Call for community groups to get involved in historic project for Clay Country and Redruth

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Photo shows a lake in the centre of a clay pit

Volunteers are being sought to work with Cornwall Council’s historic environment team in identifying historic buildings and places in the Clay Country and Redruth.

Cornwall Council is piloting the Cornwall Local Heritage List Project as part of a national campaign with 22 areas chosen to benefit from an allocation of £1.5 million by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

A Community Outreach Officer is being recruited to support the two communities to nominate historic buildings and places not already designated, that they would like to see included in a local list.

The Council’s Strategic Historic Environment team is contacting organisations and community groups in the two pilot areas to find volunteers to work with the council’s team on developing and testing the criteria for Cornwall’s pilot Local Heritage List.

The Council is particularly keen to work with a diverse range of people, to ensure that a variety of heritage assets are nominated for inclusion in the local heritage list.

Cllr Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Climate, said: “We welcome Cornwall taking part in the national local heritage list campaign and the funding from the MHCLG which will support our piloting the scheme in the Clay Country and Redruth, enabling local people to explore and celebrate their local heritage and identify what makes Cornwall a distinctive and special place to live, work and visit.”

Ross Simmonds, Regional Director for the South West at Historic England, said: “The Clay Country and Redruth town centre are two areas home to rich histories that can still be seen in the landscapes and buildings today. It’s really exciting that local people can volunteer to be a part of this initiative which will see places in Cornwall that are important to its communities recognised and celebrated, and an additional level of protection given to them.”

Cornwall has a rich historic environment and has one of the largest concentrations of heritage assets of any area taking part in the nationwide campaign.

This includes 12,598 nationally listed buildings, 1,348 Scheduled Monuments, 36 registered parks and gardens, 145 conservation areas, the second largest World Heritage Site in the UK and 48,000 km of Cornish hedges.

Alongside the National Heritage List, local lists can be used to identify significant local heritage assets that may not meet the national criteria, but which are still highly valued and worthy of consideration in the planning process.

The Cornwall Local Heritage List will add a further layer of recording that captures what contributes to the distinctiveness and character of Cornwall.

Cornwall Council will be working with the software company Exegesis on the development of the Local Heritage List public web platform that is being built to support the national campaign. This platform will allow communities to nominate heritage assets and trained volunteer contributors to submit entries to the local heritage list for validation. The site will interface with the existing Historic Environment Record that is hosted and maintained by Cornwall Council.

The Clay Country and Redruth town centre


The Clay Country has been chosen to be one of two areas to pilot a Local Heritage List as it not well-represented on the national heritage list. China Clay has been dug in Cornwall since the mid-18th century and the industry has had a dramatic effect on the landscape. As a result, the Clay Country is home to a range of interesting heritage sites in both urban and rural settings, and there is a strong sense of cultural identity intimately linked with the historic environment. The area proposed includes the communities of Roche, St Dennis, St Enoder, St Stephen and Treverbyn, St Blazey, Par, St Mewan, Luxulyan, Fowey and St Austell, where the project will build on the St Austell Townscape Heritage project.

Redruth town centre, selected in 2020 to be Cornwall’s first High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) will be the second pilot area. The HSHAZ is investing in the regeneration of Redruth’s historic town centre and its rich legacy of handsome 18th and 19th century buildings that reflect the town’s mining heritage. The HSHAZ scheme will help young people in particular become more involved in identifying what makes Redruth special to them, discovering the stories behind the remarkable heritage of their town and how this has shaped their own sense of identity.

story posted June 16, 2021

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