Call us 01872 580289

Just how you imagined Cornwall to be.

Archive for the ‘Heritage’ Category

Ghosts, buried treasure and a discovery of our own

Posted on: 7th May 2012

More anecdotes from Sam Marsden’s little book, and some anecdotes of our own:

“There is a ghost that comes out into the little meadow (corner meadow) at Trewince. She took all the silver from the house in the time of the Civil War – she took it out and buried it. And now she’s supposed to come back and look at it.”

“The ghost at Trewince was supposed to be by the Oak tree hanging over the hill, going down Trewince Road. It was supposed to be seen there and going down Pelyn.”

” When I was a parlour maid at Trewince, I saw someone pass the door. I thought it was the children playing pranks on me again. So I called out but there was no answer. I went out of the door and looked and there was no-one there. The coachman came in and said, ‘That was the grey lady you saw.'”

Discovering the tunnel

Discovering the tunnel

We used to wonder whether there was a real hoard of silver buried somewhere at Trewince. There had been rumours of a tunnel hidden away somewhere. One day, over 10 years ago, we were grubbing up some bushes in the front lawn with a JCB when suddenly a big hole opened up. The digger driver, a friend of ours who was helping us, leaped out of the cab and jumped down into the hole.

It turned out to be part of a tunnel which had partially collapsed. It led down towards the beach in one direction and back towards the house in the other, travelling under the front driveway. The walls of the tunnel were lined with a dry stone wall, and it was high enough to walk along in a slightly stooped position.

There was a clay pipe running along the floor and when we made enquiries, a local historian suggested that it might have been used for drainage from the house but ‘probably had more sinister usage’ ie. smuggling. It was just too elaborate for drainage.

We looked in the well around the cellar of the house and saw a bricked-up entrance in the wall. We knocked out the bricks and found the entrance to the tunnel.

Archaeologists in Truro were disinterested, but we found the dicovery very exciting. After a while, though, we had no alternative but to cover the hole in the lawn with a big board and leave the secret there for another generation to discover. And the buried treasure….??

Will and probate of Stephen Johns of Trewince

Posted on: 17th April 2012
It’s amazing what you can find when you dig in the records at the Royal Cornwall Museum (Courtney Library)
HO/2/82 12/7/1778 Will and probate of Stephen Johns of Trewince. Executor was Richard Johns. “In the name of God Amen. I Stephen Johns of Trewince within the parish of Gerrans in the County of Cornwall Esquire being at this time in a tolerable good state of bodily health and of a sound and disposing mind memory and understanding (Praise be to God for the same), but considering the great uncertainty of this life and how necessary it is, that a settled disposition should be made of all my temporal affairs Do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say) First – I resign my Soul into the hands of God in his due Time hoping in and through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ for a full and perfect remission of all my sins and transgressions whatsoever, and my body to the earth to be decently interred at the discretion of my executors hereinafter named and as to my real and personal estate I give and dispose thereof as followeth: first debts legacies and funeral charges be paid and satisfied to wife Ann Johns 100 guineas to be paid six months after death and household furniture as she shall chuse and think necessary for her use. Also ratifies and confirms joint use or settlement made unto or in trust for her on and previous to my intermarriage and my will and meaning is that the same and the above legacies or bequests may be accepted and taken in full Barlieu and satisfaction of and for all Dower and Thirds which she might otherwise claim or be instituted unto out of any of my lands goods or chattels. Youngest son Stephen James Johns £1000 to be paid 6 months after attaining 21. Meantime to be educated in a proper manner out of the estate at discretion of executors and trustees; when attains a proper age to be put out and placed out as a clerk or an apprentice to some profession trade or business. Either clerk to attorney or merchant of good character and reputation in his profession or to a surgeon and apothecary or such other trade business or profession as shall be thought most proper and my said son should approve of. Also such sums of money as should be necessary in these professions etc. (Not to be taken out of £1000). Daughters Mary Ann and Elizabeth £800 1 year after 21 or marriage with consent of their mother and education wife Ann kinsman Richard Thomas of Tretheake cousin John Davis of Penryn and survivors and heirs messuages lands tenements hereditaments goods chattels and personal estate in trust for eldest son Richard Johns and heirs during his minority, after which he will be the sole executor. They are to be trustees and also Executors of the will. Also guardianship to tuition of all my children. If RJ died in minority unmarried or without issue of his body lawfully begotten then inheritance would go to trustees and put in trust for Stephen James Johns (younger son). Written 1778 – died 1793? Probate; letter of administration dated 1793 (16th December.)ie proved 1793 Stephen John (younger) married Ann James from Saltash daughter of merchant. Richard Johns esq. of Trewince or his heirs or assigns are entitled to a moity of all the tithable lands of the parish, except Rosteague, Trewarthas, Tregair, Tregairwoon.

Heartlands opens and Duchy Opera sings

Posted on: 12th April 2012

Duchy Opera is honoured to have been invited to sing at the launch of the prestigious new Heartlands attraction and World Heritage site. We shall be there on Sunday April 22nd at 11.30–12 & 1-1.30. Everyone is invited to this free event which lasts all weekend. Watch out for the specially commissioned 4m² heart-shaped blimp which will rise into the sky over the 19 acre site.

“Special guest, Newton Faulkner joins line-up for three-day opening celebrations at the UK’s first free cultural playground”

BRIT nominated, acoustic guitar virtuoso Newton Faulkner was today announced as the special guest of honour at the launch of Heartlands, the new free visitor attraction and World Heritage site in Cornwall, which will open to the public on Friday 20 April 2012.
The musician, who will be playing two concerts in nearby Falmouth on Sunday 22 and Monday 23 April, will perform a small live acoustic set on the Saturday afternoon as part of the three-day party to celebrate the opening of this inspirational new 19 acre site, which has been created to help regenerate one of the poorest areas of Cornwall.
As well as performing, Newton will also leave his mark on the Totem Circle within Heartlands, a new events space dedicated to buskers and new talent.  Twelve totems surround the circle; each with two sides left blank for performers to graffiti their initials.  On carving his initials, Newton will kick-start this ritual and begin the Totem Circle’s story.
Newton joins a large and eclectic line-up for the Heartlands Magic Myth and Mayhem Launch Party, which includes music performances from (amongst others) Dalla, John Dowling, The Viewers, Hedluv and Passman, and Duchy Opera; theatre from Rogue, Bish Bash Bosh and Squash Box; dance from The Big Dance Company, CScape and TR14ERs. The event will also include special lantern, flag making and dance workshops, storytelling, face painting, aerial performances, acrobatics, skateboarding, BMX, fire show and fireworks.
The weekend will begin with a Hearty Party Parade on Friday 20 April as over 800 schoolchildren, local community groups, businesses and colleges formally open the site.  Once open, a specially commissioned 4m² heart-shaped blimp will rise into the sky and fly over this, the former mining heart of Cornwall for the remainder of the weekend.
Vicky Martin, Chief Executive of Heartlands said:
“We are honoured that Newton was able to take time out of his busy tour schedule to pop in to see us at Heartlands and we can’t wait to see him perform.  Our three-day extravaganza brings together an eclectic and exciting mix of music, dance, theatre and spectacle and we are looking forward to opening Heartlands in style.”
Heartlands is based on former derelict mine land at Robinson’s Shaft in the village of Pool.  It is hoped the £35 million Cornwall Council-led development, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Cornwall Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and the European Union will support the regeneration of Pool, Redruth and Camborne – an area containing over 10% of the Cornish population which has struggled to recover from the closure of the tin and copper mines (and related industries).
• Heartlands became a reality in 2007 when it was awarded a £22.3 million grant by the Big Lottery Fund, the biggest grant BIG has ever given to a single project in England.  It was one of only three projects in the UK to receive the grant under BIG’s Living Landmarks scheme.

• The free attraction will be run as a social enterprise by the charity, the Heartlands Trust and includes:
o World Heritage Site state-of-the art exhibitions
o Restored Engine House with 80” Beam Engine (the last Cornish engine to work on a Cornish mine)
o Biggest Adventure Playground in Cornwall (themed on Cornish myth and history)
o Diaspora Botanical Gardens (each relating to a country that the Cornish have emigrated to)
o Red River Café and Bar
o Art and Craft studios
o Chi an Bobel (large community, conference and function hall)
o Totem Circle  (small amphitheatre for music, dance and theatre performances)
o Market Square
o Events Arena (for large scale outdoor festivals)
o Interactive art installations including graffiti-me totem poles and Red River paddling stream
o 19 one and two-bedroomed sustainable homes
o Biomass boiler, photo voltaics, rain-harvesting system and wind turbine
o Year-round programme of events
• Newton Faulkner first entered our world back in 2007, when his debut album Hand Built By Robots rocketed up the charts all the way to the number one spot. Since then, Newton has toured relentlessly around the world and 2009 saw the release of his second full-length album, Rebuilt By Humans. Currently Newton is working hard on material for the eagerly anticipated third album, due for release next year.  For more information, visit www.newtonfaulkner.com
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG)
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Big Lottery Fund Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030, Textphone: 08456 021 659. Full details of Big Lottery Fund projects and grant awards are available at: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
• Big Lottery Press Office: 020 7211 1888. Out of hours: 07867 500 572
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England.  Its vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas. This is achieved by:
• Understanding the needs and aspirations of people and communities through close working with local authorities on local investment planning
• Enabling local delivery through the channelling of expertise and investment
• Working effectively with the market, housebuilders, investors and other stakeholders

Cornish Tin at the London Olympics

Posted on: 16th March 2012

Tin mined and smelted in the county is being used to create the bronze medals for this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

The tin was mined at South Crofty 14 years ago and smelted at Wheal Jane, near Redruth.  It had been stored at Wheal Jane since the South Crofty mine closure in 1998 and was thought to be the only candidate to match the incredibly high levels of purity needed for medals that will grace the necks of the world’s finest athletes. This is a very emotional moment for Cornish miners since production of tin ceased in Cornwall some years ago. There are still hopes that the South Crofty Mine will reopen in the not-too-distant future. You can read all about it in The Western Morning News and see comments here.

 

Looking at the Archives

Posted on: 28th January 2012
The House

The House

Trewince was built in 1750 by a man called Stephen Johns, but according to the Henderson Calendars (1919 transcripts of unpublished Cornish manuscripts), records of lands at “Trewynsse or Trewense in the parish of St Gerrans” date back to 1571, and maps from an even earlier date show a dwelling at Trewince. Originally Trewince would have been part of the Tregear estate – written records are in the Domesday Book 1085. From the sixteenth century onwards, the Trewince mansion changed and developed; whilst little is known of an earlier building on the site, there was a coach house and cottage, and also gardens, orchards and plantations. The walled garden, still intact, was filled with flowers and fruit trees; there would have been game preserves and dove-cotes.

Trewince Cottage

Hundreds of years later, the cob walls of the cottage are still intact, rammed into place with a mixture of clay, straw, dung and small stones, solid and rock hard.
There is a broad stairway in the house, “wide enough for two crinolines to pass”. The building has some fine architectural features, with examples of ‘chinoise’ open wooden panelling, beautifully ornate cornices and ceilings, and an intricately carved fireplace in the style of Grinling Gibbons.
Manor house hallway

Manor house hallway

The door of the room under the staircase shows the example of ‘chinoise’ wooden panelling. (The Chinese influence which was fashionable at the time). I think the panelling would originally have been open, without the backing board. Like the attic stairs, too.

Manor House lounge with the Fireplace and lovely ceiling

Tin

Posted on: 27th January 2012

ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url


Ben Luxon talking about TIN and Cornish Mining
via Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

Cornwall’s Miracle Theatre Presents TIN Mar/Apr Tour | Cornwalls Coolest
www.cornwallscoolest.co.uk
This exciting collaboration between Cornwall’s Miracle Theatre and English Touring Opera featuring Ben Luxon and local community choirs is a heady mix of epic theatre, multimedia magic and top notch singing!

Miracle Theatre Company is one of the South West’s foremost touring theatre companies with a reputation for producing entertaining, intelligent and funny theatre. For 32 years, they have been touring to the far flung corners of Cornwall popping up and performing their shows, mainly for one night only, in unexpected places. This March and April Miracle is ringing the changes with ‘Tin’,  a large scale collaboration with English Touring Opera (ETO), commissioned by the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

Miracle Director Bill Scott says: “Tin is the most ambitious Miracle show to date and has had the longest gestation. It was 15 years ago that I saw a photo taken in 1911 of three actors posing outdoors, dressed for their parts in Beethoven’s opera, Fidelio. It could have been Miracle Theatre a hundred years ago! These characters invaded another story that I was writing, based on a Victorian novel, Tin, which was about a real-life share swindle at a Cornish tin mine.

In my story a travelling troupe of opera singers arrive in a town (St Just in Penwith in all but name) to give a performance of Fidelio and find themselves, embroiled in a local banking fraud. Although the story is partly about the collision between the two very different worlds of tin mining and travelling theatre, at its heart ‘Tin’ is a love story.”

More World Heritage

Posted on: 23rd January 2012
Cornish Mining World Heritage

Cornish Mining World Heritage

It was good to welcome Sylvia from the Cornish Mining World Heritage project to Trewince. Until we met Sylvia and spent a few days with the “Discover the Extraordinary” familiarisation project we had no idea that tin mining in Cornwall is now a World Heritage Site (as is the Taj Mahal!). An enormous amount of money has been ploughed into restoration and development work and all this has resulted in some amazing tourist attractions, some of which have free entrance. A Mines Tour would be a good reason alone for a visit to Cornwall. Having seen what is there we are keen to ‘tell the world’. Have a look at their website – it’s a MINE of information 😉

The spread of Cornish mining around the globe: South Africa without rugby? Football without the famous Mexican wave? That’s how things would be if it wasn’t for Cornish mining.

Heartlands

Heartlands

Heartlands is a £35million project that will transform 19 acres of mine land in to a unique cultural space for the community and visitors alike to play, live, work and learn. It is due to open in March and we are hoping to be there. In Spring it will be one of five venues for a community performance of “Tin”, a production created in collaboration with English Touring Opera and commissioned by the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url

Digging Deeper: An Introduction to the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

http://www.cornish-mining.org.uk/sites/default/files/MC08_sample_mag.pdf My Cornwall Magazine – The Cornish Mining Issue

Cornwall Record Office

Posted on: 23rd January 2012

I had a tour of this archive recently and this is also where I did some of my research about Trewince history a few years ago. It is so special to actually handle some of these old documents, often written in Latin.

ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url


In this clip, David Thomas gives a brief ‘guided tour’ of the vaults at Cornwall Records Office. David knows every inch of this treasure trove of Cornish documents, letters, maps etc. and will track down archive material relevant to real-life characters and society portrayed in Edward Bosanketh’s 1888 novel ‘Tin’. Clip is courtesy of Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

The local Heritage Centre

Posted on: 23rd January 2012
Gerrans & Portscatho Heritage Centre

Gerrans & Portscatho Heritage Centre

Gerrans Parish Heritage & Information Centre
The Old Forge, Tregassick Road, Gerrans, Cornwall.

The Heritage and Information Centre opened in 2004. In addition to the permanent exhibition, specific exhibits will be set-up on an annual basis. 

The history of the parish is illustrated with displays depicting Farming through the Ages, the Fishing Industry, Education, Domesday Book entries, the Manors, World Wars, Coastguards, Churches, Chapels and much more. There are photographs, tithe maps, documents, parish records and other artefacts (including the Trewince Bottle fragment).

For those with an interest in family history there is a database containing the baptisms/christenings, marriages and deaths/burials of more than 11,500 parishioners. Indexes are also available for St Gerrans and St Anthony parishes covering, marriages, burials and a churchyard plan. The 1841 – 1901 census has also been indexed.

Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

Posted on: 23rd January 2012

In November Peter & Liz were invited by “Discover the Extraordinary” to visit many of the Cornish mining sites to see for themselves why these unspoilt mining landscapes throughout Cornwall have been given World Heritage status. In 2006 selected mining landscapes across Cornwall and west Devon were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, placing Cornish mining heritage on a par with international treasures like Machu Pichu, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China.

The great flat Lode.

The great flat Lode (photo by Ingrid King)

The largest World Heritage Site in the UK, with over 20,000 hectares spread across Cornwall and west Devon, it offers myriad experiences to explore our world-changing mining culture. The Site contains over 200 iconic Cornish engine houses (the largest concentration of such monuments anywhere in the world). But Cornish mining is about far more than mine sites – the mining industry impacted on all aspects of life. Many of our towns and villages were either transformed by a growing industrial population or newly built to house them. They reveal their history in the rows of distinctive terraced cottages, shops, chapels and substantial public buildings. Today you’ll find plenty of great cafés, pubs, restaurants, art galleries and museums.

Begin your journey to the soul of Cornwall via the ten unique, diverse areas that form the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.