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Home of Richard Trevithick
Higher Penponds Road, Penponds, Camborne, Cornwall, UK
Home of Richard Trevithick
associated engineer
Richard Trevithick
date  circa 1700
era  Stuart  |  category  Building  |  reference  SW636389
photo  Eleanor Knowles
The house where Cornish engineer and pioneer of steam locomotion Richard Trevithick lived much of his life is now known as Trevithick Cottage. It has been preserved and forms an important part of the county’s industrial heritage. It is sometimes open to the public.
Trevithick’s family moved to this cottage soon after Richard (1771-1833) was born — the fifth of eight children. He lived here until 1797, when he married Jane Harvey (1772-1868) and the couple moved to Redruth. They returned to live here in 1810, following his mother’s death, and stayed until Trevithick went to South America in 1816.
Originally the cottage had two rooms downstairs and one room upstairs with an attached stable, but it has been extended into a farmhouse. The walls are whitewashed killas (slate or other metamorphic rock) and granite rubble and brick, with brick chimneys and thatched roof. The wood-panelled parlour has been refurbished in a style that would have been familiar to Trevithick and contains related memorabilia. This room only is open to the public once a week from April to October.
It was taken over by the Cornish Engines Preservation Society in the 1900s and saved for posterity. The National Trust assumed ownership in 1967, though the Trevithick Trust administered the property between 1993 and 2004.
Trevithick’s great grandson Captain R.E. Trevithick unveiled a commemorative bronze plaque on 12th September 1953. It reads — "RICHARD TREVITHICK (1771-1833) THE ENGINEER AND PIONEER OF HIGH PRESSURE STEAM LIVED HERE". The cottage was Grade II listed on 29th October 1965, with a contemporaneous outbuilding being added to the listing on 12th September 1989.
Research: ECPK
bibliography
"Richard Trevithick: Giant of Steam” by Anthony Burton
Aurum Press Ltd, London, 2000
"The Cornish Giant: The Story of Richard Trevithick, father of the steam locomotive" by L.T.C. Rolt, Lutterworth Press, London, 1960
www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall
Location

Home of Richard Trevithick