TEL:01736 810966 Porthcurno Telegraph Museum, Old Cable Lane, Porthcurno, Saint Levan, Penzance, Cornwall TR19 6JX
Summer: 10am-5pm. Please see website for further details.
Located in the small coastal village of Porthcurno you will find the Telegraph Museum, set in its own grounds in the valley and chronicling the unique story of the village from Victorian times to WWII. This was the place where many telegraph cables came ashore and linked to transatlantic locations, and as such Porthcurno's telegraph centre was the British hub for international cable communications from 1870 - 1970. The Museum is housed in the former telegraph facility and was started by former employees of Cable and Wireless. There are various samples of cable design and the history of submarine cable laying ships, as well as a working collection of equipment at the Museum.
In WWII secret tunnels were dug to house the entire telegraph operations. The tunnels were gas and bomb proof and provided 14 secure cables out of the UK to its allies. The building was also used as a training college for the communications industry until 1993, and once formed the largest and busiest telegraph cable station in the world, but the old buildings were not designed for thousands of visitors, so after receiving some funding the space has been sensitively redeveloped in order for visitors to discover the Victorian Internet, hear about the secret communications that were sent from Porthcurno during WWII and see the working equipment.
In recent years a new exhibition has opened up at the Museum called "Nerve centre of Empire'. This project by Exeter University is aimed as an educational experience for children. The Museum was also featured on the BBC's "What the Victorians Did for Us" and is a fascinating place to visit with regular demonstrations and talks throughout the day.
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