THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
GRAMPOUND HERITAGE CENTRE. These children's boots come from Croggon's tannery in Grampound. They were made for the shop display there. Two hundred years ago Grampound had five tanneries. Part of the town was called 'Bermonsay' after the London leather quarter.
Croggons tannery ran from 1712 to 2002. Tanning took a long time. After washing, hides were placed in lime solution for two to three weeks to remove hair. Hides were then laid flat in vats with oak bark (or ground Turkish acorns after 1889) between the layers and soaked in tannin for 18 months to two years. Argentinian and Dutch hides were tanned with local hides and shipped out of Charlestown.
In the early 20th century the number of Cornish tanneries declined from over 18 to two and from 1952 Croggons was the only Cornish tannery. Apart from the tannery Grampound is best known as Cornwall's most corrupt parliamentary borough. Several Croggons elected MPs there up to 1820.
Photo: Bernie Pettersen