Hayle (Cornish: Heyl Sen Elwyn) is located in the Hundred of Penwith. The ancient port of Hayle is situated on the north coast of Cornwall protected by the wide sandy estuary of the River Hayle. There were foundries here in support of mining, including Harvey's Foundry. Copperhouse is one half of the town of Hayle, way down in West Cornwall; the other half of the town was Foundry and there was always a deal of rivalry between the two. Copperhouse was so called because it was the site of the copper smelters for the mines in the area. The Cornish Copper Company established this site in 1758, but it declined about 50 years later due to the massive pollution and ill-effects on health. The copper ore from Cornwall then was then exported across the sea to South Wales, whilst return trips brought coal for tin smelting. So at one time Hayle was an important exporter of copper ore but its future now is linked to the tourist industry.
Hayle was created from part of Phillack parish in 1888 and was combined with Phillack 1935 and incorporated part of St Erth in 1937.
Hayle is a small market town, originally in the parishes of St. Erth, and Phillack; it is situated on the eastern side of the river Hayle, between three and four miles from St. Ives, of which port it is a member. On the shore are extensive quays, considerable mercantile establishments, and iron foundries; the latter furnishing to the mines steam engines of vast power; the works at which these are constructed are well worthy the inspection of strangers, to whom admission is at all times readily granted. The exports are copper ore for Wales, and the imports, coal, lime and iron. A market-house has recently been erected; the market is held on Saturdays. The town stands on a flat area amidst extensive sandhills (known as towans). Just north of the town was Wheal Alfred Consols, producing tin and later in its working life copper, well known by mineral collectors for the fine specimens of pyromorphite. The port served the Central Mining Belt exporting copper ore to the smelters in Wales, importing timber props and coal for the mine engines. What is now an important wildlife habitat, Carnsew Pool, was constructed at this time, the sluices were opened to keep the treacherous harbour entrance free of sand. Indeed older locals can remember back to the 1950s when the harbour was still a bustling place; the the sluices were still in regular use and the channel dredged. Hayle Bay can be treacherous and should only be navigated by experienced skippers. Hundreds of people were still employed by 'The Docks', with imports of coal and timber, exports of scrap metal. In the sand dunes was a Chemical Works, long since dismantled.
The Upper reaches of the Estuary are now an RSPB Nature Reserve, and the winter home often to thousands of migrants, from widgeon to teal, to curlew. Little Egret are resident and, on occasions, it may be possible to see some of these beautiful birds. Hayle Towans and Gwithian Towans beaches are popular with visitors, with lifeguards on duty during the holiday Season.
Most parish and church description(s) on these pages are from Lake's Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 - 1873)