Grave tales from St Day

The lives of the people buried in the churchyard of St Day Old Church illustrate the social history of Cornwall, from trade and emigration to poverty and disease. I am currently piecing together these stories to create a portrait of nearly 200 years of a Cornish community. I'll be posting more as the project develops.

Cornish wives 'left behind'

In the 19th century many thousands of wives remained in Cornwall while their husbands worked abroad, and I am continuing the research that led to my PhD to explore their experiences and tell their stories. This research has highlighted the potential for greater use by academic researchers of the databases and resources developed for and by family historians – something that I would like to explore further. Read more

St Day Old Church

The ruined old church in St Day, Cornwall was recently bought on behalf of the community by the St Day Old Church CIC, and is undergoing conservation work to open it up as a outdoor venue for heritage, arts and community events. I have researched the history of this fascinating building and its connections to the Cornish diaspora. Read more about St Day Old Church project

Remembering the war dead of St Day

As part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project to restore Town Clock in St Day, Cornwall, I led a project to research history of this local landmark and the names of the individuals commemorated on the war memorial that forms part of the building. Read more

Hidden treasures from a solicitor's office

A project to catalogue the unknown contents of a large number of archive boxes for a private client turned into an on-going adventure in history. Opening the next box revealed anything from an early medieval deed, manorial records, an unusual legal document or the more mundane ephemera of past lives. Read more about my archive services

My long-standing interest in local history had led to involvement with Heritage Lottery-funded projects, researching Ruyton XI Towns Castle in Shropshire and the Town Clock in St Day, Cornwall.


I also undertake family and house history research and work for private archives.


DiaspAURA Light Festival

February 2020


In 2019/20 I worked again with

the Day-Light Group

providing the historical research

to inform local school children and professional artists in the creation of animations, lanterns and

light installations

for a three-day light festival 

celebrating community ownership of

St Day Old Church, its history and connections with the wider world and especially the Cornish diaspora.


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© 2016-2020 Lesley Trotter.