An independent charity that protects historic sites across Cornwall has announced its bid to purchase a historic hill near Helston which went up for sale last month. 

Cornwall Heritage Trust cares for 14 Cornish historic sites and is hoping to purchase Tregonning Hill, a historic site which contains monuments dating back to the Bronze Age and is known as the birthplace of the global china clay industry. 

The charity submitted an offer shortly after the property came onto the market in July and is now in the process of putting together an expression of interest to secure the historic Cornish site. 

Cornwall Heritage Trust CEO, Cathy Woolcock said: “Tregonning Hill is a unique part of Cornwall’s heritage so when it came onto the market, we knew we needed to try and purchase the site to safeguard its future and ensure public access remains. The site has complex needs not least because a significant proportion of it is protected as a Scheduled Monument, so we want to make sure it gets the care it deserves.”  

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the public about the sale - there are so many people who want to protect the site and that’s why we feel it’s so important to get the word out about our hopes to purchase it.” 

Historic England Heritage at risk project officer, Ann Preston-Jones said: “Tregonning Hill is of such importance for the history of Cornwall. It is crowned by the stony ramparts of a major Iron Age hillfort, with two smaller, very well-preserved,  defended settlements of a similar era on the lower slope to the north-east. Between the two are the distinctive strips and cultivation ridges of a medieval field system. This wealth of early remains has led to the designation of a large part of the hill as a Scheduled Monument. 

“With its many prospecting pits, shafts and quarries of the more recent industrial past, the hill is also included within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and it was here that china clay was first mined in Cornwall. 

“Such significance deserves the protection and management of an organisation committed to the preservation and careful management of Cornwall’s heritage. We, therefore, welcome Cornwall Heritage Trust’s bid for the purchase of Tregonning Hill and very much hope that the charity can become the custodian of the site.”  

Cornwall Heritage Trust was formed in 1985 and is a registered charity based in Redruth. It works to preserve and strengthen Cornwall’s unique heritage through its grant schemes, education projects and care of 14 historic sites across Cornwall. 

• More information on the work of the Trust can be found on their website: