Murdoch House was the home of William Murdoch – one of the most innovative inventors and engineers in history.
He lived here between 1782 and 1798 while he was employed by Boulton & Watt to look after their steam engines in the Cornish tin mines and thanks to his inventions, the house was the first building in the world to be lit by gas lighting. He was also very interested in the possibilities of steam and he built models of a prototype steam carriage. In 1784, he demonstrated the model in the living room at Murdoch House – the very first example of a machine moving under its own power in Great Britain and he may even have built a full size version which he tested on the open road; terrifying some locals in the process.
Nowadays, Murdoch House is available for community events and gatherings and also houses the Cornish Global Migration Programme. They have a complex database containing biographical details of many thousands of Cornish migrants and can provide a link with Cornish ancestors worldwide. There is also an archive of literature, documents and artefacts which help to explain the social and economic history of the Cornish Diaspora. Visitors are welcome.