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Cornwall's Maritime Churches

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Video Library

Explore the breadth of the project through film. See below how photography and film students have worked together to produce a range of oral history photographic media to documentary reports.

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Our film team

In July 2019, we shook hands with local Penzance based production company, Down South Point of View. The director, Kyle, has grown the company himself, investing in Virtual Reality, 3D modelling and innovative new filming techniques.

Discover more about DownSouth POV >

Documentary Film Series: ‘Exploring Cornwall’s Maritime Churches’

Our TRAILER: Entitled ‘Exploring Cornwall’s Maritime Churches Project’, the series examines maritime history of Cornwall in an entirely new way, using ecclesiastical records and the fabric of churches located by the sea to tell unknown narratives.  

Cornwall is a fantastic location to delve into this undisturbed subject area. Located in the far west of Great Britain on a peninsula tumbling into the vast Atlantic Ocean, bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the Channel, and to the east by the River Tamar. Victoria Jenner, an emerging historian of decorative art and architecture, uses different methods to travel across the duchy and perceive these maritime landmarks from the water, and in relation to their communities. Whether she is running in the ancient footsteps of pilgrims or jumping in a kayak, the church is for the first time positioned as an integral and central piece of the puzzle in Cornish maritime history.  

The first episode sets the scene, demonstrating the extent to which Cornwall is renowned for its folklore. Rather than discard stories that seem ‘nonsensical’, this episode attempts to unravel some of Cornwall’s magical places – such as St Nectan’s Glen, TintagelPadstow’s Doom Bar and Zennor. By recognising how far the sea and the church not only influences but often sits at the heart of famous myths and legendshistorians can decipher why mermaids, giants and chivalric knights have emerged from certain places. What’s more, an important characteristic of Cornish folklore is the fact that stories travelled by early Celtic traders and pilgrims and were retold by Cornish storytellers, otherwise known as droll tellers. To further celebrate this narrative, the film includea variety of folksingers from Cornwall today, from the well-known Harry Glasson to an allfemale acapella group ‘Figurehead’ and two Penzance-born sisters, Martha and Rosa Woods. 

Shipwrecking Nature: Looking into Cornwall’s Maritime Environment

Our Pilot Episode reveals three shipwrecks across three generations in Cornwall.

Join Victoria Jenner as she travels to Marazion in Cornwall with University of Exeter and Falmouth University students, to uncover how these shipwrecks can be told through the famous ‘Benbow Pub’ collection.

With special thanks to the owners of the Benbow Pub.

Virtual talks

Untold Histories of Cornwall

Dr Charlotte MacKenzie lives in Cornwall where she is a freelance historical researcher and writer. Her current research is on women and eighteenth century Cornwall. Charlotte won the 2016 Cardew Rendle prize awarded by the Royal Cornwall Museum and published an article in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall online journal Troze in December 2016. She was previously a senior lecturer in history at Bath Spa University.

Slavery and the slave trade in Cornwall is a subject that has been marginalised in Cornwall’s maritime history.

Eighteenth-century Cornwall is renowned for mining and early industrialisation. However the maritime history of Cornwall still remains a relatively overlooked aspect of scholarship, despite offering key evidence that communities were in fact more diverse than has often been imagined. Dr Charlotte Mackenzie will talk about how maritime history, churches and church records have much to reveal about the African diaspora, slavery and the slave trade in Cornwall.

This second virtual lecture discusses the African diaspora and black identities in Cornwall.

When Britain was a maritime kingdom Cornwall was not at the periphery. People of African descent lived, worked, and had families in Georgian Cornwall. This film reveals a dimension of Cornish and black history which had been largely forgotten and untold.

Exploratory films

More films from Down South Point Of View