With the sudden growth in mining there was over-crowding and mine workers often worked in dangerous conditions.

The stone coffin rest in St Euny’s lych-gate is unusually long to accommodate two or even three coffins at a time after a mine accident or during a cholera epidemic.

Redruth doctors became world-leaders in treating mine injuries at a time when medicine and surgery were beginning a transformation into more scientific professions.

 

East Pool Miners c1910 A trepanated skull - the practice was performed by Redruth surgeons on miners

 

 

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William Pryce

William Pryce was a Redruth surgeon who lived from 1735 to 1790, buried at St Euny.
Pryce was famous for a gruesome but effective way of treating compressed fractures of the skull. Trepanning or trephination involves drilling a hole in the skull to relieve pressure after an injury or in certain diseases.
William Pryce would operate after an injury, and without any anaesthetic, on miners who would otherwise have died slow lingering deaths. Redruth surgeons had a remarkable success rate.

Memorial to William Pryce in St Euny Church The tomb of William Pryce in St Euny Churchyard