May 2023

We recently concluded our work with Sensory Trust on the 'More Than Words' project, which aimed to create sensory-rich interpretation across six industrial heritage sites in Cornwall, including Wheal Martyn. 

'More Than Words' is a Sensory Trust project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players. We are exploring ways to make heritage and culture more accessible to all, regardless of age or ability.

At Wheal Martyn, this is what we did:

Installed two sensory 'pause and explore' benches

The 'touch' bench includes tiles made by Happy Wanderers, a local dementia walking group, while the 'listen' bench included tiles made by our Arts for Health group.

Another workshop involved a group from SENSE (young people with complex disabilities) who claimed it was their favourite day out of 2021, even beating watersports! All of the workshops were received well and each group was delighted to see their work displayed on the sensory benches. 


Installed sensory markers 

Our new sensory markers were installed by Zenna Tagney of Flookan, the Ceramic Hub in St Austell's Market House, using Cornish china clay. They include images of the five senses to highlight areas of Wheal Martyn's grounds that can be appreciated in different sensory ways - for example, sight and sound around the waterwheels and touch and sight for tools. 

These markers enable various audiences (including those with complex disabilities and sensory needs) to access to our museum's collections. 

Created a sensory sign

Our sensory sign tells the story of waste in the china clay industry. A tactile model was created using a pure piece of porcelain depicting a model sky tip, to show that historically, for every one tonne of china clay mined, nine tonnes of waste was created. 

This signage was created in a sympathetic and accessible way using models that can be touched, with clear language and widgets telling a story. 

Created a sensory story

We created a sensory story based around the concept of 'china clay in your everyday.' This provides a useful resource for events, school groups and visitors with sensory needs. 

If you're interested in reading more, we love this article by Sensory Trust with tips on exploring industrial heritage using all of our senses.