REDRUTH and the surrounding area is Cornwall's heartland. As a centre of enterprise and inventiveness it produced and drew to it some of the best technical minds of the 18th and 19th centuries.
James Watt and Matthew Boulton sent the young engineer William Murdoch to Cornwall in 1779. As their Senior engine-erector he made his home in Cross Street from 1782 to 1798. Murdoch's spare time was spent in design and innovation.

In 1792 William Murdoch succeeded in lighting his house and office in Cross Street, Redruth, by piped coal gas. This was a world first which provided the foundation for today's giant international gas industry.



For more information about William Murdoch and his achievements you may wish to read
"The Third Man: the life and times of William Murdoch 1754-1839" by John Griffiths (1992).

Humble Houses, such as Murdoch House, made noteworthy by tbe quirks of history, often become museums to the events and activities of long ago. It is important to us that great advances in learning and notable achievements have their monuments.
William Murdoch's novel work had more significance than much which has been given greater praise and greater prominence.
Fittingly, his Cornish home is still active in making its contribution to our learning, albeit in a quiet and very different way
Thousands of ordinary Cornish men and women and their achievements made Cornwall what it is today. This is recognised in a remarkable collection of data which is thought to be the most extensive record of its kind.


For more infiormation about the Cornish Biographical Data-Bank. contact
Murdoch House, Cross Street,
Redruth, TR15 2BU
Tel: +44 (0)1209 215736

What is Murdoch House?

In this house over 200 years ago William Murdoch, the father of the modern gas industry, pioneered the first practical system of piped-gas lighting anywhere in the world. Now in the ownership of the Society of Friends Trust Limited the house "is to be used for educational and religious purposes". Thus it is a centre for research projects. The Management Committee is keen to promote the continued use of the house for community activities and rooms can be hired at modest rates.

Murdoch House is also the home of an innovatory research project, the Cornish Global Migration Programme.
Documenting in as much detail as possible those Cornish people who left their homeland.
Murdoch House has established many links with Cornish societies and individuals through out the world. The thousands of records gathered shed more light on the process of emigration and vital aspects of the making of modern Cornwall.

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