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In Mexico, in the 1820s, the silver mines of Pachuca and Real were derelict and flooded after the bloody war for independence.The new government was keen to see them reopen, and in 1824 the main Hidalgo mines were sold to a group of London investors, the "Company of Gentlemen Adventurers in the Mines of Real del Monte", who immediately began recruiting miners and engineers in Cornwall.Pachuca is the "cradle of Mexican Football", with the oldest club in the country, and Mundo Fútbol, Mexico's lavish football museum.As with much of the Cornish heritage, there's a rivalry over ownership between Pachuca and Real.The city's foremost landmark in the main square is its monumental clock tower, presented by the British community, with Rule as main contributor, for the centenary of Mexican independence in 1910, and with a chime that mimics Big Ben's.Alongside it is the Neoclassical former Rule Bank, while a few streets away is the grand mansion that he built for himself, the Casa Rule, now the City Hall.They also set up their own enterprises, none more so than Frank (or Don Francisco) Rule, the "Silver King" of Pachuca, who arrived in 1853, aged 17.
A string of paste shops, from holes-in-the-wall to glossy drive-throughs, lines the highway into Pachuca from Mexico City.
The "great trek" of this first Cornish contingent was a combination of the epic and the absurd.
Some 130 men, women and children sailed out in spring 1825, with the finest mining technology of the day – Cornish steam beam engines.
Typically Cornish mine engine-houses and their tall chimneys still stand out in the landscape around Pachuca and Real – two of them are now mine museums – but the community's greatest monument is the extraordinary English cemetery, the Panteón Inglés, on a hilltop above Real del Monte.
The wistful Victorian graveyard is enclosed by a stone wall, shrouded in pines and lit up by views over the town below.