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.

In the big garden you will find what we believe to be the smallest outdoor theatre in the world! And our opening day on MONDAY MAY 17th 2021 will be really special, obviously. If you book first then ….

you get to choose the type of show, the recipe of FREE pasty for lunch & type of FREE bubbly for a toast.

View from the ‘Royal Balcony’ of Queen Victoria

We have a 3 cars/ 3 ‘bubbles’ policy, with only 12 adult, socially distanced seats i.e. each car has a max of 4 passengers, at a Standard show.

Terraces, with sea views, for picnics

The grassy areas provide extra seating and play places for small people, at a Family Show + STEM challenges for adults.

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!)

CHOICES The first group to book on any date can choose between a Standard adult performance, or a shorter Family show, when the extra 2 or 3 small people in your car arrive with their own rugs & cushions for sitting on the grass. (We provide water proof bags, on damp days!). You may also request alternative show times and dates; we’ll do our best to offer what you need, just email your request.

Along with the main topics of local history and mining there are 6 ‘Green Future’ campaigns, working in partnership with local organisations such as Eden Project and St. Austell Print Company. 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. More on this below …

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

SCHOOLS A moment ago we promised not to be too ‘Teachy!’ But of course for visits of educational groups, there are more formal and structured programmes, based on our unique, innovative and well-researched ‘Betterways’ methods.

Take this link to School Visits – The Meadow Barns

And visit our partnering web site, to find out more about the methods.

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