Local history

Key information: free, on-site visit, in conjunction with another workshop, any Key Stage

All of the workshops offered at Kresen Kernow relate to Cornwall’s history. If you are looking at more specific history of your town or village, we can include a small selection of documents on this theme as part of your behind-the-scenes tour. All of our workshops use copies of original archive material (where available), such as photographs, maps, letters, newspapers and much more, offering children a unique experience to act as real historians, or historical detectives.

If you are interested in resources for classroom use we can usually provide copies for educational use, although we have limited availability to carry out research on your behalf. If you are searching for photos, you might want to try the Browse images section of this website.

You can read more about all the collections we hold related to local history by visiting our Collections guides page. Our YouTube channel also includes short films about some key archive sources, including lots of local history inspiration. We also have a series of online exhibitions on common curriculum themes.

Visits to Kresen Kernow

We offer free, facilitated school visits to Kresen Kernow. We are able to accommodate one class at a time in our dedicated learning rooms, and visits can last up to 3 hours. A visit will typically entail a tour of the building, including our secure strongrooms, home to 14 miles of shelving and 850 years of history, as well as a workshop on your chosen theme using original Cornish documents from our collections.

Please note: we adhere to Ofsted and Department for Education guidelines for staff-pupil ratios. For more information, please read A teacher’s guide to visiting Kresen Kernow (2021).

Did you know that Cornwall Heritage Trust offers grants to cover travel to heritage sites across Cornwall, including Kresen Kernow? You can find out more here.

Enquire about booking a workshop or visit here

For general visit information please click here.