Early Cornish language manuscripts, rare mining artefacts and an unusual collection of fishing flies are on show in Cornwall to mark the culmination of a unique history project.
Penryn Town Hall is hosting the one-day exhibition today. It will include a range of documents and research material from The Enys Project, which has spent two years recording an important and extensive family archive.
The display has been compiled by volunteers, assisted by staff from Cornwall Record Office, and aims to bring to life some of the people and places which feature in the collection.
In 2010, the Enys Collection was saved for Cornwall when Cornwall Record Office was awarded a £327,000 grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to buy it and use the material, which dates back to the 14th century, as the inspiration for a range of activities and events, including family and local history courses, workshops for schools and young people, talks and walks.
The Enys family were minor landholders until the mid-17th century when, on the business success of merchant Samuel Enys and his descendants, the estate grew by purchase, mortgage and marriage until the 19th century. In the family’s heyday they owned land in 25 parishes.
The collection includes maps, plans and hundreds of prints, photographs and drawings. Some of the documents include rare and detailed early ledgers and accounts, recording trade in Europe and the Canary Islands. There are also Cornish language manuscripts and studies and records of prominent Cornish intellectuals.
The Enys Project, which is based in Penryn and St Agnes, recruited 20 volunteers to explore the extensive collection in more detail. The groups have looked at hundreds of manuscripts and uncovering a wealth of information on the history of Cornwall.
Cornwall Record Office service manager Deborah Tritton said: “The research the volunteers have undertaken has been tremendous. The stories they uncovered have been used as inspiration for work with schools and groups and we are very grateful for all the time and energy they have devoted to the project.”
Enys family-related displays are on show at Penryn Museum throughout the summer, while the one-day exhibition focusing on The Enys Project is at Penryn Town Hall today.
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