Trevanion Culverhouse

This suitcase takes you on a flight across the Cornish countryside, to nestle in the cosy nooks and crannies of Trevanion Culverhouse and listen to the faint murmurs of the highly prized pigeons that once lived here. Learn all about this unique Mediaeval building and the role it played in the life of nearby Trevanion Manor and explore the role of pigeons in Britain in the Middle ages.

This resource aims to enrich childrens’ experience of this unique landmark and the surrounding area through a series of creative and sensory activities combining Art, History and Literacy, for use on site and beyond. These are aimed at firing the imagination and helping children become embedded in this site and its fascinating history.

Age: This resource is suitable for children aged 3 to 11.

Key themes: Medieval period and food production, local heritage, the nature of pigeons, architecture, myths and legends / creative writing

Before your visit…

We know how much teachers have to think about before venturing out of the classroom, so here are a few things we discovered that we hope you will find useful when planning your own visit to Trevanion Culverhouse. (Link to document- things to consider-Trevanion)

Interested in this resource or workshops?

As with all our suitcases, there are a number of options on how they can be used. This suitcase is stored at Wadebridge and District Museum and is free for schools and groups to borrow. Within the suitcase you will find a detailed plan covering a range of activities that have been developed and delivered to previous schools through a series of workshops with Storylines. You can either choose to guide children through these yourselves, or decide to bring in workshop leaders from Storylines (link to Storylines website); a Cornish Community Interest Company that specialises in delivering narrative focused, creative workshops.


A suggested timescale for these activities would be over 2 and a half days.

Exploratory classroom work can be carried out exploring the Middle Ages and how people lived, especially what they ate and where their food came from. Through this you can investigate the nature of Culverhouses, exploring photographs of pigeon houses from around the globe, as well as pigeons themselves.

Informed by initial research, children can be guided to make their own model pigeon, giving it a name and character. Children can then employ their creative writing skills, entering the mind of their pigeon to tell their story. To get the most out of the creative writing and ensure pigeons are as ‘ansom’ as they can be, we recommend a full day.

We suggest that half a day be put aside for the actual visit to the Culverhouse. This allows children to explore the building through a series of sensory and participatory activities, as well as place their pigeons into the Culverhouse. This is also a nice opportunity for children to read their stories aloud in the Culverhouse, sharing stories as the pigeons did many years before.

Storylines’s support…

For Trevanion Culverhouse the following support is available and you can pick and choose depending on what you feel most comfortable with delivering yourself and your budget-

  • Short introduction to Trevanion Culverhouse, creation of pigeons and creative writing (see above)- 1 day-£400 (includes 2 Storylines practitioners and all materials)
  • Site visit to Trevanion Culverhouse- half day- £300* (includes 2 Storylines practitioners, all materials and support with the practicalities of the visit)