Cornerstone Heritage projects

Find out more about our projects, past and present

Live projects

Creative Recovery by Carey Marks

Creative Recovery

Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who fled conflict and other adversities in their homelands are facing challenging times here in the UK as they are trying to integrate and build a new life. Being uprooted from your home and community is not easy especially when you are faced with new struggles in life around navigating the UK Migration System, searching for adequate housing and most importantly, defining who you are again in this world.

Creative Recovery shows the narrative that the media misses from war-torn countries and others suffering from conflict. A narrative that visually represents cultures and people from across the world and how they feel it is appropriate to represent their homes and homelands as heritage. Through maps, photographs and 3D models, the project aimed to answer important and challenging questions like: Where is home? And, What is home to you? These questions were amplified for all those who have crossed the borders into Europe from the Middle East and Africa in recent years. While such questions have dominated anthropological and sociological research, it has rarely been answered visually and spatially. 
Funded by the European Cultural Foundation and in partnership with the British Red Cross, Associate Professor Dr Sana Murrani worked alongside Photojournalist Carey Marks with 12 refugees and asylum seekers in the Southwest of England on a participatory action research project that visualises the meaning of ‘home’ for the 12 protagonists. Through a series of nine workshops over nine months, the team mapped familiar journeys participants took as part of their everyday life in their homelands. These journeys were overlayed with old photographs and personal items while Carey was photographing the participants to show that they are more than just ‘refugees’. The work was exhibited as part of Refugee Week 2019 and appeared on BBC Spotlight Southwest as well as on local radio channels.
For further information please contact Dr Sana Murrani.
Cornerstone Heritage - Powderham Castle

Cornerstone at Powderham Castle

The history department at Plymouth is currently engaged on a two-year project at Powderham Castle, Devon, in partnership with the Historic Preservation program at the University of Pennsylvania. The project has several strands including community projects, field studies – commencing in June 2017 – to investigate the historic fabric and material culture of the castle and surrounding landscape, cataloguing the castle library; producing a database of archived documents relating to the castle and Courtenay family (held in the castle and at local and national archives), and the development of new heritage interpretation content and platforms (including digital media). 
Mural with scaffolding

The Wallflower Project

In 2020, a series of cultural projects will help Plymouth celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower. One of them will see a group of artists creating pieces of public art which explore aspects of the city’s history and bring them to a new audience. It will see a series of murals created across the city between now and 2020, in conjunction with heritage and community groups and furthering Plymouth’s burgeoning identity as a city of culture.
The Plymouth LGBT Archive

The Plymouth LGBT Archive

The Plymouth LGBT Archive project is an award winning community archive created to capture and explore rich life and histories from the Plymouth LGBT communities past and present.
Song Collectors Pathway project

Song Collectors Pathway project

Oral traditions, from bothy ballads to football chants, surround us at home and abroad. Yet such practices are often most overlooked and undervalued in the digital age. The Song Collectors Pathway project will help bolster the song collecting movement by training participants in tasks including researching, recording, indexing, editing, archiving and publishing. The Song Collectors Collective (SCC) is a broad association of individuals brought together by a common desire to celebrate, document and support singing and oral tradition. The SCC offering includes an online archive of recordings, a support network for song collectors, and a number of annual events. The collective is at the forefront of efforts to document singing practices in the UK and Ireland. 

The Vicinity Project

“Tourism proxemics and software systems for improving heritage management walking routes on city breaks.”
Short city-break holidays for cultural tourism can create a disorientation for holidaymakers. They arrive at the hotel, often in the evening of the first day and do not have time to find their bearings. The following day a whole morning can be lost looking for the museum, monument, garden or visitor attraction at the top of their list. As they walk there, just two streets away may have been an exciting point of interest unknown to them. 
Working in the French town of Nantes, Charles Mansfield, Denise Maior Barron and Andy Annamalai have developed Loceme software (trialled by Professor Jim Laidlaw at the University of Edinburgh) for use in smartphone technology in heritage trails and museum guides.
iStock image 000021672625

Underwater heritage assets

Funded by Historic England, the aim of this project is to assess the enforcement capacity available to be applied to the conservation of underwater heritage assets in the English Inshore Plan Area. Currently a number of bodies have a legislative remit to take enforcement action in relation to their relevant sectors – such as fisheries, licensing, pollution and immigration or excise. While there are some examples of inter-agency, co-operative endeavour, on the whole the picture is not formally coordinated, to the extent perhaps it could be. 
Phil Smith image

Anywhere – a mythogeography of South Devon

Drawing on almost twenty years of exploratory walking in South Devon, performance maker and ambulatory researcher Phil Smith is at present (late 2016) using the device of the semi-fictional journey of a female researcher who becomes detached from a conference to create a portrait of part of South Devon through its ‘anomalies’ – including, leading nineteenth century technological innovation, modelling modernist suburbia and a modern village, a narrative of extreme ideological racism in its literary tradition, the centralisation of its heritage and the decay and neglect of its heritage margins. With a provisional publication date of 2017. 
For further information contact Phil Smith.
Union Street 1896

Everyday offending in Plymouth

A team led by Professor Kim Stevenson is currently working on a pilot project examining the policing and moral regulation of everyday offending and crime in Plymouth 1880–1920 utilising archival material and local newspaper reportage and also exploring the institutional heritage – police, prison, courts – associated with offending.

Culture and Heritage Exchange (CHEx)

Culture and Heritage Exchange (CHEx), formally #CHITCHAT?, is a sandpit for research collaboration and forum for the development of tools that encourage public engagement with our research findings and other heritage materials.
At its core, this initiative will engage academic researchers, industry professionals, heritage stakeholders, and the general public in transdisciplinary conversations around Crime, History and Public Institutions through transmedia methods, sources, and platforms. 
Oldway Cornerstone Heritage

Ethnographies of Emotion in Tourism Destinations – from Travel Writing to Place Branding

The research of Dr Charlie Mansfield in the University's tourism department examines the practices of holidaymakers and those working in the tourism industry as constructive components of the destination image (TDI). Then, through an innovative process of interpretation, using ethnographic and phenomenological methods, to arrive at mediating texts for destination place branding. 
Foulston Library Wilson engraving

Reading in the provinces: Plymouth Public Library, 1810–2016

This project focused on the early history of Plymouth Public Library, a subscription library founded in 1810 and still in existence.
Plymouth with its naval base had benefited greatly from the ongoing Napoleonic Wars. This wealth enabled the founding of the library and the erection of a lavish purpose-built building. The popular history of Plymouth tends to be one of destruction and focuses on the city being heavily bombed in the second world war (the library building, too, was destroyed and the library now operates from different premises). 
This project sought to establish a complementary narrative: Plymouth’s oldest surviving institution, its proprietary library, was founded with money gained through war, enabling the flourishing of culture and the dissemination of knowledge, from the early nineteenth century to the present day. 
Bureau photographed at Saltram House, Plymouth.

Material culture at Saltram House

In collaborative partnership with the National Trust’s Saltram House and Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, undergraduate history students led by Jonathan Mackintosh are developing their skills through hands-on engagement with artefacts and documents at Saltram House, the Georgian country house of the Parker family on the outskirts of Plymouth.
The work was challenging, requiring students to take creative initiative in order to work with, understand and interpret things – material culture – some of which were being accessed or opened for the first time.

S-130: the last surviving German S-Boat

Since 2005 Harry Bennett has been involved in a heritage project to safeguard and document an historic ship. The ship in question is S-130: the last surviving German motor torpedo boat (S-Boat) of the Second World War.
His work has involved researching the history of the boat and contextualising its development and history for the purposes of restoration. That in turn has meant working with international archives and the family that built the boat and working through their private holdings including textual, photographic and film records. It has also meant working with public, including veterans groups, heritage organisations, documentary makers and the media interested in the vessel's involvement in a 1944 tragedy involving American troops off the South Devon Coast. That involvement culminated in the definitive documentary on the disaster: America's Secret D-Day Disaster. 
For further information contact Harry Bennett or watch an interview with Harry on YouTube.
Ukraine recce 2009