Although we really love outdoor adventures, the best introduction to our local mining history is a short visit to the Library of Treffry. We have converted one end of a barn that dates back to the heyday of copper mining and is shown on this 1840s tithe map.
Each numbered area had a tax levied on it, by a major land owner, locally. Penpell payments were made to the Kendall family of Pelyn.
We think the library today was a long building on the west side of the plot numbered 1735. But the layout of buildings was changed significantly in the mid 19th century.
If libraries are not your style, be reassured that you can enjoy this one! You will not be squinting at chunks of dense, small print. Instead, we will invite you to gather round in a group and view a Treffry Tales ‘Story Walk’ book projected to a huge screen, or look at an A3 size picture book, whilst listening to accompanying sound recordings that really bring the tales to life. After that there is time for questions and discussions, followed by a hot drink + optional miner’s snack. All in all, a unique sensory experience!
There are 10 sections of content in the library, from which we ask you to select in advance. Please just send an email at least one week before you want to come. And if you plan to add outdoor activities, choose stories that link with the relevant walks from Meadow Barns e.g. TT2, TT3, TT5 & 6:-
- Early Life of Treffry (Treffry Tales or TT1) – from 1782 to 1822 in & around FOWEY
- Mines and the People who helped them succeed (TT2) – deals with Fowey Consols from 1822 to 1852, and later operations at New Fowey Consols. We also add a supplement about the pros and cons of contemporary mining developments, e.g. Lithium & rare/critical minerals
- Mines and Machines (TT3) – following the same timeline as TT2, the focus here is on power. There is a little tale about steam but many more stories of flowing water from near Luxulyan, taken to Fowey Consols for turning numerous wheels and driving a water-pressure engine.
- Transporting ore on boats, via canal and harbour (TT4) – from 1828 to 1848 at Ponts Mill and Par, followed by further sections on the clay industry of later times
- Great granite quarries & construction (TT5) – from 1838 to 1850 around Luxulyan Valley, story of the viaduct followed by later China Stone
- Tracks, Trucks and Trains (TT6) – from 1840s to the present day, encompassing a variety of Treffry legacies, but especially the Great Western Railway system
- Children’s Climate section, with focus on our Ceremony of Climate Hope & a sustainable future
- Adult Climate section, with focus on sustainable home building and energy systems
- Julian Family donated books, with major content about engineering challenges plus lots of Brunel
- Other donations and topics
The library is too small for a whole class of a school or a larger audience. For those we have a very large timber shed, with long benches, chairs, folding tables and a fire (which doubles as the boiler for a steam engine!). There are tea making facilities and a good fibre internet connection, making it suitable to be hired for twilight training sessions and early evening meetings.
House of Green Play
The purpose of this space is mucky play! There are straw bale walls and tubs of clay, which young children learn to apply with their hands – a traditional building method, which also features in our story session about the 3 Little Pigs of Penpell Farm (children also engage in painting and drawing, as below).
Climate Education Block
This is an adapted modern garage, used to store a large collection of sustainable energy resources, including biomass pellets, technology equipment linked with Eden Geothermal project, construction materials for an eco-house, illustrations of different green energy types and more. A school, church or other organisation can receive complete training for their own assembly/ceremony of climate hope in this space. Alternatively, we can be booked to deliver the same workshops in the community.
North end of library building
Serving hot drinks and snacks is an important element for an enjoyable visit. Here we have a large kitchen, well equipped with ample choice of pots n pans, crockery and cutlery, a microwave, a Belling-type electric stove and a small fridge.
Bedrooms & showers
Barn 1 is the Cow Shed option, with 2 generous size single beds in separate rooms, and a possible extra sleeping space on the long sofa (see picture right, below).
The bathroom has a powerful shower with solar-heated water and high level fan heater.
If you need to catch up with the world, then there is a good mobile phone signal and free guest Wi-fi.
in the Cottage
The 2nd overnight option is in the cottage, a conversion which was completed in 2019. The little self-contained suite comprises a large hall, bathroom and spacious king-size bedroom (in the cottage picture above, the suite is downstairs, behind both windows and the large glass doors).
There is a good mobile phone signal, a small TV and free guest Wifi.
The shower room for Woodland Suite has a really spacious feel, with a number of quirky features, such as the arrow-slit windows and hand-crafted taps in bronze and copper. We’ve used traditional materials like these throughout the house.
Green Energy pellet boiler
In the hall you’ll see an unusual feature of the Woodland Suite – the green energy biomass system with a MCZ boiler, imported from Italy by UK company https://www.specflue.com. You can see a picture of this area when you select the Green Build tab, above.