Civil engineering projects to use Cornish granite

Large quantities of Cornish granite are being transported from Penryn River to be used in major civil engineering projects - for the first time in almost 70 years.

Specialist Cornish marine contractor Keynvor MorLift are shipping thousands of tonnes of heavy grade ‘rock armour’ from Chywoon Quarry, close to Falmouth, from the deep-water Falmouth Wharves; with the rock set to be used for a large-scale South West coastal protection programme near Paignton.

To date, almost 15,500 tonnes of granite boulders has been extracted from the quarry and transported to Falmouth Wharves for installation on the KML’s rock barges, using 50t specialist excavators with large rock grabs.

The rock barge is towed out to Hollicombe beach using KML’s fleet of multipurpose vessels, where the stone is placed into the rock revetment after being discharged onto the beach - protecting the crumbling cliffs at Hollicombe and Oil Cove, as well as the railway line behind, from erosion caused by both the sea and extreme weather.

Such large quantities of Cornish granite haven’t been shipped from the vicinity since the 1950s, when Freeman’s Yard’s stone masonry business was still in operation further up river on its wharf in Penryn.

Diccon Rogers, MD of Keynvor MorLift, said: “We’re very proud to see our historic Falmouth Wharves still being used for marine industries, as this has been a working river for hundreds of years.

“It’s also a brilliant success story for the South West having Cornish granite and a Cornish firm with the capability to ship and place it, working alongside Devon council with the proactive mindsight to protect its coastline from the elements.”

Set to be completed later this month, KML’s rock armour project will provide protect to two lengths of Hollicombe beach, which stretches 110 metres from further wave damage in extreme conditions.