News from Cornwall Heritage Trust

Crying the neck

On Monday 12th September, St Columb Old Cornwall Society will be holding their Annual ‘Crying the Neck’ at Trembleathe Barton, St Ervan PL27 7TA, by kind permission of Mr Richard Banbury. For a small charge, transport will be available from Trekenning Car Park, St Columb Major, leaving at 6.30pm.  Meet at the farm at 7pm for the Ceremony, then to St Ervan Church for a service of Thanksgiving, followed a by a Pasty Supper at St Ervan Village Hall where entertainment will be provided by Mark Hawken and friends. Payment of £5 for the supper and entertainment is payable on the door. Please follow the sign posting for parking and the event. Further details about this event and St Columb Old Cornwall Society from Sheila Neal (secretary) on... read more

Goodbye to Madeleine!

After 5 years the Trust waved goodbye to our Admin Secretary, Madeleine Baker, who retired last Thursday.  Madeleine joined us in 2011 just after the Trust had taken over the office space in Threemilestone; she quickly set up the office and has not stopped since! Celebrations included a lunchtime buffet with trustees before the last Council meeting where Madeleine was surprised with a beautiful cake and bouquet of flowers.  Last weekend a small group of staff and trustees ventured down to Sancreed Beacon where they enjoyed a fascinating guided walk led by Mike Hawkey (Property Trustee).  It was wonderful to meet the four Dartmoor ponies that live on the Beacon, enjoy the views and see the work being done to manage this very important site.  After all that walking it was time for some refreshment and a cream tea was thoroughly enjoyed! Huge thanks to Madeleine for all of her hard work, here’s wishing her a long and very happy retirement!... read more

Bonfire Celebrations at Castle an Dinas

More than eighty adults and children came together on 23rd June to celebrate the Ancient Cornish Tradition of lighting a bonfire on Midsummer’s Eve.  It was hosted by St Columb Old Cornwall Society at Castle an Dinas, courtesy of Cornwall Heritage Trust.  Among the spectators were members of other Old Cornwall Societies, several Bards of the Cornish Gorsedd and trustees of Cornwall Heritage Trust. The history of the Midsummer bonfire dates back to the times of Pagan rituals.  The Church had to make a decision.  It could either suppress such Pagan Festivals or use them for its own purpose.  It decided the latter and the fires were allowed to continue and to occur on the Feast Day of John the Baptist.  The Cornish name for the Festival is ‘Golowan’ translated from Cornish as Gol(feast) and Jowan(John). There were plenty of hot pasties and cups of tea served by Sheila Neale, Rosemary Coley and Jean Smith, plus a huge bonfire at the St Columb celebration.  The Master of Ceremonies. Dave Crewes, started the event by welcoming everyone.  As is the custom, the Ceremony was spoken first in Cornish and then in English.  Following the lighting of the bonfire at 9pm, by Peter Wyper, the Lady of the Flowers, Barbara Wyper, cast her garland of flowers into the burning fire.  The garland is made up of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ herbs and tied together with ribbons of symbolic colours.  The ‘good’ herbs have medicinal properties and the ‘bad’ ones are poisonous. Then everyone gathered around the roaring fire for Community singing led by John Bennallick and aided by Mark Hawkins, playing the... read more

Introducing Hairy Tej at the Royal Cornwall Show 2016

It was wonderful to meet so many members and new friends over the three days of the recent Royal Cornwall Show.  One of our guests was The Right Reverend Tim Thornton (Bishop of Truro) who can be seen in our photos with the Trust’s Chairman, Lt Col Philip Hills, and Vice Chairman, Mr Mike Hawkey. Our stand was well received and we were thrilled to meet lots of younger visitors who were hot on the trail of scarecrows!  The Show runs a scarecrow trail every year and this year we joined in the fun with a depiction of our new Iron Age character, Hairy Tej!  Hairy Tej will be helping out with children’s activities and events so watch this space for more news of him!        ... read more

The Guizer’s Tale

The latest Cornish Story Café was held in the King’s Arms, Luxulyan on 26 May. An audience of nearly forty was treated to an excellent evening of storytelling, music and acting from Merv Davey and his wife Alison. The theme of the evening followed the story of Cornish Guizing from its roots in the mystery plays to the present day with Pybaplus as a “special guest”. Guizer, Geeze Dancer or Goosey Dancer is a delightful dialect term that has its roots in both Cornish and English but has come to mean a folk custom involving a mixture of stories, drama, songs, dance and a certain element of misrule. Its Cornish origin is from the word “geys”, that means mockery, a jest or indeed a custom  and in English of course it has connotations of disguise. The Cornish Geeze Dancers may well be able to trace their lineage to the Cornish Mystery plays indeed the last few lines of Gwreans an Bys transcribed in 1611  announce: Minstrels growgh dhyn ny pyba May hallan warbarthe downssya Del ew an vaner ha’n geys Minstrels, pipe for us That we may together dance As is the manner and the guise   Merv and Alison performed the story with a range of traditional Cornish instruments that included the pipes and harp with a final appearance of the “special guest”! The evening was rounded off by questions from the floor and traditional Cornish music led by Merv and... read more

Trevithick! Secondary Schools offered FREE performance and workshop

Would your Secondary School like to take up the offer of a FREE Cornish history play and education workshop?  The Cornwall For Ever! project, led by Cornwall Heritage Trust and partnered by the Cornwall Lieutenancy, Cornwall Council and Sense of Place, is offering a performance of the critically acclaimed play Trevithick! and an education workshop to the value of £800 to secondary schools in Cornwall. The offer is strictly limited and is open to schools upon submission of a successful application form. The accompanying letter and application form provide more details about the play and workshop.  Trevithick! Trevithick! Application Form... read more

Cornish Story Cafe – “The Guizer’s Tale”

Kings Arms, Luxulyan Thursday 26 May, starting at 7pm We are delighted to announce another of our successful Cornish Story Cafe evenings. Led by Dr Merv Davey, Grand Bard of Gorsedh Kernow, it promises to be an evening of tales, music, song and maybe even... read more

Reading the Hurlers

On Tuesday last week 20 children from Darite Primary School visited The Hurlers, as part of the project “Reading the Hurlers”.  The children had a guided walk around the area and stopped for discussion and activities at Rillaton Barrow, Daniel Gumb’s cave, Stowes Pound and The Cheesewring before heading to the stone circles themselves.  The pupils took part in archaeology workshops in the morning led by Archaeological Project Coordinator Emma Stockley including putting together a skeleton and an archaeological interpretation activity.  To warm up the children were challenged to count the individual stones of the circles – we didn’t receive the same answer twice proving that they are indeed, as the legend suggests, impossible to count!  After lunch at the Heritage Centre, geology was the theme of the afternoon and Calum Beeson, Geological Project Coordinator explained the last 450 million years of geological events very animatedly in twenty minutes!  It was a great start to our programme of school visits and we’re looking forward to a very busy and exciting year. “Reading the Hurlers” is a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with Cornwall Heritage Trust providing financial support to enable the project to include a comprehensive programme of school visits and activities.  For more information and for schools who would like to take part, please contact the Archaeological Project Co-ordinator, Emma Stockley If you would like to find out more about The Hurlers please click here ... read more

Cornwall Heritage Trust celebrates 30th Anniversary

The sun shone over the deer park at Boconnoc on Saturday as Trustees, past Presidents, members and friends attended a lunch to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cornwall Heritage Trust.   Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, President of the Trust, welcomed everyone to the event.  Unfortunately The Trust’s Royal Patron, HRH Duke of Cornwall, had not been able to attend the celebration, but Colonel Bolitho commented that the Trust’s work, which he described as “the conservation of some of the finest bits of our Cornish heritage and the encouragement of greater understanding of our Cornish history and heritage”, were matters that His Royal Highness both approved of and supported.   Chairman of the Trust, Lt Col Philip Hills, spoke about the history of Cornwall Heritage Trust and paid special tribute to the founder members and winners of the Sir Richard Trant Award for Heritage Champions that were present. Going on to speak about the work the Trust is currently undertaking, Lt Col Hills took the opportunity to launch the appeal to raise £500,000 for the Treffry Viaduct Restoration Project. Having successfully bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a £3.473m project in conjunction with Cornwall Council the Trust now has to produce matched funding of £500,000 to complete the work within the Luxulyan Valley and restore the viaduct to full working order.   Those present enjoyed the music provided by the Kenwyn String Quartet and a delicious lunch, provided by The Hayloft, in the beautiful Garden Room at Boconnoc. Founder Member and Honorary Vice Chairman, Mr Carl Roberts, provided further entertainment as he cut the cake with... read more