The grandson, great-grandson and great-granddaughter of a blacksmith who worked at Mount Edgcumbe in the 1800s will be visiting his old workshop during a family reunion, with some coming from as far as Australia.
They are all related to Philip Cornelius, who was born in 1840, lost an eye while at Mount Edgcumbe, but continued to work there until his retirement. Many of the railings, gates and tree guards he produced in his workshop were sacrificed for munitions in World War Two.
Part of the history that Plymouth City Council mention is that Cornelius married Mary Lobb from Millbrook, whose father Charles was also a blacksmith. They lived on the estate at Empacombe, close to ‘Home Farm’ which supplied the vegetables and dairy produce to the Mount Edgcumbe family.
The blacksmith’s workshop is currently closed to the public as it is home to one of the many species of bats that reside within the buildings but the tools and fireplace can be seen through the window.
In the crib room (the little room where staff had their ‘crib’ or lunch) are plaques commemorating staff who worked on the estate, including Cornelius.
(image: Mount Edgecumbe’s French Garden)