Over recent months, Lelant village, or to give it its proper Cornish name – Lannanta, has been much in the news through a proposed large scale building development. Many residents fear, if given the go ahead, the development could change the village beyond recognition. However, a small group of local parishioners of St Uny (the Parish Church of Lelant) have been looking into the history of Lelant, as well as discussing how best to preserve it for future generations. St Uny parishioners, John Culver, John Sell and Bryan Street form part of a team along with Tim Doyle, whose idea it was to create Lelant’s own Heritage Centre at the tiny Methodis Chapel , situated just inside the kissing gate of the Church’s ancient graveyard. A beautiful location, which has a yellow carpet of primroses in springtime and boasts some of the rarest wild flowers in the summer months. It quite simply is an ancient living graveyard. Stunning, peaceful and a sacred haven for wildlife. The graveyard is also the home of the Boring Bee – better known as the Carpenter Bee as it builds its nest in dead wood.
The tiny Methodist Chapel, which was built in 1879, has been unused since the early 1900’s when the Sunday school vacated and is currently used as a store.
With the help of small numerous grants from the Parochial Church Council (PCC) and Archive Diocesan Fund, the idea of a Heritage Centre has gradually become reality.
Tim Doyle would like to hear from anyone in the village who has artifacts, pictures or photographs of the village of old which could go on display.
Second hand books are to be sold at the Heritage Centre and with the withdrawal of the Cornwall Council Mobile Library, Tim is hoping to have a hub where visitors can access the online catalogue of the service. An important and very useful resource for residents of the village.
Also planned is a small refreshment area, informative displays by Cornwall Wildlife Trust and West Cornwall Golf Club.
The Heritage Centre will be run entirely by volunteers (of which more are needed) and will open for a few weeks from the 31st July, 10am until 4pm daily. It will then close until March next year. This will enable Tim and his trusty team of volunteers to complete what is promised to be “quite a diverse display of the village and its history.”
Summing up this exciting new venture for the village, Tim said: “We hope that the Centre will become a well used resource for villagers and visitors alike for years to come.”
For further information on how to get involved in this very worthwhile venture, phone Tim on 07716740302
Report & Pictures by Colin Sanger