Insight / 21-Jun-24

Sancreed Beacon: Heathland regeneration and the preservation of Bronze Age structures

Written by Emma Hosking
Sancreed Beacon: Heathland regeneration and the preservation of Bronze Age structures

If you've ever fancied learning how to use a traditional scythe, or just want to do your bit to help preserve Cornwall’s rich and distinct heritage then we urge you to support the Cornwall Heritage Trust who offer membership and access to lots of exciting sites throughout Cornwall, as well as various volunteering opportunities across the County.

A team of us from Poynton Bradbury Architects have spent the morning volunteering with Cornwall Heritage Trust Countryside Rangers Hollie Ferris and James Shipway at Sancreed Beacon, an area of beautiful natural moorland in West Penwith, Cornwall. 

It's oddly satisyfing to swing a scythe and know that with each cut you are bringing back a small patch of biodiversity!
It's oddly satisyfing to swing a scythe and know that with each cut you are bringing back a small patch of biodiversity!

Sancreed Beacon in West Penwith is not only a haven for wildlife but also a site of historical significance, with remains dating back to the Bronze Age.

Hollie and James gave an insightful tour of Sancreed Beacon and the work they are doing to preserve the site.
Matt Wills in action!
The Cornish Heritage Trust hold an annual beacon lighting at Sancreed, which is a spectacular evening event not to be missed!

As with so many of these sites that would have historically been used for grazing, the site is affected by the encroachment of scrub vegetation and bracken. The Cornwall Heritage Trust, who have owned and managed the site since 1985 undertake a regular programme of vegetation management to promote heathland regeneration and improve the biodiversity of the site. Doing this also protects and enhances the setting of the Bronze Age structures on the Beacon, including the remains of two burial mounds on the summit and the remains of what is believed to be a Bronze Age hut on its western slope.

The site is home to rare species of plant such as the Spotted Heath Orchid.
The site is home to rare species of plant such as the Spotted Heath Orchid.

Poynton Bradbury Architects are a business sponser of the Cornwall Heritage Trust, supporting their work to preserve and strengthen our unique Cornish heritage. As well as corporate sponsership, they offer individual membership that gives amazing benefits such as:

When the ponies aren't trying to steal pasties they help with the management of the bracken through their grazing.
When the ponies aren't trying to steal pasties they help with the management of the bracken through their grazing.

There are heritage sites all over Cornwall that are uncared for and at risk. Your support can help protect Cornwall’s most iconic and important historic sites, and offer universal access to these special places.

Our team of heritage consultants and accredited conservation architects in Cornwall are always keen to get involved with helping to preserve local heritage and improve access to our historic structures and landscapes. Please get in touch if you'd like to know more about our work and find out more about our experience volunteering with the Cornwall Heritage Trust.

A big thanks to our Accreditated RIBA Conservation Architect Emma Hosking who organised the day with the Cornwall Heritage Trust
A big thanks to our Accreditated RIBA Conservation Architect Emma Hosking who organised the day with the Cornwall Heritage Trust

Meet the Author

Senior Architect
Emma Hosking
BA (Hons)  BArch (Hons)  ARB  RIBA  CA Emma studied at the Canterbury School of... Read More

BA (Hons)  BArch (Hons)  ARB  RIBA  CA

Emma studied at the Canterbury School of Architecture before joining Poynton Bradbury Architects in July 2000 and completing her training with Plymouth University in 2003.  She has a wide range of experience leading on projects encompassing public buildings, schools, community buildings and historic properties with diverse and complex client groups ranging from local authorities to charity-based community groups and the private sector. 

With a keen interest and extensive experience in conservation architecture and historic buildings, Emma was formally recognised with entry onto the RIBA Conservation Register at the Conservation Architect level. Emma is a regular speaker for the Firm Foundations Programme provided by Cornwall Museums Partnership.

Email Emma

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