 2009 and 2010 totalled 646,148 tonnes, with 372,441t of saleable coal produced.

Coalminers' Heritage Wall

The Coalminers’ Heritage Wall and Heritage Walk at the tiny settlement of Cornwall is a monument to the miners who hand-tunnelled a coal mine beneath the Mount Nicholas Range.


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Where Is it?

85km south-east of Launceston.

Things To See And Do

Coal has been mined in various areas of Tasmania from the earliest days of European settlement, with major deposits of black coal being discovered in the Fingal Valley in 1863. Cornwall is a centre for coal mining in the Fingal Valley. The completion of the railway line to St Marys in 1886 enabled the establishment of large scale coal mining in the Fingal Valley and this area has provided the majority of Tasmania’s coal since this time.

Competition from oil caused a decline in the coal mining industry until more efficient mining and transport methods introduced in the mid-1960s allowed steaming coal to become competitive. The Cornwall Coal Company is the only supplier of coal mined in Tasmania. The company currently mines black coal from underground and open cut mines near St Marys, from where the product is transported to a washery at Duncan Siding near Fingal, from the Duncan Colliery at Fingal, and from Kimbolton in southeast Tasmania.

Coal was first discovered at Cornwall in 1843 when a farmhand from nearby “Woodlawn” went Hunting in the hills and found that his dog, digging in a badger hole, has scratched out coal. However it wasn’t until 1886 when the railway was opened between Conara and St Marys that The Cornwall Coal Co. was formed and coal production began at Cornwall, hence the town evolved from what began as a camp with a few huts and a tent or two. The 1890’s saw the opening of Mt Nicholas, 3 kilometres to the west and Jubilee 4 kilometres to the east with a number of other mines at Fingal and Avoca opening in the early part of the 20th century and coal became an important commodity for Tasmania with many industries using coal for energy along with Tasmanian railways for use in their steam trains.

Coal was first discovered at Cornwall in 1843 when a farmhand from nearby “Woodlawn” went Hunting in the hills and found that his dog, digging in a badger hole, has scratched out coal. However it wasn’t until 1886 when the railway was opened between Conara and St Marys that The Cornwall Coal Co. was formed and coal production began at Cornwall, hence the town evolved from what began as a camp with a few huts and a tent or two.

Surrounding Area

Cullenswood

The village of Cullenswood grew out of a pioneer farming property of the same name.  Christ Church, Cullenswood, was completed in 1847 and by 1851 Robert had secured his nephew, Dr Samuel Parsons, from Ireland, to take over as the first clergyman. He was installed by Van Diemens Land’s first Anglican Bishop Francis Russell Nixon.  By this time the Break O’ Day Plains was becoming well settled with some six to eight grants issued in the area around “Cullenswood”.
The need for a town to service these settlers, servants and tenant farmers was obvious and a village began to spring up around the church.  By 1858 when a Catholic Church was built a few hundred yards to the west of the Anglican Church, there was a Post Office, Store and a hotel called the Tasmanian Inn (This is not to be confused with the Tasmanian Hotel at Fingal) at Cullenswood and until St Marys established as a town some years later, Cullenswood was the main service centre for the eastern end of the Fingal Valley.
Today the village of Cullenswood is nothing more than the Anglican Church and its Rectory, both of which have seen better days. The property of “Cullenswood”, however, has survived well and, along with “Malahide” at Fingal, is still in the hands of descendants of the original grantees.

Cornwall County

The name of Cornwall is also applied to the area in which it is found - The Cornwall Land District - one of the twenty land districts of Tasmania which are part of the Cadastral divisions of Tasmania. It contains most of Launceston (England's Launceston is in the Country of Cornwall). It was formerly Cornwall County, one of the 18 counties of Tasmania and one of the first eleven proclaimed in 1836. It was named after the then southwestern county of England.

An earlier Cornwall County existed from 24 September 1804 until 1813 as an administrative division whilst Van Diemen's Land was administered as two units. It was defined as all of Van Diemen's Land north of the 42nd parallel (now between Trial Harbour and Friendly Beaches), and governed by William Paterson. Buckingham County occupied the remainder of the island.


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