William West of Tredenham- A gallop through his life

As I leave John Taylor behind and prepare for my talk at the Par old Cornwall Society this blog will become home for my random musings on William West, the last Great Cornish Engineer.  To set the scene for the next set of posts here is a gallop through  the famous engineer’s life:


William West was born on  Dolcoath mine as the son of a farmer, had a poor start and poor education, but held a candle for Trevithick. He became an engineer through a mixture of skills, luck and contacts. He learnt shed loads from the best Cornish Engineer of the time, was head hunted to build a very famous steam engine, invented several things, became rich. Built lots of engines, became even richer. Bought a big mine, and yet again became richer. West was born poor, died rich, and was known on his death as the last great Cornish Engineer.

Oh yes…this is William West of Tredenham, not the other William West of Trevithick fame, be careful of confusion,their paths did cross several times, and some writers have merged their lives. This one was not related to Trevithick, whatever else you may read.

To learn a bit more, start following this blog. To learn even more read one of  these books.


The Last Great Cornish Engineer (paperback)

Sketch of the life of William West of Tredenham



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