Wheal Martyn is delighted to announce that Phase 2 of the building works to deliver the Clay Works project is now underway with Heritage Cornwall Ltd again appointed as our building contractors. This phase includes restoring the top level of the Mica Dry and developing a new gallery for temporary exhibitions; building an extension to the Mica Dry to house our new Learning and Activity Space; creating an accessible route through the buildings for the first time; and the provision of toilet facilities in the Mica Dry Linhay.
We have appointed Far Post Design to develop new interpretation and a new permanent exhibition on transport. Key features will be:
– Pan Kiln – bringing the story of the Victorian method of drying china clay to life and bringing the story up-to-date with how clay is dried now
-Mica Dry – explaining the history of the building, what was dried here and how (including a view of the ovens through the floor of the temporary exhibition gallery)
-Mica Dry Linhay – a new permanent exhibition on the ‘Transport of China Clay’ from the eighteenth century to the present day
-Mica Dry Settling Tanks – what the tanks were used for and their current role as home to a variety of flora and fauna
-Bats – explaining the bats that occupy the site and, in particular, the Lesser Horseshoe bats in their new home above the Peerless Lorry, created in Phase 1 of the building works
-Atrium – a new ‘Welcome’ experience covering not just Wheal Martyn and China Clay Country but also the `Luxulyan Valley and Charlestown’ area of the Cornish Mining World Heritage site with opportunities to delve deeper into these fascinating sites through an `interactive table’
-Around the site – new interpretation boards explaining the shared technologies between the china clay and tin mining industries to complement our existing information panels
We are continuing to trial activities in advance of the new space and have a packed programme for families to enjoy over the school summer holidays. Please have a look at our Events page and keep an eye on social media for details.
We plan to open the new facilities and exhibitions in Spring 2020. Watch this space for further information as the building works progress and for news of the developing exhibition programme for the new temporary exhibition gallery.
Wheal Martyn is grateful to the wide range of organisations that have made this project possible – Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, Historic England, The Pilgrim Trust, The Wolfson Foundation, Cornwall Council, Pennon Environmental Fund (Viridor Credits), Imerys Minerals Ltd, Cornwall Heritage Trust, The Hobson Charity Ltd and others.