St Hilary Heritage Centre

St Hilary Heritage Centre

The Centre occupies the recently restored Old School building and documents the rich history of its area and of St Hilary Church. This sits in a stunning location which time forgot and has a unique collection of Newlyn-school paintings from the 1920's, formed by the then vicar, Bernard Walke.

We also have original scripts of the plays he wrote, which were broadcast live early on by BBC radio. Local mining and emigration are also featured in the archive and we welcome many visitors whose forebears left the area in search of work during slumps in the industry. Cornish was spoken in the area till the end of the 17th century and we document the rich local dialect which flowed from that.

  • Chancel panels - Celtic Saints

    The church has many works by artists of the Newlyn School of the 1920s and 1930s. The pulpit and chancel are decorated with pictures telling stories of Celtic Saints. There are also paintings and sculptures by earlier artists of note and a Roger Fry "St Francis".

  • St Hilary miner's grave in Mexico

    Mining was hugely important in this area until the early twentieth century, but its collapse led to wholesale emigration to mining areas throughout the world. Today their descendents return in great numbers and find much of interest here in their quest for their roots.

  • St Hilary's fascinating Churchyard

    This is an ancient site. A mysterious menir inscribed NOTI NOTI (possibly meaning Noti son of Noti) Celtic crosses and a Roman inscribed boundary stone may be seen here and the churchyard contains many fine tombs of locally important people, including three Newlyn School artists

  • Treveneague Fogou, St Hilary

    In 1861 John Blight and Thomas Cornish excavated the Treveneague Fogou in St Hilary Parish. A small collection of the finds from this excavation are on display in the Heritage Centre. These items have kindly been lent by the Penlee House Museum in Penzance

  • Hon Gerard Collier

    Visit St Hilary to see Ernest Procter’s memorial to the Hon Gerard Collier, WEA pioneer and active worker for peace, who tried to open a disused tin mine to alleviate the chronic unemployment in Cornwall after the first World War. Featured in 100 Faces 100 Stories leaflet – a Cornish collection illuminating the First World War.

Admission & prices


The Centre is now closed for 2016 and will open in 2017 for Easter on April 19 & 21 and then from 3 May to 29 September (and at other times by arrangement - please contact us).

Hours of opening are 11.00 am to 4.00 pm on Mondays, Wednesday & Fridays.

The Old Schoolroom upstairs is open on Wednesdays for simple refreshments including Cornish Cream Teas.

Pre-booked parties(up to 30) are welcome for a conducted tour of the Centre and Church to view the art and discover the history. Coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea may be included by arrangement at a modest cost per head.

Find us

From A30 by Marazion take A394 (Helston) to next roundabout. Take B3280 (Leedstown) through Goldsithney to the St Hilary name sign and turn next LEFT into Chynoweth Lane and IMMEDIATELY LEFT AGAIN. Follow the lane to the Centre and St Hilary church.


  • Parking available
  • Toilets On-Site
  • Wheelchair access
  • Cafe on-site
  • Childrens activities

NOTE:The church is fully accessible, with a wide door and no steps. The Heritage Centre and toilet facilities are on the ground floor but have rather narrow doors. The cafe is upstairs and has no wheelchair access.

The St Hilary Local History Group, based at the Centre, organizes lectures and other activities monthly and non-members are warmly welcomed.

We are always grateful for contributions of material for our various archives.
The Heritage Centre is a community venture and Volunteers to help at the Centre are always welcome. Please contact us if you would like to help.

St Hilary Heritage Centre
St Hilary Churchtown
Near Penzance
TR20 9DQ

T: 01326 560970

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St Hilary Heritage Centre

St Hilary Heritage Centre
St Hilary Churchtown

Near Penzance, CORNWALL TR20 9DQ