Pictorial History of Australia's Little Cornwall

Research output: Book/ReportBook


In the 1840s Cornish miners and their families came pouring into South Australia to take their part in the new colony's great copper boom. They came to lend their home-grown expertise to extracting the rich ore that gave South Australia a world-wide reputation as being the Copper Kingdom.

These 'Cousin Jacks', as they were called, left Old Cornwall by the thousands when the news of the copper discoveries became known. In a matter of only a few years they had created Cornish communities with the same traditions, the same mining prowess, the same piety and the same determination to adhere to their own identity, as the Cornish people they had left behind. Miners, mining Captains and mining engineers stepped ashore at Port Adelaide and immediately set about putting such names as Burra, Kapunda, Moonta and Wallaroo firmly on the map of Australia. These names record not only the vast mines and smelters, but the townships as well ... towns that often 'out-Cornished' Cornwall in their festivals, their religious observances and even in the ever-present local bands.

Even after the end of immigration in the mid-1880s, the mines lived on and the Cornish traditions flourished. In this widely researched book, Philip Payton has recorded in words and pictures the human face of the history of Australia's Little Cornwall as it was and as it still is today.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAdelaide
PublisherWakefield Press
Number of pages96
ISBN (Print)9781743056554, 1743056559
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Moonta
  • South Australia
  • Cornish miners
  • Copper mining
  • Burra
  • Kapunda
  • Wallaroo


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