ST AUSTELL, a market town in the St Austell parliamentary division of Cornwall, England, 14 m. N.E. of Truro, on the Great Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 3340. It is pleasantly situated on a steep slope 2 m. inland from St Austell bay on the south coast. To the north the high ground culminates at 1034 ft. above the sea in Hensbarrow Downs, so-called from a barrow standing at the loftiest point. The church of the Holy Trinity is Perpendicular, with Decorated chancel, richly ornamented in a manner unusual in the county. The town is the centre of a district productive of china clay (kaolin), about 400,000 tons being annually exported by sea to the potteries of Staffordshire and to Lancashire, when it is used in the calicoworks for sizing. The deposits of clay became important about 1763, and Josiah Wedgwood acquired mines in the neighbourhood. Mines were previously worked for tin and copper, and in some cases after being exhausted of ore continued to be worked for clay. The Carclaze mine to the north-east is notably rich; it is a shallow excavation of great superficial extent, which appears to have been worked from very early times. Close to St Austell is a good example of an ancient baptistery, called Menacuddle Well, the little chapel being Early English.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)