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Telegraph Museum Porthcurno, Porthcurno

4.5
#7 of 68 in Museums in Cornwall
Specialty Museum Museum
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 Traveler Rating
345 reviews
Google
4.5
  • There's a lot of information to read for older visitors. There was also a wide range of hands on activities for those who prefer a more hands on approach. The staff were very helpful and there is also...  more »
  • Well worth a visit to this fascinating museum. The history of telegraphy in general and communications around the world is well worth exploring. A very decent little museum and an unexpectedly good cu...  more »
  • As we were staying in the area and we knew we were in a for a wet day we decided to visit. It proved to be a very good inside venue which kept us well occupied for 3 hours. We benefited from a 20% dis...  more »
Google
  • Very interesting visit here last week, information was excellent, good displays and a talk from a member of staff. We had no idea that this place had played such an important part in the world! All the staff were very friendly and welcoming and went out of their way to answer questions. Thank you!
  • A lot more interesting than I thought it was going to be. Worth a visit on a wet or cold day
  • Interesting exhibits and history even for people not into this sort of thing!
  • its a interesting place to visit but I couldn't spend all day there.
  • Really superb museum, maintained by people who obviously have a lot of love for the telegraph. Lots of working machines.

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