The extensive park at the Copperhouse end of Hayle – nearest to the A30 – is a wonderful asset to the area. With a children’s play park, extensive open grassed area and a skate park, it has appeal to all ages in the community. It also has a link to the other major landmark at this end of Hayle; the large, derelict mill just behind the Lidl supermarket.
A large proportion of the land for the park was donated by the family of Henry Hosken, whose family were connected with flour milling in the town for several hundred years. The mill building seen today was built in 1852 by Henry’s grandfather, William Hosken; the date and his initials can be seen through the scaffold fence! A fire destroyed a previous mill on the site in that year, and the family rebuilt the mill larger than it had previously been.
Penmare House – once set to the west of the park area, was demolished in 2004 to make way for development - including Penmare Close & Penmare Court. This is where the Hosken family lived for several generations. A stone with the name of the house on has been inset at the edge of the development.
When William Hosken passed away, his son Samuel took over the business, and went in to partnership with two other families to create the milling conglomerate Hosken, Trevithick & Polkinghorn – the initials HTP were a familiar site on flour-distribution vehicles in the area through to the 1920s. Samuel’s eldest son, Henry, was born in 1865 at Penmare House, and lived and worked in Hayle for most of his life, accruing much respect and renown in the commercial and agricultural sectors (1). Samuel passed away in 1898, and is buried at Phillack church, alongside his wife, Mary Cardell, and his parents.
Henry married in 1893 (to Louie Evans Harvey from Sennen) and the couple had one child – Leonard Henry – born in 1903. After Henry passed away, his family made a donation of 2 acres of land for the creation of a park in 1948 - a lasting legacy that brings enjoyment to local residents and visitors alike.
The gates to the park host two plaques: one commemorates the gift of land from the Hosken family, and the opening of the park by HRH Duke of Edinburgh (on 30th October 1952, the year that Queen Elizabeth came to the throne) in his capacity as the President of the National Playing Fields Association. The other records the dedication of the gates to Mabel Hosking, wife of the donor, Mr T G Hosking.
Thomas George Hosking had been born at Trevarnon Farm, near Gwithian, in 1880, the youngest of four children, and the only surviving son, of Thomas and Jane Hosking. He was living at Trevarnon in 1908, when he married Mary Mabel Williams from Fore Street, Phillack - the daughter of an outfitter - at Phillack church. Both he and Mabel were 28 at the time of their marriage. Later, the couple moved to Godrevy Farm, near to the lighthouse, where their daughter Rona Jean was born in October 1913. She was baptised in December of that year, the delay perhaps indicating that she or Mabel were unwell in the months after her birth. Sadly, Rona died aged only 6 years old in 1920.
Thomas Hosking’s wife, Mabel, passed away in October 1951, and the gift of the park gates was officially donated by Mr T G Hosking almost exactly one year later. In the newspaper report of the park’s opening, it is not clear if Mr Hosking was present, but the report does record that he also gave a gift of swings for the park, in memory of his daughter, Rona Jean. (2)
Mabel, Rona and Thomas are all laid to rest in Phillack churchyard, just up the hill from the park; a photo of their resting place is shown to the right.
The skate park facility was built with funds from the Jamie Farrar Memorial Fund, money that was raised by Jamie’s family and friends after his death in a traffic accident in 2002 near Loggans Moor, aged only 12.
Jamie is also commemorated by the naming of a road: a development of houses offered for rent by the Penwith Housing Association, just up the hill from the park, was named Farrar Close in his memory.
(1) The Royal Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet & General Advertiser - 29th September, 1898
(2) West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser - 6th November, 1952