Meadow Barns Today

Although you can find the Meadow at Penpell by driving away from the busy A390 road for just 2 minutes, or walking for less than 10, when you arrive you find a beautiful oasis of peace and calm. Even a few moments gazing at the breathtaking views of the coast and St Austell Bay can act like a real tonic.

But there is much more you can engage with here. In the big garden you will find what we believe to be the smallest outdoor theatre in the world!

Big garden

Yes it actually looks enormous, but there are only 12 real, socially distanced, bookable seats. So yes, we really do aim for a full house!!

The grass is for picnics and strolling between our working models and displays.

In the theatre we present 6 ‘episodes’ of tales, about a real-life Poldark figure from 200 years ago, called Joseph Treffry. The tales are sometimes dark mining tragedies, but also can often be humorous – entertainment with a flavour of education; laughter with a taste of learning.

Centre Manager, Caroline
Local Hero, Treffry (never a bare chest here!)

Along with the main topics of local history and mining there are also 6 ‘Green Future’ campaigns. But don’t get the wrong idea, we hope never to be ‘Teachy or Preachy’ about this. That’s why we have evolved a range of approaches, ‘betterways2learn’, as first featured in the Daily Telegraph 15 years ago.

At the heart of everything is story telling and practical activities outdoors. You can simply watch or, if you fancy it, put on a costume and join in.

As one of our recent visitors said – ‘it’s informative and humorous, history brought to life’.

Junior age workshop
The miners’ shed, with fire pit
STEM – Hydro energy

For further information about the learning techniques please click http://www.betterways2learn.co.uk/betterways

Key Features of The Meadow Barns

  • Exceptional panoramic coastal views
  • Unique local history stories (Treffry Tales)
  • Woodland walk and story experiences
  • Waterwheel learning centre.
  • Green energy (solar & biomass) systems
  • Limited availability, B & B or budget self catering options
Artist impression
View to Gribben Head

Front patio of cottage

One of wild flower areas
Model of Luxulyan Valley
Overshot water wheel

Meet your host

This picture of Caroline Stephenson dates from Easter 2018, when she took up the reins as project manager of her own ‘Grand Design’. She will happily tell you all about the trials and tribulations of converting the barns, as well as the many green energy initiatives she used within the build & continues using today for managing the site.

What our supporters say

“At Meadow Barns you are perfectly placed to tell the story, paint the BIG picture! “

Sir Tim Smit

“So pleased that you want to inform people about Joseph Thomas Austen Treffry”

Jonathan & Sarah Treffry

Finding Us – DO NOT FOLLOW SAT NAV! Use Google Maps

Directions from the South & West

Drive 2 miles from St Blazey towards Lostwithiel on the main road, A390. You will go over a level crossing and drive about 1 mile on the level (called TYWARDREATH HIGHWAY).

Start to ascend the hill and immediately pass a left turn to PONTSMILL. Keep going up. It’s about 3/4 mile or so til the LEFT TURN that you need to take.

Look for 4 cottages beside the road – the turning drops away in front of the first house. There is no sign, other than saying WEAK BRIDGE. Turn into the country lane, then immediately go down into a dip (take care it is narrow here), then up and reach a slightly wider level area. Look out for a turning to the right and a large wooden sign. Meadow Barns is up the farm track and left.

Directions from the North

This route is different from Google Maps, in order to avoid a challenging right turn across 2 lanes of fast traffic.

Take the main A390 road from Lostwithiel towards St Blazey. After 3 miles, arrive at the top of Penpillick Hill – on a fine day you should see a clear view of St Austell Bay.
Start to descend the hill and slow down, looking ahead for a left turn to Treesmill and Tywardreath. Take the left turn and drive past one small lane on the right at approx 150m. Go a further 50m and take the 2nd turn right, all the way to the bottom of the hill. Look carefully then enter a waiting box to cross lanes then go back up the hill. Keep in the left lane and take the next left turn, before a group of 4 cottages. There is no sign, other than saying WEAK BRIDGE. Turn into the country lane, then immediately go down into a dip (take care it is narrow here), then up and reach a slightly wider level area. Look out for a turning to the right and a large wooden sign. Meadow Barns is up the farm track and left.