Moorswater – Industrial Past & Present

Moorswater village formed at the junction of the Liskeard & Caradon Railway and the Liskeard & Looe Canal. The flat valley floor was ideal for a goods yard and the reliable water supply helped other industries develop including a concrete works and wool factory. As freight increased the canal was replaced with a railway.

At its height the village was well populated and had a Methodist Chapel. Copper ore was taken from Looe to Barry in South Wales, the barges returning with coal to heat buildings, power steam engines and make town gas. Horse-drawn wagons carried coal and passengers up the New Road to Liskeard.

An old kiln beside the level crossing is a reminder that lime was an essential import both for the building industry and agriculture, Roasted lime was spread on fields to reduce soil acidity and toxin levels in crops.

By 1910 mine traffic had fallen off and a new railway linked Liskeard to Coombe Junction. Moorswater lost its function as the transfer point for passengers and freight. The declining village gave way to the A38 road widening in the 1960s. Only a weekly cement train still departs from Moorswater. Dominating Moorswater is the mainline railway viaduct. In 1881 Brunel’s weaker wooden-topped structure was replaced with stronger piers and a cast iron parapet. The original piers can be seen next to the viaduct.

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