A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

Soaprock and porcelain on the Lizard

The simple act of pouring boiling water into a cup belies a complex history; the origins of which partly lie in a stretch of coastline between Mullion Cove and Pentreath on the Lizard peninsular and the subsequent manufacture of Soft Paste Porcelain.

Soaprock quarry of Penruddock near Mullion Cove now home to diverse species of plants and animals.

For it was from these Serpentine cliffs during the 1680’s that samples of soaprock were sent to the Royal Society in London to try to establish its characteristics and possible economic uses. By the 1720’s it was known that the high magnesium content of this metamorphic rock provided heat resistant properties for the production of porcelain. William Borlase in 1729 presented the work of Dr John Woodward who noted that soapy clay at Kynance and Gew Gaze was suitable for porcelain manufacture.