Writer: Alex Mawson-Harris
Steven Barritt

Dreams of Rescorla

Dreams of Rescorla
rolling downhill
thorn, horn and gorse

Dreams of Rescorla
Jojo Moyes
making phone calls

Dreams of Rescorla
centre of Celts and clean

Dreams of Rescorla
bagas keskewsel

Dreams of Rescorla
birds circling

Dreams of Rescorla
made billions in

Dreams of Rescorla
grey stone

Dreams of Rescorla
open view of nowhere
not gone

A landscape ripped open, out to its end
The village of Rescorla sprawls out into Cornish countryside, ”rolling downhill, thorn, horn and gorse”. Its name is thought to derive from the Cornish ros (heath), ker (fort/earthwork) and lan (enclosure).

The telephone box is crammed with books, showing “we trust you”
The classic red phone box signals a time gone by, still bursting with community spirit, ”Jojo Moyes making phone calls”. 

Upwards, the houses crowd around the centre, weekly Celtic traditions pulling people together
The Rescorla Centre, ”centre of Celts and clean air”,  is home to people like Dr Garry Tregidga who study Cornwall’s language, history and culture, helping to keep these very much alive, with Cornish studies, Cornish conversation groups (bagas keskewsel Kernewek) and Esedhek Rescorla (the Rescorla Session) bringing together musicians to perform Cornish and Celtic music.

The former Methodist chapel, still a place of hope and faith
The centre, once a Methodist chapel, gathers locals and visitors alike for music, singing, storytelling, and a book club focused on Cornish tales, as well as hosting the village’s annual festival (complete with its own traditional medieval dance, the snail creep, coiling in on itself, just like a snail shell).

A place to take with you, held up to your ear, just like a shell
There’s even a podcast, delving into “aspects of Cornish culture in the past and present –  including stories around the china clay industry – the history of local churches and chapels, Celtic mythology, and family history”.

Nature intertwined with a landscape shaped by china clay mining – Cornwall’s largest mining industry
Once the beating heart of the land and community, former china clay works and their spoil heaps, known as ”white pyramids”, forever echo across the view. In today’s money they took billions worth of china clay out of the earth, leaving behind many of those who dug it. 

From Rescorle to Rescorla
Only one letter has changed in the name Rescorla across the centuries, but the village is full of stories. Cornish tales told in a local language held close, history brought to life by a thirst for heritage and connection with place. The books in the phone box, waiting to be read, and read again.

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