Porthcurno Telegraph Museum

Porthcurno Telegraph Museum

  • Historic centre of world communications
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Plenty of free car parking and good access
  • Cafe and Inn close by

Porthcurno is situated just three miles away from Land´s End, the most south-westerly point of Cornwall.

Until modern transport opened up this remote part of Britain, Porthcurno was very isolated and little-known to those other than seafarers and the few local inhabitants.

In 1870, Porthcurno began its life as an important centre of international communications. It was in this year that a chain of telegraph cables linking Britain with India was completed. Porthcurno was chosen as the landing point for the British end of this cable link. In 1872 the four small companies that had laid the Porthcurno to Bombay cable were merged to form the Eastern Telegraph Company. This company went on to develop a world-wide telegraph cable network and Porthcurno was its major station.

In 1915 the training role of the station became more formal and 12 out of 30 recruits taken on at Electra House in London were sent to Porthcurno for training. In 1950 an Engineering College was opened there.

To qualify as a telegraph operator a probationer was allowed to make only one error for every thousand words transmitted. Any lower level of accuracy brought deferred promotion or punishment.

Visitors to the museum today can find out all about the Victorian internet and the secret communications of World War II. They can also find out about the social history of the parish of St Levan in our local history centre.

On your visit you can also picnic in their garden, book a tennis court or take a 5 minute stroll along the cable trail to the beautiful National Trust beach and coastal path. The Porthcurno Beach Café and Shop is only a few minutes stroll across the car park towards the beach. A friendly café atmosphere is encouraged by bright, airy décor and seating on the patio looking towards the sea.

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Tel: 01736 810966


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