Cornerstone Heritage is an interdisciplinary research group that brings together staff from across the University of Plymouth working in the field of Heritage (or how we live with the past today).  

'Live Projects' are at the heart of Cornerstone's activities.  Live Projects engage with community groups and heritage organisations in the co-production of research-led heritage initiatives. 

Featured Projects
Tavistock World Heritage Site

Professor Daniel Maudlin and Dr Alan Butler are directors of the Tavistock Heritage Partnership, the body responsible for heritage interpretation, education and community programmes in Tavistock, Devon, as part of the HLF-funded restoration and re-use of the historic Guildhall in partnership with Tavistock Town Council. Tavistock is the principal urban area in the UNESCO Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscapes World Heritage Site. The present day town centre was laid out by the Dukes of Bedford in the early to mid nineteenth century to provide housing and civic amenities for...

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CobBauge Project

Led by Professor Steve Goodhew, a traditional building method is being repurposed through an international research project with a view to constructing a new generation of energy efficient homes.

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The Wallfower 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.

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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.

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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).

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The Lost Index: NATMUS

The Lost Index: NATMUS is the latest in a series of locative iPhone apps produced by James Brocklehurst and Emma Whittaker. Sited within museums, the apps incorporate iBeacon technology, binaural sound recordings and perceptual illusions, in conjunction with real-world artefacts from the museum’s collections, to create imaginary playable experiences. Forming part of research that investigates situated narrative experiences, the apps offer new narrative frameworks and an innovative approach to archive and heritage interpretation.

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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.  More specifically, the project will systematically investigate the legislative frameworks in operation; assess the powers and duties of those required...

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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  Read More

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 utilizing archival material and local newspaper reportage and also exploring the institutional heritage - police, prison, courts - associated with offending.

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Upcoming Events
Deborah Boden, Cornish Mining UNESCO World Heritage Site


Mar 15, 2018


Reservoir Cafe, University of Plymouth

Join us at the Reservoir Cafe for drinks and talk by Deborah Boden, Director of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. Deborah will talk about the aims and operations of the WHS including its huge success attracting external funding and running  projects with a diversity of partners from archaeologists to installation artists.

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