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Culture, Heritage and Society (Gonisogeth, Ertach ha Kowethas)

Mullion Harbour and Making Sense of Transience

Caitlin DeSilvey, the Environment and Sustainability Institute

Key Findings:

  • The story of Mullion Harbour shows us that there are creative alternatives to heritage preservation and protection, which acknowledge historical value while embracing change.
  • The paper uses archival and ethnographical sources to explore different ways of seeing Mullion Cove and understanding its history.
  • As climate and coastal change accelerates, we will need new ways of understanding dynamic landscapes and making sense of change over time.

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The Torrey Canyon Disaster, Everyday Life, and the Greening of Britain.

Tim Cooper, Humanities, University of Exeter, Cornwall.

Key Findings:

  • The impacts of ‘mega-events’ on environmental consciousness may have been exaggerated
  • Oral histories of the Torey Canyon disaster off the Isles of Scilly show a much more complicated relationship with environmental movements than simply that the effects on wildlife trigger conservationism.
  • Although people were deeply concerned about the suffering of the wildlife, people did not necessarily associate this with ‘green’ ideas or environmentalism.

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Cornish Maritime Churches

Jo Esra, Victoria Jenner, Rebecca Orchard and Garry Tregidga (project lead), The Institute of Cornish Studies.

Key points:

  • Explores the history of Cornwall’s maritime churches from the distant past to the present day
  • Combines oral history with the use of film, photography and historic documents
  • Dissemination through an interactive website alongside written publications

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Cornish carols: Heritage in California and South Australia

Kate Neale, University of Exeter

Key Findings:

  • Cornish carols remain a part of diaspora communities in both California and South Australia.
  • Heritage is not static, but is part of a process, or dialogue between the past and the present.
  • The cultural meanings and significances given to heritage shift over time.

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Cornish Story

Key points:

  • An educational organisation that works in association with the Institute of Cornish Studies to investigate the cultural heritage of Cornwall and its global diaspora.
  • Combines written articles, oral history, music, photography, poetry and film on an online dissemination platform.
  • Supports interdisciplinary research in the field of Cornish Studies at the community level through a programme based on democratic scholarship.

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Celtic Revival

Key points:

  • What accounts for the revival of interest in Cornwall’s culture and heritage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?
  • How does Cornwall compare to the experience of the other Celtic nations?
  • What was the legacy of this period for subsequent developments in Cornwall’s cultural and political history?

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The Cornish Diaspora

Key findings:

  • Mass emigration from Cornwall in the century 1815-1914 created a dynamic transnational identity, in which ethnicity (‘the myth of Cousin Jack’) was often deployed as a social and economic strategy
  • Cornish emigrants played a significant role in the expansion of the international mining frontier and its attendant labour market, practices and technology
  • Cornish emigrants were often visible in the social, economic and political life of host societies, especially in the anglosphere

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Footprints of Cornish Gold

Key points:

  • The 3600-year-old Nebra Sky Disk is now known to be forged from Cornish gold (and Cornish tin)
  • Many other Early Bronze Age artefacts right across Europe are also now being shown to be made from Cornish gold (and/or tin)
  • Contrary to accepted theory, it now seems that early developments Cornish tin streaming, metallurgy and trading practices may have ‘kick-started’ the entire European Bronze Age.

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Dispatches from Penzance: J.A. Rogers and the Place of Cornish ‘Race Relations’ in African American Historiography

Madeleine Midgley

Key findings

  • The study highlights Cornwall's connection to African American historiography in the inter-war period
  • Raises the profile of J.A.Rogers and the issue of race in relation to the United Kingdom
  • Explores Roger's visit to Cornwall in the context of the wider history of the time including music, politics and labour disputes of the time.

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The Role of Methodism in Cornish Cultures, c.1830-1930

Kate Leyshon, Adrian Bailey, David Harvey.

Key findings

  • Methodist religious identities were forged as part and parcel of a Christian social movement, given expression through communal celebrations and pioneering institutions for mutual improvement.
  • The several sects of Methodism, well represented in Cornwall, competed and collaborated around issues such as the 1902 Local Education Act and the temperance movement until the main sects unified in 1932.
  • Methodism was striving to establish itself as a national church to rival that of the Church of England by directing the energies of the industrial working class around specific visions of embodied moral virtue and rational recreations.

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