Working at Bokiddick Farm during World War II. 

Rediscovering Cornwall's rural past through storytelling

A new project working with communities and primary schools to explore and rediscover Cornwall’s rural past through storytelling has been given the go ahead.  The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £35,800 to the project; ‘Tallys an Tir– Traditions & Stories of the Land,’ with additional funding from FEAST Cornwall.

Led by the Cornish Audio Visual Archive (CAVA) at the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus (which is shared with University College Falmouth), the project will link up with communities throughout Cornwall to capture and share stories that consider relationships with the Cornish landscape. Dr Garry Tregidga, Director of CAVA said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to capture stories that build upon the valuable work started through our last project ‘Family, Farming & Tradition.’ From furze stogs for firewood to folk songs, farming with horses to foraging for goosegrass, thrashing days to childhood games, crying the neck to croust time; Cornwall is a unique place with a rich heritage and what better way to explore this than through stories.”

To best capture these stories the Cornish Audio Visual Archive from the Institute of Cornish Studies will deliver a variety of free training to local people within each community.  Old photographs and footage will also be gathered, allowing the project to produce a series of short films local to each area. This material will form the basis for five community events that will take place around Cornwall.

Events will take place at Rosehip Barn near Launceston, Kestle Barton in Manaccan, Gunwen Chapel near Luxulyan, the Centre of Pendeen in West-Penwith and on the Roseland peninsular. In the run up to these there will also be a variety of free activities in each community including memory days, heritage walks, storytelling workshops and a range of training.

Tallys an Tir’ will also deliver a series of artist led workshops to selected primary schools, showcasing the work produced in the project’s community events. These workshops will use stories of local farmers as starting points for creative learning. Working with the charity FACE (Farming & Countryside Education) and other local educators and artists, the project will also produce free education resources for primary schools, helping younger generations to learn more about their rural heritage through local farming stories.

Richard Bellamy, HLF’s Acting Head of South West, commented: “Storytelling is a means for sharing and interpreting experiences; stories have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, and cultural preservation.  Building upon and helping to share the material collected for the ‘Family, Farming & Tradition’ project, ‘Tallys an Tir’ will reinterpret and retell traditional stories of the Cornish landscape using modern technology to make them available to the widest possible audience.”

To find out more about the project contact Sarah Chapman at To follow the project’s progression and find out about forthcoming events in each area visit

Date: 18 October 2012