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Telegraph Museum Porthcurno, Porthcurno

(4.5/5 based on 300+ reviews on the web)
The Porthcurno Telegraph Museum is a museum located in the small coastal village of Porthcurno Cornwall, UK. Porthcurno was the point at which many submarine telegraph cables—transatlantic and to other locations—came ashore. The museum, which opened in May 1998, is housed in the former telegraph facility.HistoryThe SS Great Eastern liner made by Isambard Kingdom Brunel was employed as a cable laying ship. Its size made it the first choice to lay the original cables that linked the administrative outposts of the British Empire. The first European cable was not a success, its small diameter created too great a resistance to the voltage used and the signal was too weak to be reliable. An attempt to increase the voltage pressure resulted in insulation breakdown and subsequent failure of the telegraph link. The cables are heavily armoured for protection against damage as they come ashore, a lighter construction technique is used at depth on the ocean floor. Modern cables are usually Fibre optic and are much lighter in construction, international information is now made available of the locations of submarine cables. When the system was completed, central government in Britain had a method of effective communication with its civil servants and military commanders throughout the world. At the outbreak of World War II, the existing surface installations were thought to be far too vulnerable to attack, and in 1941, miners were employed to cut tunnels into the solid granite of the valley's hillside to house the telegraphy equipment. Porthcurno telegraphy facility closed in 1970, 100 years after it first began its operations.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Winter visit when most other attractions are closed or scaled back, the telegraph museum was in full flow, staffed, friendly and several volunteers keen to demonstrate old technology. The tunnels were...  more »
  • It was quite expensive to get in. But after i visited it was all worth it. There was a talk on the top floor at 1pm i think theres a few a day, about the history of the cables in Porthcurno (Very inte...  more »
  • We arrived at 11.30am during a very sunny day in February half term, and weren't convinced the museum was open as there were very few people in the car park. But it was open indeed. And we were warmly...  more »
Google
  • Interesting museum, this place has a lot of history, went on to change the world. 🎙🎛 Not forgetting to add, friendly staff present!
  • Returning visit for free! Still just as good 364 days later.
  • Explore the rarely-heard-of history of pre-Internet communications. Lots of interactive stuff for kids as well and a beach a short walk away if they get bored!
  • Very interesting, a recently (2014) redeveloped museum that we stumbled across but thought was brilliant.
  • Interesting day out for family.