Carn Grey Rock


This ‘virtual’ suitcase allows you to step out onto one of Cornwall’s lesser-known landmarks in the heart of the Clay Country… Carn Grey Rock. Situated above the village of Trethurgy in Mid Cornwall this unique outcrop affords a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. From Par and Charlestown on the coast, to Penwithick and Carludden further inland, Carn Grey Rock watches over a landscape layered with stories from time gone by, right up to the present time. The landscape itself is ever changing; moulded by the industries which sought the valuable copper, tin, granite and later China Clay lying beneath the earth.

Using the film, ‘A landscape layered with Stories’ which was shot entirely from this vantage point and interspersed with archive photographs and audio recordings, children will be able to understand how our local landscapes hold our histories, memories and stories. In this film children will see how gathering a group of people to an iconic and familiar place, can trigger long forgotten memories and deep connections. Link these stories with images, collages and text and they will see a beautiful tapestry of people’s lives unfolding before them. The stories within the film provide starting points for exploring many different themes, including village life, the China Clay industry, mining, farming, quarrying, childhood, community, fishing and World War 2.

This resource aims to enrich children’s 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 constantly changing history.

Age: This resource is aimed at children aged 7 to 11.

Key themes: Changing landscapes, local industry, community stories/oral histories, the China Clay Industry, World War Two, farming, childhood, community, village life, fishing/coastal industries.

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 visit to Carn Grey Rock.

Interested in this resource or workshops?

Unlike all our other suitcases, this is of the’ virtual’ variety and so available to all on the Cornwall Heritage Trust website. If you are interested in exploring this landmark you can download a detailed plan here. This plan covers 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, a Cornish Community Interest Company that specialises in delivering narrative focused, creative workshops.

Interested in this resource or workshops?

The Storylines Carn Grey Rock film is available to download via Vimeo.

To download the accompanying resources please click on the link below.

Exploring Carn Grey Rock Resources


A suggested timescale for these activities would be over 2 or 3 days.

Initial background work on topics such as the China Clay industry, changing landscapes, childhood memories and the changing face of local communities and farming could take 1 day or more depending on the depth of detail you want to cover.

We suggest half a day to introduce and watch snippets of the film ‘A landscape Layered with Stories’ to introduce children to the idea that the landscape on which they stand is actually teeming with stories stretching back generations and a quick scratch here and there will reveal deposits of memories and traces of stories. Rather like an archaeological dig where actual artefacts are revealed, stories lay hidden in our landscapes and just need time and connections to be revealed.

To help children absorb and communicate the stories they have heard, we have outlined an activity that pays homage to both stories and the industry. This will take a further half a day and involves children responding to the stories they have heard on the film and translating these responses into clay tableaux. We used clay as a medium for this response purely and simply because it seemed most appropriate to this landscape, however responses could be made in collage, paint, stitch, drawing and drama.

A further day should be earmarked for visiting the site of Carn Grey Rock. It is quite an amazing location and after children have watched the film it enables them to place the stories they heard into context in the landscape and to link them with the characters. There are ample opportunities for other creative activities at the site including exploring language, observational drawing, storytelling, role play and making their own footsteps layered with stories. These are all outlined in the resource.

Further exploration of landscapes, communities and stories can then be continued after the visit with gatherings of other local people to share their stories and memories of a particular place or landscape eg park/woods/beach.

Storylines’s support…

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

  • Using the film to explore different local themes and creating clay tableaux to illustrate some of these (see above)- 1 day-£400 (includes 2 Storylines practitioners and all materials)
  • Site visit to Carn Grey Rock- 1 day- £400* (includes 2 Storylines practitioners, all materials and support with the practicalities of the visit)

*Don’t forget, the Cornwall Heritage Trust provides travel grants to help schools visit heritage sites.

To enquire about the availability of the suitcase and/or accompanying workshops, please contact the Cornwall Heritage Trust:

Telephone: 01872 224014


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