The largest collection of Redruth Brewery bottles can be seen temporarily back in their original home, now known as Kresen Kernow archive centre.

The Cornish Bottle Archive has curated a selection of bottles, many of which come from private collections and are rarely seen on public view, for a pop-up community exhibition.

Some have been found on local riverbeds, others extracted from Victorian dump sites, and still more kept as mementoes by former brewery employees.

The Cornwall Bottle Archive will launch an online archive on July 1, funded by community-based art programme FEAST, with the aim of building up a large-scale collection of pre-war bottles stretching from Penzance to Bude by 2026.

On Murdoch Day (June 15), owners who would like their bottle to be recorded can meet the curators from 10am to 1pm and have it scanned using a lightbox. The team would also love to hear personal stories regarding Cornish glassware.

Charlotte Williams, exhibition co-curator and director of Salt Projects Cornwall, said the display had already led to fresh bottle leads.

“One gentleman worked for Devenish Brewery until the end of the 1980s, and had items recovered from the brewery at that time, including a wonderful illustration that we had never seen before,” she enthused.

“Some of the bottles in this collection haven’t crossed the brewery threshold in 200 years. That thought made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.”

A few items on display were purchased on eBay from sellers based as far afield as the USA and Australia.

“The people who own these bottles are not interested in monetary value - it’s about saving a piece of history and keeping it in Cornwall,” said Charlotte. “We want to keep them here, where they belong.”

And it isn’t just a matter of drinking beer. The exhibition explores innovative bottle design, aerated water and pioneering recycling ideas. A new recipe for finings, used to clarify beer, was sold to the brewery in 1809 by Scottish engineer William Murdoch himself and is now in the Kresen Kernow collection.

The exhibition runs until June 29 during Kresen Kernow’s usual opening hours.