News from Cornwall Heritage Trust

Reading the Hurlers archaeological excavation

The Reading the Hurlers archaeological excavation will be taking place between Tuesday 13th and Saturday 17th September 2016.  A small team from Cornwall Archaeological Unit will be working with a number of volunteers excavating an area adjacent to The Hurlers (triple stone circle complex) on Minions Moor, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. This exploratory dig will be assessing the presence of a potential “fourth” circle within the immediate landscape setting of The Hurlers.  This excavation is part of the HLF funded project Reading the Hurlers.  The excavation can be viewed by the public throughout the week and an open day will be held on Saturday 17th from 10am where there will be opportunities to ask questions and learn more about the excavation and wider project.  A series of guided walks by archaeologists, geologists and other experts will be taking place throughout the day on 17th and Brian Sheen from the Roseland Observatory will be holding a drop-in workshop between 10.00 am – 4.00 pm which will explore the astro-archaeology of The Hurlers and surrounding area.  To find the site, park at The Hurler’s car park (SX 2598 7111) in Minions and walk the short distance north across the moor to the stone circles, where you will see the fenced excavation area.  The open day is free and booking is not required.  For enquiries, please email Archaeological Project Co-ordinator Emma Stockley  For more information, please see the Reading the Hurlers website Reading the Hurlers is a project funded by Cornwall Heritage... read more

A Landscape layered with Stories

Exhibition of Stories Inspired by Local Landscape Landscapes are embedded with stories, and unearthing these stories has been the job of the Storylines team, who have been gathering memories from the area to showcase in an exhibition at Wheal Martyn Museum from the 10th September- 13th October. The exhibition, ‘A Landscape Layered with Stories– a View from Carn Grey Rock,’ will launch with a film screening and story sharing session, starting at 6:30pm on Friday 9th September 2016. Using the natural high point of Carn Grey Rock near Trethurgy, local people have been coming together to overlook the unique surrounding landscape and record their memories. Ali Roscoe from Storylines says, “landscapes provide a valuable way of triggering memories, and it has been a real privilege to hear so many. It is important to bring these stories to light and this exhibition is a perfect way of honouring and celebrating them.” The exhibition will give people a chance to explore these personal and intimate stories, by entering a large panoramic installation. A film and creative responses from children from local primary schools, who have taken their own trip up Carn Grey Rock, will also be on display. Mr. Brian McCaldrin, headteacher at Luxulyan School, says “children were engaged with and immersed in their local heritage, giving them a sense of their place in time and history.” This exhibition is a culmination of a 2 year journey for the ‘Landmark Travels, Our Past in a Suitcase’ project, which has been unearthing the stories, traditions and histories connected with landmarks throughout Cornwall. The project is being delivered in partnership with the social... read more

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