All towns have histories, although some would seem at first glance to have more history than others. We all know about these places with their own walls, castle and cathedral that prove that they are 'ancient towns'. Redruth has none of these but it does have a past. It's one, furthermore, that its people can be justly proud of.
The Redruth we see today is almost wholly a product of the last 250 years. It owed its growth to its good fortune in lying at the centre of what was in the 1700s one of the richest parts of land in the world. It was the deep mining of copper after the 1730s, which catapulted Redruth out of its status of quiet market town - in reality a village. Formerly overshadowed by its neighbours of Truro, Helston and Falmouth, it became one of the major urban centres in Cornwall.
The history of the town has, therefore, three parts. First, there was a long period during which it was a small market town of less than a thousand souls; then from around 1700 to the 1850s the town grew rapidly to house a population of over 8,000 as mining prospered; and finally, from the 1860s, the chronic problems of local industry heralded a period in which the town searched for a new role. Within this framework perhaps the best way to get a feel for the past of Redruth and its people is to walk around its streets.