West Penwith Survey

West Penwith Survey

Archaeology and Landscape at the Land’s End, Cornwall The West Penwith Surveys 1980 – 2010, Peter Herring, Nicholas Johnson, Andy M Jones, Jacqueline A Nowakowski, Adam Sharpe and Andrew Young Foreword Philip Marsden “West Penwith, the Land’s End, the south western extremity of the British Isles has long attracted the attention of archaeologists, landscape historians, writers and artists. Still largely a rural landscape of ancient farmsteads and churchtowns, it also has a famous mining history interwoven into the distinctive character of this rugged peninsula. Across the moorland spine lie numerous prehistoric ceremonial monuments whilst in the surrounding farmland deeply embedded imprints of early settlement reveals extraordinary and rare time-depth. Today’s fields, particularly across Zennor and Morvah parishes, preserve boundaries that were laid out over 2,000 years ago. For centuries these patterns determined tenure and land use, yet in the early 19th century mining transformed the landscape of the St Just and St Ives districts. Abandoned engine houses, iconic symbols of this once great industry lie scattered along the northern coast amid mine waste and moorland between villages of terraced houses dotted with nonconformist chapels. This book is the result of over 270 pioneering archaeological surveys and conservation projects carried out over the past 35 years. It seeks deeper understanding of this amazing historic landscape and is a celebration of its unique qualities. It lays down a sound foundation for increased understanding and protection and hopefully will prove an inspiration and a source of information for all who love and care for this special place.” Cornwall Archaelogical Unit is very grateful to the Cornwall Heritage Trust for the grant of...
The Garstin Archive

The Garstin Archive

Personal and literary archive of Garstin family of Penzance,1870s-1970s. Bought for £9,400 with the aid of a grant of £1,000 from the Cornwall Heritage Trust.   In 1886, the artist Norman Garstin (1847-1926) and his wife Louisa joined the blossoming artistic community in Newlyn and Penzance and it became home for them and their three children. All of the family were exceptionally gifted and excelled in their chosen sphere. Norman was a core member of the Newlyn art colony, both socially and professionally. During his career, he exhibited at least 32 paintings at the Royal Academy and his works feature in major galleries in Britain, Ireland and overseas. Norman also had significant impact as a teacher of painting and through the articles he published on art and literature. Alethea (1894-1978) studied painting with her father and also became a professional artist: she was only 17 when the Royal Academy exhibited her painting, The Chair Menders. She devoted her adult life to her twin passions of painting and travel. Alethea’s brothers, Crosbie (1887-1930) and Denis (1890-1918), started writing poetry and stories in childhood. Crosbie worked in Canada and South Africa before enlisting during WWI. He subsequently concentrated on writing and published poetry; semi-autobiographical accounts of his wartime experiences and overseas travels; and a trilogy of novels set in 18th century Cornwall, drawing on local legends of adventure, pirates and smuggling. His final novel, China Seas, was made into a Hollywood film. While at Cambridge University, Denis edited Granta, the student magazine, and wrote articles and poems for Punch. In 1911, he became a private tutor with a Russian family in...
The Gibson Photographic Archive

The Gibson Photographic Archive

With the help of a grant from Cornwall Heritage Trust the Penlee House Gallery was able to purchase at auction the Gibson Family Photographic Archive. The archive connects three important strands of Penlee House Gallery & Museum’s activity: archaeology, local history and art. The Gibson photographs of Penzance and its surrounding area, including construction, fishing and mining, support and illuminate the museum artefacts by creating a visual context for interpretation and education. Gibsons was a thriving Scilly and Penzance business: the range of subjects in this collection reflect its commercial interests, which include depictions of Cornish scenes with the potential for a wider, national appeal. Whilst three quarters of the collection are west Cornwall images, the remainder are an indication of the breadth of Gibson & Sons interests e.g. Tintagel Castle and nearby Bossiney, Camelford, Bude, Tintern Abbey and Stonehenge. Seen as a whole, the collection shows the preoccupations, not to mention ambition, of this early photography business, just as the new railway was bringing masses of tourists to Cornwall. Gibson Penzance’s dates (1877 – 1925) coincide with the development of the Newlyn artists’ colony. Penlee will use the archive to research the links between photography and the art community in Penzance and Newlyn, in particular the artists of the Newlyn School   More Grants West Penwith Survey Grants The Garstin Archive Grants The Gibson Photographic Archive Grants St Buryan Cross Grants Liskeard Unlocked Grants The Rhoda Mary Project Grants Coastguard’s Daughter Grants Dark Skies Grants Grylls Monument Restoration Grants Sensory Trust – Launch of Sensory Guides, King Edward Mine event Grants « Older...
St Buryan Cross

St Buryan Cross

During 2016 St Buryan Church PCC, Cornwall Archaeological Unit, Scott & Co. Chartered Surveyors and local builders Bolithos together undertook works to restore the imposing stepped medieval cross in the churchyard of St Buryan Parish Church.  This also presented the opportunity for some archaeological exploration of how and when this complex monument was formed and to see whether the granite slabs set as the steps include any pieces of early sculpture in addition to the cross-head. The St Buryan Churchyard cross sits at the heart of an ancient, vibrant community and is a much-loved focus of village life, clambered over by the young and used as a backdrop for many of life’s landmarks, such as weddings. This project has enabled us to stabilise and preserve it for future generations. The work was made possible by grants from Cornwall Heritage Trust and Historic England’s Heritage at Risk fund. St Buryan has played a key role in the history of West Penwith and of Cornwall.  In the 10th century, when the core of the cross may have been erected, it was the focus of patronage by King Athelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great who led resistance against the Vikings, who visited and subsequently endowed St Buryan’s church in around 931.  Previously, it was the site of a 6th-century Celtic monastery founded by an Irishwoman, St Buriana, and there are archaeological clues that this may have used an earlier Romano-Celtic courtyard settlement (like Chysauster and Carn Euny) – a type of settlement peculiar to West Penwith and which is redolent of contacts between Iron Age Cornwall and the Roman world. This was...
Liskeard Unlocked

Liskeard Unlocked

How a grant from Cornwall Heritage Trust helped celebrate Liskeard’s heritage buildings As part of the national Heritage Open Days in September, a group of organisations in Liskeard worked together to host Liskeard Unlocked. This was a total of 20 events designed to celebrate Liskeard’s heritage in different ways, and included the opening of buildings not usually accessible by the public, heritage and geological walks around our heritage buildings within the town, skills demonstrations such as bell ringing, talks, family activities, exhibitions and artists workshops. With the assistance of grants from Cornwall Heritage Trust and Cornwall Community Chest three artists workshops were held. The call to local artists asked them to help celebrate Liskeard’s heritage buildings and look at them in new ways. We asked artists to design a workshop and explain how it fitted the theme. Local artist Carol Whibley ran ‘Behind Closed Doors’, making hinged doorways from recycled cardboard, then using collage and mixed media to create what would be found inside – this was both literal and abstract. Another local artist Nicky Harwood ran a family ‘White-line printing’ workshop. This worked from photographs of local buildings, cropping them to find interesting shapes and then using this to create a printing plate. This workshop was repeated at the end of the Liskeard Unlocked weekend, allowing people to use the photographs they had taken while visiting properties for their inspiration. During Liskeard Unlocked we also staged an exhibition of the work created so far. People enjoyed identifying where the images in the exhibition were taken from, and found that things they walked past everyday they had not really...