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Exclusive behind the scenes tours of Kresen Kernow strongrooms for Heritage Open Days

Behind the scenes tours at Kresen Kernow

Kresen Kernow, home to the world’s largest collection of documents, maps, books and photographs about Cornwall’s history, is opening its strongrooms for exclusive behind the scenes tours as part of the national Heritage Open Days festival of history and culture from 9 – 14 September. 

You can get a glimpse of the strongrooms that are not usually open to the public with free guided tours, but places are limited, and booking is essential. 

  • Saturday 9 September – 10.00, 11.30 and 14.00   
  • Tuesday 12 September – 10.00 and 11.30 
  • Wednesday 13 September – 18.00  
  • Thursday 14 September - 10.00 and 11.30 

There’s also a chance to get up close to some of the documents among the 1.5 million items housed at Kresen Kernow that have been handpicked by the team especially for the Heritage Open Days theme of Creativity Unwrapped! 

On Saturday 9 September, to celebrate Heritage Open Days and Redruth’s Mining and Pasty Festival, there’s an opportunity to get creative and decorate your own tote bag at a FREE drop-in event 10am–12pm and 1pm-3pm - no booking required.  

There’s also a fascinating exhibition ‘She Cares:  Women and Health in Cornwall’ celebrating women’s history and inspired by the 75th anniversary of the NHS. 

Children can also turn detective and take part in our trail to spot the mini books in the exhibition. 

“From artists to architects, Cornwall has a wealth of creative talent to explore,” says Amanda, Programme Support Officer at Kresen Kernow.  “There’s so much to discover here from travel sketchbooks and photographs, to mining plans and even highly decorated documents signed by Kings and Queens! Including a beautifully written and illustrated book by the artist Elizabeth Stanhope-Forbes, that she created in 1904 for her son, Alec.”

Carol Mould, the council’s portfolio holder for neighbourhoods said:

“The team at Kresen Kernow have selected some incredible documents from the huge wealth stored in the archives for residents who are keen to find out more about Cornwall’s rich and varied history and how the past has shaped our present. Come to Redruth and enjoy the varied activity programme featuring family and adult creative workshops, courses and fun family events.” 

The free tours of Kresen Kernow can be booked through Eventbrite and are limited to 15 people per tour. 

Book a tour

and are limited to 15 people per tour.  The public areas of Kresen Kernow are open to all during our usual opening hours.   

More information about Kresen Kernow, services and events.

Kresen Kernow

Story posted 24 August 2023

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