Cornerstone Heritage

The University of Plymouth's research centre in cultural heritage – how we live with, use and understand the past through things, spaces, traditions and memory. 

Our researchers exchange ideas and form new partnerships across the fields of heritage studies, art history, history, architecture, business, tourism, geography, 3D and graphic design, and digital technologies. 

We work in co-productions with our partner organisations – museums, galleries, historic sites and landscapes – to develop new projects, test ideas and prototypes and produce new research.

With the support of The Arts Institute we host a range of activities that include network events, visiting speakers, research showcases and an annual postgraduate symposium hosted by the National Trust at Saltram House. 

Cornerstone Heritage is also home to Cornerstone Praxis our heritage research-practice unit.

Featured projects

The Lost Index: NATMUS 

The Lost Index: NATMUS is the latest in a series of locative iPhone apps produced by James Brocklehurst and Emma Whittaker. Sited within museums, the apps incorporate iBeacon technology, binaural sound recordings and perceptual illusions, in conjunction with real-world artefacts from the museum’s collections, to create imaginary playable experiences. Forming part of research that investigates situated narrative experiences, the apps offer new narrative frameworks and an innovative approach to archive and heritage interpretation.

Read more about The Lost Index: NATMUS

The Wallflower Project

In 2020, a series of cultural projects will help Plymouth celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower. One of them will see a group of artists creating pieces of public art which explore aspects of the city’s history and bring them to a new audience. It will see a series of murals created across the city between now and 2020, in conjunction with heritage and community groups and furthering Plymouth’s burgeoning identity as a city of culture.

Read more about The Wallflower Project

The Plymouth LGBT Archive

The Plymouth LGBT Archive project is an award winning community archive created to capture and explore rich life and histories from the Plymouth LGBT communities past and present.

Read more about the Plymouth LGBT Archive project

Song Collectors Pathway project

Oral traditions, from bothy ballads to football chants, surround us at home and abroad. Yet such practices are often most overlooked and undervalued in the digital age. The Song Collectors Pathway project will help bolster the song collecting movement by training participants in tasks including researching, recording, indexing, editing, archiving and publishing. The Song Collectors Collective (SCC) is a broad association of individuals brought together by a common desire to celebrate, document and support singing and oral tradition. The SCC offering includes an online archive of recordings, a support network for song collectors, and a number of annual events. The collective is at the forefront of efforts to document singing practices in the UK and Ireland. 

Read more about Song Collectors Pathway project

ChitChat: Crime, History and Institutions: Transdisciplinary Conversations in Heritage, Art and Transmedia

#CHITCHAT? is a sandpit for research collaboration and forum for the development of tools that encourage public engagement with our research findings and other heritage materials.

At its core, this initiative will engage academic researchers, industry professionals, heritage stakeholders, and the general public in transdisciplinary conversations around Crime, History and Public Institutions through transmedia methods, sources, and platforms.

Read more about #CHITCHAT?

Anywhere - a mythogeography of South Devon

Drawing on almost twenty years of exploratory walking in South Devon, performance maker and ambulatory researcher Phil Smith is at present (late 2016) using the device of the semi-fictional journey of a female researcher who becomes detached from a conference to create a portrait of part of South Devon through its ‘anomalies’ - including, leading nineteenth century technological innovation, modelling modernist suburbia and a modern village, a narrative of extreme ideological racism in its literary tradition, the centralisation of its heritage and the decay and neglect of its heritage margins. With a provisional publication date of 2017. 

For further information contact Phil Smith.