PMSA Celebrates St Piran’s Day

When your office is in central London, it would be very easy to forget the tens of thousands of incredible monuments and sculptures adorning public spaces in the rest of the UK. We’re on a mission this year to cover as much of the UK as possible in our projects, social media and news updates. 

Today, as it’s St Piran’s Day, we’re focussing on Cornwall. At the corner of Cross Street and Trevenson Street in Camborne, stands a monument to Richard Trevithick; the sculpture, by LS Merrifield, was completed in 1928. The gilded bronze statue shows Trevithick holding a model of a steam locomotive and a set of callipers.

 LS Merrifield was an interesting sculptor who worked from the end of the 19th Century through to the end of WW2. Specialising in portrait sculpture, Merrifield designed several WW1 memorials featuring figures, including the soldier monument outside the former Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry garrison in Bodmin – now Cornwall’s Regimental Museum.

 Richard Trevithick was born in Illogan in 1771. He invented high-pressure steam engines which were used in local and international mines. He nicknamed his creation the Puffing Devil and successfully tested it by going up Camborne Hill on Christmas Eve 1801, a journey that provided the inspiration for the well-known Cornish folk song 'Camborne Hill'.

 Cornish language phrases of the day …

Excuse me, but I think that’s my statue| Gav dhymm, mes henn ow delow, dell dybav
Look at that! A steam engine!  | Mir orth henna! Jynn-ethen!
Nyns yw unn delow ethen nevra lowr| One statue is never enough
Gool Peran Lowen | Happy St Piran’s Day

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PMSA HQ