Cornwall’s historic monuments protected thanks to funding partnership

Cornwall’s historic monuments protected thanks to funding partnership

Black Head Cliff Castle
Black Head Cliff Castle, one of the 40 Scheduled Monuments sites
The investment will help save 40 historic sites across Cornwall, spanning 4,000 years of history.

The Monumental Improvement project, run by Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), has been awarded £489,700.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the investment will ensure 40 Scheduled Monuments across Cornwall are protected for future generations. Scheduled Monuments are archaeological sites which have been selected for protection because they are considered to be of national importance.

Most of the monuments are also on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.

These monuments offer a unique narrative into Cornwall’s heritage and therefore it’s vital that these are preserved and their stories discovered.

Stuart McLeod, the Heritage Fund Director England, London & South

A timeline of 4,000 years

The 40 sites span over 4,000 years of Cornish history, featuring Iron Age hill forts, Neolithic settlements and medieval mottes.

These include Castle Dore Hill Fort which has links to writer Daphne du Maurier and composer Richard Wagner and other sites that have connections to the legendary King Arthur.

Castle Dore Hill Fort
Castle Dore Hill Fort, one of the chosen sites for the Monumental Improvement project. Credit: Cornwall AONB

St Piran's Oratory

St Piran’s Oratory at Penhale Sands in Perranporth is another monument that is intrinsically linked to Cornish history: legend has it that it was founded by St Piran, one of the three patron saints of Cornwall.

The site is currently on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register due to the risk of flooding and erosion.

St Piran's Oratory Flooded
St Piran’s Oratory at Penhale Sands in Perranporth flooded. Credit: Cornwall AONB

Emma Browning, Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager, said: “The Monumental Improvement Project brings together landowners, organisations, volunteers and experts to not only protect 4,000 years of Cornish heritage but connect more people with the protected landscape, improving health and wellbeing."

Creating a legacy for Cornish communities

Another central part of the project will be engaging Cornwall’s communities with their heritage. Activities will vary from volunteering opportunities such as scrub clearing to guided walks.

The hope is this will empower communities to take a more active role in caring for the monuments in the future.

Key aims include:

  • training 200 community volunteers
  • working with local primary schools and undergraduate students
  • delivering over 250 community activities
  • increasing physical and virtual access
  • improving habitat at 26 sites to better support wildlife

Stuart McLeod, the Heritage Fund Director, England, London & South, said: "These monuments offer a unique narrative into Cornwall’s heritage and therefore it’s vital that these are preserved and their stories discovered."

Key partners working together

The project is a great example of multiple partners working together. Alongside Cornwall AONB and the Heritage Fund, other project funders include:

  • Cornwall Council
  • Historic England
  • National Trust
  • Cornwall Heritage Trust
  • Kilkhampton Parish Council
  • Cornwall Archaeological Society (partnership support)

Find out more

Find out more about some of the amazing projects we've funded across London & South or keep up to date with how the Monumental Improvement project is progressing.

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