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Settling Their Differences

This installation commemorates the tin mining community and culture of 200 years ago with these semi abstract granite sculptures.

Conflict would often break out between mining men. The men of Breage regularly did not see eye to eye with Wendron miners. Inevitably, violence would erupt.

It is said, they “settled their differences” on this very spot. Therefore, the slight depression in the ground here is of particular interest and is part of our Cornish Mining Heritage. These dynamic sculptures mark this historic place and evoke the strength and force of those brutal conflicts between the hard men of the mines.

Fighting during this time should not be confused with Cornish wrestling, as these pugilistic conflicts mostly pre-date, what was then, an emerging sport.

The two stones have been carefully selected. The standing figure is sculpted from Tregonning granite from the Breage area, while the other figure is sculpted from Carnmenellis granite from the Wendron area. The character of each figure has been heavily influenced by the initial shape of each stone, with some of the original surfaces intentionally left unfinished. 

Interestingly, the Tregonning stone used in this sculpture has its own history, as it was a wall end post for a particularly large heavy gate (much larger than a typical field gate of this area). The stem of the old iron gudgeons are still visible as a scar to his left leg. This stone may have once stood triumphantly at a mine entrance somewhere in the Breage parish and now it stands proudly again on Trew Green. 

The Carnmenellis stone also bears an interesting feature in the form of overlapping orthogonal Feldspar crystals in the shape of a cross - a very unusual formation.  According to Cornish folklore, feldspar crystals in the shape of a cross are seen as being particularly lucky - perhaps the falling fighter is not yet “down and out” and his luck may eventually prevail.

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