Investing in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Over the past ten years we've invested £4 million in the historic fabric of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This has helped look after cherished local places and give them exciting new uses, and has contributed to the successful removal of nearly 100 sites from Cornwall’s Heritage at Risk Register since 2013.

This sizeable chunk of our local grants budget has helped repair and conserve scores of historic sites and monuments, from places of worship in communities across Cornwall, to iconic industrial structures such as Wheal Busy. 

We often invest early to make sure projects get off to a good start, which gives confidence to other investors. We also pool resources with other funders, and we advise organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Natural England on their grant investment in Cornwall’s historic places.

Wheal Busy, Chacewater

Wheal Busy is an important feature in the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, as home to pioneering steam engines designed by Newcomen, Smeaton, and Boulton and Watts. The large monument includes a complex of earthworks representing early mining features, plus 19th and 20th century mine buildings. The impressive pumping engine house dates from 1856 and its associated boiler house is a rare survival as it retains its original roof timbers.

A major programme of conservation and repair was completed in 2015 in a partnership between the Tregothnan Estate as landowner, Natural England as primary funder, and Historic England as adviser. Carpenters from the Tregothnan Estate made a significant contribution by constructing replacement windows and doors for the boiler house. They skilfully matched these with surviving timberwork and that shown in historic photographs.

Wheal Busy, Cornwall, during repair
Wheal Busy, Cornwall, during repair © Historic England

Porthmeor Cellars and Studios, St Ives

We were delighted to have been one of many funding partners which supported the regeneration of the iconic Porthmeor Cellars and Studios in St Ives. 

A flagship project for the visual arts and creative industries in Cornwall, the regeneration of Porthmeor Studios secured the future of a Grade II* listed building important to two key local industries: fishing (as a former pilchard cellar), and fine art: the upper lofts became the home of the St Ives School of Painting in the 1930s.

Porthmeor Studios offers today’s artists and visitors the opportunity to create and experience great art in St Ives, and plays a vital role in the local economy. 

Interior of Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, Cornwall
Looking out to sea from Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, Cornwall © Historic England

Quaker Meeting House, Come-to-Good, Kea

Cornwall's landscape includes the highest concentration of Methodist and Nonconformist chapels in Britain. At a time of falling congregations, chapel communities often struggle to meet the cost of major repairs. In such cases, our grants help keep these cherished places in good order.  One of the most outstanding examples of its type is the Quaker meeting house at Come-to-Good, Kea, listed at Grade I and dating from 1710.  In 2011, our grant helped fund repairs to its distinctive thatched roof and other essential works to keep the structure weathertight.

Friend's Meeting House, Come-to-Good, Kea, Cornwall
Friend's Meeting House, Come-to-Good, Kea, Cornwall © Historic England
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