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24 September 2014

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A true underground experience

The spectacular underground lake in Carnglaze Caverns

Carnglaze consists of three underground caverns set in the Loveny Valley near Liskeard.

The Rum Store has been converted into an auditorium with seating for 400.

Carnglaze Caverns
Find out more about the fascinating caverns, The Rum Store and enchanting surrounding gardens.

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Fact file
+ Carnglaze means 'blue rock pile' in Cornish.

+ Mining stopped around the end of the 19th century.

+ Carnglaze consists of three underground caverns set in 6.5 acres of wooded hillside.

Carnglaze which means "blue rock pile" in Cornish, goes back long before the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

The mud which would become the slate that is Carnglaze was being laid down underneath the seas from as long ago as 500 million years.

The Rum Store
The Rum Store being prepared to host Tallon - an Eagles tribute act

Now the caverns are available for all to see.

You can take a guided tour around the main spectacular cavern, walking down the steps, going underground, and ending up by the amazing underground lake.

The water feature itself has appeared on photographs in many interesting formats. Echo and the Bunnymen produced an album cover while rowing in a boat on the lake (only to sink and have to swim back to shore!)

Recently a local bridal store used the underground scene for striking wedding dress poses.

The Rum Stores
The Rum Store is hosting many concerts this year.

The Rum Store is part of an the underground complex of three man made slate caverns.

The slate walls and roof provide a stunning backdrop for performances, making Carnglaze Caverns a unique venue, with an nteresting history.

Mystery of the Crown Jewels

"The reason for the name was that it was comandeered by the Navy during the Second World War to store the Commonwealth's rum," explains Kaye Sutton from the caverns. "Local legend has it that the crown jewels were also kept in here during the war. This has been researched but the palace refuse to confirm or deny the story."

Slate miner exhibit in the Rum Store
This slate miner might know the secret of the crown jewels!

The identity of the jewels storage during the second world war has been put under lock and key for another 50 years. It seems a likely place to store the jewels, as during the First World War they were stored at Bodmin Jail. For now the location remains a mystery.

"We are 90 feet underground here in the Rum Store," explains Kaye. "It is 90 metres long. One of the advantages we have as a venue is we're fine for wheelchair access."

Quarry works have now been turned into a house
Quarry works as they looked when the slate mine was in operation

Changing a massive cavern into a major entertainment venue has been a wise financial move.

Many artists are keen to play underground and there are lots of concerts and events planned for the coming months.

"We have had to change very little to make the Rum Store what it is today," says Kaye. "I have heard rumours from various people that there was a concert planned some 30-years ago down here. Graham and Caroline Richards, the owners, have been here 18 months now and they saw the immediate potential not only of the rum store but the caverns in general."

Take a walk around the beautiful Enchanted Dell at Carnglaze
One of the delightful fairies in the Enchanted Dell at Carnglaze

Being underground you could be forgiven for expecting the sound to be full of echoes. This is not the case.

"If you look at the shape of the stage area and the fact that the roof here goes slightly down and up and makes it the natural shape to omit sound," says Kaye.

"There is a very short echo which doesn't cause any distortion to the music thankfully. With a good mix the sound is superb."

The Rum Store has many acts appearing in the remainder of this year. The second of two BBC Radio Cornwall Sunrise Concerts takes place there on Saturday November 30th. Find out more about the show

Coming up at The Rum Store

Friday 8th November:
Due to the success of last years firework display at the caverns it is back, bigger and better, but still in aid of St Neot's Scouts and Guides. The Evening starts at 7:00pm with the lighting of the fire, then into The Rum Store to be serenaded with folk from Bo Foaks then a spectacular firework display by Celebrity Fireworks Southwest Ltd. and just when you think it's all over back into The Rum Store for a concert by local band The Board Beaters.

A dragon lurks in the Enchanted Dell
See if you can spot the dragon when you visit the Enchanted Dell!

Saturday 9th November:
War and Peace - A Concert of Remembrance. Following the hugely successful debut of Canoryon Lowen, the mixed chorale led by Nick Hart, a very special evening of music is assured on Saturday 9th November in St Neot Church. The programme will feature not only the 20 singers that form this unique ensemble, but also young players from no less than three of the County's wind ensembles.

To bring them all together, the theme is 'War and Peace' - a concert of remembrance and of hope - a celebration of the human spirit. As ever, specially arranged music will feature, and in particular the first performance of a piece written by well-known singer/songwriter Tony Hazzard, a founder member of Canoryon Lowen.

The offices/house at Carn Glaze
The old quarry works offices have been turned into a house

Sunday 10th November:
Ralph Mctell in concert 10th November, at 7:30pm.
At a Ralph McTell concert you are invited into a unique world, rediscovering the seemingly obvious and speaking the unspoken; from memories of idyllic childhood summers to examinations of the misery caused by political or religious bigotry.

McTell weaves narratives that are significant and poignant. McTell's work explores the apparently simple elements of life - whether these arise from recounting memories of a fatherless upbringing or the cruel games that life can play. Mctell is now celebrating over 30 years on the road; he has evolved into a modern day troubadour.

Although much admired for his virtuoso guitar style - described by the daily express as "an orchestra in six strings" he is primarily a prolific and gifted songwriter, and teller of tales.
Tickets for Ralph Mctell are £12.50 in advance & group discounts are available. Phone The Rum Stores for more information: 01579 320 251

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