Restoring biodiversity was top of the agenda for our volunteers last Friday as they headed to Castle an Dinas to undertake vital environmental conservation work.
Led by our Countryside Ranger, Hollie Ferris, the session saw volunteers help remove invasive bracken and gorse at the site to encourage the heather to regrow and establish habitats for a greater diversity of wildlife.
Sited in an imposing position on the summit of Castle Downs with extensive and panoramic views across central Cornwall to both north and south coasts, Castle an Dinas is one of the largest and most impressive hillforts in Cornwall. It is mentioned in Cornish legends as one of the seats of the Duke of Cornwall and and is traditionally known as the legendary hunting lodge of King Arthur, from which he rode in the Tregoss Moor hunt.
Thank you so much to our volunteers! Your hard work has made a massive difference to this incredibly special part of Cornwall’s heritage!
Photo credits: Keith Larby AK Photos / Cornwall Heritage Trust volunteer
Find out more about volunteering with us here https://www.cornwallheritagetrust.org/support-us/volunteer/
Get your cameras ready for our annual photography competition. This year we’re looking for images inspired by the phrase “My Cornwall, My Heritage” and we can’t wait to see the places, landscapes and traditions that mean the most to you!
The standard last year was incredibly high with over 180 entries showcasing everything from the morning mist enveloping St Mawes Castle to brooding skies over Bodmin Moor, and we’re looking forward to seeing your talent and creativity once more.
To enter, please email your photograph(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the following information:
- Name and age of the photographer
- Email address
- Title of image
- 10 – 50 words about what this part of Cornwall’s heritage means to you
- Location of where the photo was taken in Cornwall
- Date the photo was taken
The closing date for entries is 24th July 2023.
The top 12 photos will be selected by our judging panel to feature in the Cornwall Heritage Trust 2024 Calendar. Each winner will also receive a calendar as a prize.
In addition, there will be prizes for the top 3 winners:
1st Prize – £50
2nd Prize – A bottle of Camel Valley ‘Cornwall’ Brut Sparkling Wine
3rd Prize – Cornwall Heritage Trust 2 Adult Family Membership
Entrants can submit up to 5 photos. All entries must be landscape and high resolution with a minimum of 300dpi.
Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and will be announced on the Cornwall Heritage Trust website and social media feeds as soon as possible after the competition deadline.
Head here for further details and the full terms and conditions https://www.cornwallheritagetrust.org/photographycompetition2023/
Image description: 2022 Photography Competition 1st Place Winner – Boscawen-ûn Stone Circle by Tim Pearson
We celebrated the acquisition of our 13th historic site, St Cleer’s Well, last Friday by reviving the annual tradition of dressing the monument.
In spite of the rain, the event had a truly joyous atmosphere. The artwork created by the children from St Cleer Primary School for the event was wonderful, as was the vibrant array of posies they laid at the well as part of the ceremony. After the blessing, readings in Cornish and English and a rousing (if a little damp) rendition of Trelawney, the morning was rounded off with Cornish dancing back at the school – the perfect, raucous end to the festivities!
We’re so proud to now be looking after St Cleer’s Well and are very grateful for the support of local people throughout the process.
This medieval holy well and wayside cross is a Scheduled Monument and also Listed Grade One – a demarcation earned by only 2.5% of listed buildings, which Historic England defines as warranting “exceptional interest”.
Thought to date from the 15th century, it is the only example of a well house with an open porch-like design in Cornwall. Its pillars, arches and capitals are carved with simple mouldings and patterns which are also unusual in Cornwall at this date.
During the medieval period, holy wells sometimes functioned as sites for baptism but they were also revered for less tangible reasons, such as folklore beliefs in the healing powers of the water. According to Historic England, St Cleer’s had the reputation for “curing the lame, the blind and the insane”.
Thank you to St Cleer Primary School; Brian Oldham and Liskeard Old Cornwall Society; Kevin Johnson and St Cleer Parish Council; Rod Sheaff and Reverend Li Selman; and Merv and Alison Davey for helping make this event such a success.
The acquisition of the Well, the essential maintenance which has taken place over the last few months and the well dressing have all been made possible by funding from Historic England. We are hugely grateful for its unwavering support, and special thanks go to Ann Preston-Jones for her time, expertise and dedication to making this project happen.
We are thrilled to introduce our first-ever Artist in Residence, Lou Tonkin, a celebrated artist and printmaker from Cornwall.
Often found enjoying walks in the countryside with her dog, Moth, Lou’s inspiration is taken almost exclusively from her local, Cornish environment and she creates captivating artwork which is beloved around the world.
Over the course of the residency, Lou will create a body of work inspired by the sites we care for which will be used in a wide variety of ways to inspire people to see these iconic places in a new light.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
“I’m a printmaker and I work with lino block print. It’s all very traditional, very old-fashioned – old tools and hessian-backed lino that is entirely biodegradable and doesn’t give off toxins when it degrades. Not that I throw them away. They sit in a big stack in the corner of my studio. I think you can’t love our heritage sites and the natural world without caring about your impact on it.”
What inspires you?
“The natural world inspires me but also the elements. So that’s striking environments or details of the natural world, but it could also be the wind that triggers something else in you which is inspiring. I’m from Cornwall, so feel very connected to this landscape. I feel very much like it’s in my blood. I easily connect to the south-westerly wind-blown hawthorn trees. I feel like it’s the same shaping when you’re born here and you grow up here.”
As the first step in her creative process, Lou has begun visiting our collection of ancient monuments and historic places with our Sites Officer, Dick Cole, as her guide.
What are you looking forward to?
“The idea for me is that I will go to these amazing sites… and be able to learn what happened there. The history, the dates, the myths and legends, and that brings a richness to any print idea that I couldn’t possibly have without that background information – it brings a whole new depth. Whether it’s the Hurler’s or a quoit or one of the hillforts, it’s those ancient places which are really exciting to me and a lot of that excitement comes from the elemental as well. When you feel that wind on your face it just inspires you on another level. It’s amazing!”
Our Artist in Residence programme is a brand-new initiative and we are incredibly excited to be collaborating with Lou and to watch her creative process unfold. Watch this space!
Photo credits: Danny North (www.dannynorth.co)
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to go on a walk with archaeologist and historian, John Smith at Treffry Viaduct in the Luxulyan Valley, you’ll know just how knowledgeable he is about this historic monument and its beautiful surroundings.
If you haven’t had the chance to go on a walk with John then we think we’ve produced the next best thing – a 20-minute film, which sees him take viewers on a whistle-stop tour of the incredible history behind this 19th-century architectural wonder.
The film premiered last Thursday to a packed audience in Luxulyan Village Hall, and we’re so pleased to hear how much those who attended enjoyed it!
The film is part of a £10K community history project which has been funded by GWR. We would like to say a huge thank you to GWR for its generous support, which has enabled us to produce this film, as well as carry out volunteer conservation sessions, guided walks and screenings of the film for the local community.
We would like to thank Jonathan and Sarah Treffry for kindly inviting us into their home and allowing us to film at Place – footage which, we hope you agree, adds a great deal of context to the story of Joseph Treffry.
Our grateful thanks go to the Friends of Luxulyan Valley for allowing us to use their map of the valley and to Lightbox Studios for their hard work putting the film together.
Finally, we would like to extend a huge thank you to John for his time, patience and expertise.
We hope you enjoy the film!
We’re looking for an Education and Outreach Manager, an exciting opportunity to work with schools, community groups and members of the public to help them engage with Cornwall’s rich and unique heritage.
Job title: Education & Outreach Manager
Working hours: 35 hours per week
Type of contract: Fixed term for two years
Place of work: Krowji, Redruth
This is a brand-new role to Cornwall Heritage Trust. You will develop the education and outreach programme provided by CHT with a focus on engaging with Cornwall’s schools, community groups and groups of multiple deprivation. This will include the provision of workshops at schools and venues as well as on location at the heritage sites that we look after.
If you have a passion for Cornwall and its heritage, are a strong team-player and looking for a new challenge this could be just the opportunity for you.
The role will include:
- Formulation of an audience-first Outreach Strategy to engage with schools and the public and to help them learn about Cornwall’s heritage and the CHT sites
- Consultation with schools and colleges to design the style and content of workshops they require on and off site; these will have a strong link to the curriculum and cross curriculum activities
- Formulation, management and development of diverse and imaginative learning programmes, which are original, lively, inspirational and well researched; for the public and educational groups, including: outreach activities, formal learning for school and university, family and adult learning
- Adaptation of learning programmes to meet specific learner needs
- Compliance with health and safety and safeguarding requirements
- Interpretation of information about the sites or collections for a range of different visitors, learners, schools or outreach programmes
- Creation of lesson plans and online education resources based on our historic sites and Cornwall’s heritage and ensuring that these are kept up to date and relevant
- Management of the day-to-day relationship with local primary and secondary schools and colleges. This will include communication and administration of the scheme
- Consultation with attendees to seek feedback to enable continuous improvement of our education and outreach offering
- Attendance at external events to raise awareness of the Trust, its sites and the education programme
- Introduction of a programme of school holiday activities at the sites to engage with visitors and families
- Liaison with CHT colleagues to promote the education and outreach offering and also ensure messaging is consistent across the Trust
- Collaboration with external partners to promote and increase the reach of the engagement and outreach programme
- Attendance at trustee meetings to deliver progress reports
- Working as part of the small but effective team to deliver the organisation’s business plan
(Please note: this does not represent a comprehensive list of the responsibilities which may vary according to the needs of the Trust)
Find out more and apply here https://www.cornwallheritagetrust.org/vacancies/
Cornwall Heritage Trust has received a huge boost to the accessibility and interpretation of the historic sites it protects, having been awarded £10k from the Tanner Phoenix Fund.
The funding is being administered by Cornwall Community Foundation on behalf of the Tanner Phoenix Fund.
The funds will go towards creating way markers, signage and interpretation for two of the 13 historic Cornish places in the care of the independent charity – Sancreed Beacon, near Penzance, (pictured below) and Trevanion Culverhouse, near Wadebridge (pictured above). The project aims to make these sites more accessible to visitors so they can explore them fully and even follow paths through different layers of history.
Cathy Woolcock, CEO of Cornwall Heritage Trust said: “This award is absolutely fantastic news! We’re incredibly proud to help so many Cornish people connect with their roots, and this grant is going to help make Cornwall’s most special historic places even more accessible for them. For a small charity like us, the importance of a grant like this is huge, and we are extremely grateful to the Tanner Phoenix Fund for its support.”
Please be aware that the car park at Castle an Dinas, near St Columb Major will be temporarily closed next week due to essential maintenance.
A temporary car park will be available in a nearby field throughout this period. Please be aware of uneven ground and wet conditions.
The works are the first stage of a project made possible by £35,000 of Government funding. The project aims to improve the presentation and accessibility of the site in order to encourage more visitors and, in particular, schools to visit and learn about Cornwall’s distinctive heritage.
We apologise for the short notice about this essential work and thank you for your patience and understanding.
We are thrilled to announce the launch of Penwith Discovery Club, a series of free archaeology workshops taking place this Summer for children aged 8-14.
We are anticipating high demand for these workshops and booking will open on Monday 20th March at 6pm via Eventbrite. Places are extremely limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
Parents and guardians may accompany their children but are also welcome to drop them off at the workshop if they prefer. Our Discovery Club Team Leaders are fully DBS checked and First Aid trained.
Penwith Discovery Club has been made possible by funding from Penwith Landscape Partnership.
Further details can be found here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/cornwall-heritage-trust-32230933195
We have two free events focussed on Treffry Viaduct coming up at the end of the month, and warmly welcome you all to come.
One of 13 historic sites we protect, Treffry Viaduct is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, as designated by UNESCO.
These events are part of a £10K heritage project which has been made possible by funding from GWR. Treffry Viaduct is a 25-minute walk from Luxulyan Train Station.
Date: Thursday 30th March
Time: 4pm & 6pm
Location: Luxulyan Village Hall
Featuring historian and archaeologist, John Smith, this 20-minute film offers a whistle-stop tour of the incredible history behind Treffry Viaduct.
John’s career included 23 years as Field Officer and Senior Archaeologist with Cornwall Archaeological Unit (CAU). He has a wealth of knowledge about Cornwall’s industrial history and directed a major landscape survey of the Luxulyan Valley during his time with CAU.
The film screenings are open to the general public and completely free. Refreshments will be served.
Date: Friday 31st March
Time: 2.30pm – 4pm
Location: Treffry Viaduct, St Austell, PL26 8YE
Taking place on Friday 31st March 2023 at 2.30pm, this is a unique opportunity to visit the site and find out more about its history and management with Dick Cole, our Heritage Sites Officer. It is anticipated the walk, which is free of charge, will last approximately 1 ½ hours. Please note that the walk involves uneven ground and will include steps and slopes.
Please wear sensible footwear and appropriate clothing. Numbers will be restricted and places available on a first-come-first-served basis. Please be aware that Cornwall Heritage Trust is photographing the walks and may publish these photos in a variety of media and online.
If you would like to attend please sign up via the link below. We very much look forward to seeing you on Friday 31st March.
We are delighted to announce that Castle an Dinas, near St Columb Major is set to benefit from £35,000 of Government funding. One of only seven heritage projects in Cornwall to receive funding, the money was secured as part of the recent devolution deal negotiations between Whitehall and Cornwall Council but is guaranteed even if the deal does not get ratified.
One of the largest and most impressive hillforts in Cornwall, Castle an Dinas is one of the 13 historic places cared for by Cornwall Heritage Trust. It is mentioned in Cornish legends as one of the seats of the Duke of Cornwall and as the place where Cador, Duke of Cornwall and husband of King Arthur’s mother, met his death. The existence of such legends suggests that this site remained important long after its construction in the Iron Age.
The funds will go towards improving the presentation and accessibility of the site and will include enlarging and improving the car park and rerouting the track to it to make it easier for visitors to access the site.
These improvements aim to encourage more visitors and, in particular, schools to visit and learn about Cornwall’s distinctive heritage, building on the work Cornwall Heritage Trust already does through providing grants to primary schools in Cornwall to help them visit sites like this. For example, in 2021, the charity funded 52 trips to places like Castle an Dinas, benefitting over two thousand children.
Work is set to commence at the end of the month. More information about the dates and details of this will be released on our website and signposted at the site as soon as possible.
Cornwall Heritage Trust CEO, Cathy Woolcock said, “We’re hugely grateful for this Government funding, which will benefit the many thousands of people who visit Castle an Dinas every year. Grants for projects like this are incredibly hard to come by and help our mission to make Cornwall’s heritage accessible to everyone so much. It’s going to make such a huge difference!”