Built Heritage News Update

Disused Cornish tin mine

Monument Management Plan Completed
One of the Tamara Scheme’s key heritage projects which has involved surveying the condition of 7 key mining sites in the Valley and providing a costed repair or stabilisation recommendation, has been completed. Gunnislake Clitters Mine, New Consols Mine, Okel Tor Mine, Gawton Mine, Holmbush Mine (Winsor Lane), Tamar Canal Lock and WW2 Landing Craft Grid at Saltash are all on the Heritage at Risk Register and this work will move them closer to being removed from that register and ensure they remain in at least as good condition as they are currently.  The findings will also help the site owners to look for further funding in order to carry out essential repairs and Tamara will be available to advise on this.

Mineworkers’ Smallholdings
In the late 1700s and up until the late 1800s Mineworkers families were allocated plots of land to grow crops or rear livestock.  These plots could range from the size of a large back garden up to a few acres.  The work looks to identify these plots of land by using the 1840 Tythe Map and the 1841 census.  It will identify who owned the land, what the land was used for and trace the family history of ownership.  Some work had already been done in the Calstock area, but this research will be extended into the Bere peninsula and north of the Callington/Gunnislake road.

Preserving and archiving the Valley’s special features
Previous research has helped us to identify a number of heritage features in the Valley to preserve and if that’s not possible archive them. Tamara is concentrating on these specific topics:
• Lost Landings & Abandoned Quays
• Discovering ancient lives lived in the loops of the river (Living in the Hooes)
• Following former footsteps – historic highways and byways
• Appreciating the heritage of salt marshes
• Tracing the leats that watered and powered the land of Tamara
• Examining the homes and smallholdings of mining families
• Conserving & regenerating market gardens and orchards
Initial work is being facilitated by an expert, but there will be opportunities for community input later this year and beyond.  Our first community workshop, will be this Spring (date tbc).

Heritage Grants
Tamara has some grant funding available for heritage sites that are not eligible for other grant funding.  Most grants awarded will be between £500 and £2000 and applications will be considered by the Tamara Heritage Project Group which comprises heritage experts from both Devon and Cornwall.  If you think you have a site or feature that might benefit from such a grant, contact Gary Lewis, the Tamara Senior Heritage Officer: gary.lewis@cornwall.gov.uk

Call out for Photos and Memories!
We are planning a mobile photographic exhibition for late 2023 and 2024. Alongside this we are collating new research which will focus on the innovative techniques developed in the Tamar Valley in the fields of Mining, Forestry and Market Gardening/Orchards, how they were used and to trace their export to other parts of the UKand further afield.  It is also exploring the history of the Quays and Ferries on the Tamar, Tavy and Lyhner. If you have, or know somebody who has, photographs, personal memories or other documents relating to these techniques then Tamara is keen to hear from you.
Hopefully you would have heard that we are hoping to create a River Festival, which will take place in 2024. During the festival we are planning a week of storytelling that will explore the history of the Tamar Valley. We’re really keen for local schools, history societies and interested individuals to be involved in the research for the stories and those with an artistic flair to help tell the story.  If this is you then please make yourself known to the Tamara Senior Heritage Officer gary.lewis@cornwall.gov.uk.  A pilot event is planned with Calstock Primary School and will take place at the Calstock Heritage Weekend in June.

Online Access to Heritage
We had hoped to create a bespoke online heritage hub for the scheme area, but because of the large costs involved and the need for an expert archivist, we have decided to instead work closely with existing online heritage/historic sites, including Devon & Cornwall HER, Kresen Kernow, The Box (Plymouth) and Historic England, to ensure that records relating to the scheme area are searchable on their systems. This is still a considerable undertaking, but the start-up costs will be mitigated and the expertise is already in place.




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