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24 September 2014

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You are in: Cornwall > History > Local History > Celebrating China Clay

China Clay Mountain

Celebrating China Clay

The last weekend in June sees a whole three days dedicated to Cornwall's Clay Country, celebrating the history, literature and culture of the villages around St Austell. Find out what's happening...

The Rescorla Festival, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is an opportunity to celebrate and learn about the glory days of Cornwall's Clay Country, an enchanted but sometimes overlooked part of the county.

Old China Clay couple

China Clay archive picture

There will be three days of music, literature, dance, food and drink, walks and talks and lots more.

Rescorla is at the heart of the Clay Country, Cornwall's china clay mining district. At the centre of the village is its primitive Methodist Chapel; once the focus of village life, it gradually fell into disuse.

The chapel now stands at the threshold of an exciting and ambitious project that aims to bring it once again to the fore of village life and also wider significance as a Centre for Cornish culture. It is also the main venue for the festival.

"The strange, almost fantastic beauty of the landscape, where spoil-heaps of waste matter shaped like pyramids point to the sky..."

Daphne du Maurier

Festival Highlights

Throughout the festival there will be guided walks taking you through the history of Clay Country. Each walk begins at Rescorla chapel:

Friday at 3.30pm
Saturday at 4.30pm
Sunday at 1pm

Throughout the weekend there will be a wide range of traditional and not so traditional Cornish music. For a full list of events, click on the weblink at the bottom of this page. Other highlights include:

Saturday 28 June 2008

Voices of the Clay Country is an exploration of a huge range of texts, including novels, poetry and ghost stories, covering the area. This happens from 11-4pm at Rescorla Chapel near Penwithick, St Austell.


A map of Rescorla, the festival centre

The Tin Violin is a new play by Alan Kent chronicling the life of Joseph Emidy, a west African slave who landed in Cornwall and became a musical genius. This will be staged at 5pm

Sunday 29 June 2008

Rescorla shares with other Clay Country villages the strangely named tradition of a dance called the snail creep. It involves a long procession following a band lead by two people holding up branches, who form a large circle, spiralling into the middle and back again. Find out more when the dance is staged on Sunday at 5pm at Rescorla's Chapel Field.

last updated: 03/06/2008 at 14:34
created: 03/06/2008

You are in: Cornwall > History > Local History > Celebrating China Clay

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