STORIES are at the heart of everything we do

Stories of olden times and stories that are new

And yes some stories will be in rhyme

Or even in Cornish dialect sometimes!

6 EPISODES of STORIES, each linked with

the LEARNING SESSIONS and the 6 local areas of WALKS

Old pictures and maps illustrate our pages

Episode 1) About the Treffry Family, especially Joseph, the Green Hero of Fowey.

2) About the mines, north of Tywardreath and people who made them successful.

3) About mine machinery and power, near the Meadow Barns.

4) About transport on the Par Canal and out of the harbour.

5) About Luxulyan quarries, for granite and china stone.

6) About clay and railways, from Fowey to Newquay.


Here again we have 6 sections: –

  1. Insulating houses. Learn about building from scratch or retro-fitting.
  2. Heating houses. Discover how best to combine solar with bio-mass and use heat exchange options, such as Air Source and Ground Source (geo-thermal).
  3. Restoring water power (hydro). Study different types of wheel and turbine. Grasp some of the challenges involved in restoring the ancient leat system nearby.
  4. Lithium production. Learn about the 2 companies operating in Cornwall and understand the differences between lithium in water & rocks.
  5. Big scale geo-thermal. When you go much deeper below ground, geo-thermal drilling or restoration of old mine shafts opens up potential to heat a whole housing development.
  6. Bio-fuel for transport. Taking an Indian scheme as a model, we pose an ambitious question. Could we power the Atlantic line trains using bio-fuels from food, animal and human waste?


For our younger visitors we have a very popular, low-level wheel barrow full of gravel and some specks of tin to hunt for, plus new for summer 2022, an indoor ‘Green Play House’ where you can help to build a straw-bale house, which is really ‘Messy Play!’

There are 3 different types of water wheel, each suited to one particular river situation. With water going over the top, it’s called Overshot; water beneath the wheel is Undershot, and water on the shoulder, turning the wheel backwards, is Backshot.

University student and teacher study hydro

The granite area offers opportunities to design and install a viaduct. And in the Big Shed we can stoke the boiler of a steam engine and learn how to crush and process ores with various tools.

Last, but not least, is the magnificent new inclined plane and truck on an old kitchen table! Big thanks indeed to our colleague, David Skelhorn, for the many hours spent constructing this. Under the table is a little version, with rails and tiny trucks for small children to play with.

Sincere thanks to the Treffry family, Kresen Kernow centre and the many other sources of information we have consulted. We all share the hope that visitors will remember the name Treffry & his achievements, long after they depart!

NB Friends of Luxulyan Valley website and Historic England website give fuller detail on Treffry monuments and buildings and why they have special, listed status.