Events News

St Ives Archive Open Day at the Market House on 15th December

Archive aweigh!

St Ives Archive invites you to an Open Day at the Market House on the 15th December from 10:00am – 15:00pm.

The St Ives Archive is on the move, having been in its present home for the last five years in Carbis Bay an opportunity has arisen to move into the town centre again. The first floor space has now become vacant in the Market Place building and the St Ives Town Council have offered this great space to create a new heritage study centre and storage facility for the St Ives Archive. 

This move will provide greater access for everyone to visit the collection and learn more about the fascinating history of St Ives from early times. The Market House building itself was completed in 1832 just five years before Queen Victoria came to the throne. The building is an important historic asset and the home of the former borough council and assizes. The original building was open downstairs and was covered later in the 20th Century to create shop units. In contrast, the upstairs is, amazingly, little changed from its early days. The raised Council chair and seating are all still in position along with the old cell food hatches from the assize court days.

Whilst the building is in sound condition there is a lot to do to bring it into the 21st century. The existing access is generally unsuitable and lift access will need to be provided for those not able to use the stairs. Modern archive storage facilities will be needed along with new toilet and kitchen areas and a fresh coat of paint all around!

Lyn Burchess, Chair of the Archive, said:

“The hard work has begun and we are looking to take advantage of this opportunity to increase our accessibility to the community by extending our opening hours and providing up-to-date facilities, catalogue access and equipment in a refurbished building. The journey started over a year ago with the purchase and implementation of a new online browser-based catalogue bringing together our legacy databases in one place. The work is ongoing and the refinements to the contents of the new Epexio system will take a few more years yet.

We are hoping to move into the Market House in 2025 but this is dependent upon availability of funding to carry out the renovation work. We are currently progressing applications to the St Ives Enterprise grant and also the Government’s Community Ownership Fund.

We also need to raise our own funds to make the move happen and to finance the running costs for new accessible opening hours, equipment and systems. We are holding an Open Day on the 15th December to give everybody a chance to see inside a building they rarely see the interior of and also enjoy a display from our Archive collections. This all needs new volunteers to help deliver the change. We would particularly welcome those volunteers with skills in fundraising, cataloguing and marketing.”

If you are able to volunteer please email the Chair at and we can arrange a chat. Equally, if you are able to make a donation we would be very grateful as a registered UK charity. A donation can be made through the Donate page on the website or by contacting the team via the above email address.

Events History and Heritage

The History of Halsetown: An Illustrated Talk by Tony Liddicoat

Join St Ives Archive volunteer Tony Liddicoat for his illustrated talk on the history of Halsetown at the Balnoon Inn on Thursday 16th November.

The talk is free to attend (no booking required) and will begin at 7.30pm with food and drinks available on the night. Donations to the Archive will be collected at the end of the presentation.

We hope to see you there! See below for the event’s full details.

Events News

St Ives Archive at the September Festival 2023

St Ives Archive is delighted to return to this year’s St Ives September Festival with two guided history walks and a specialist talk about Troika ceramics. Archive Trustee Tony Mason will be leading the ‘The History and Mystery of St Ives’ on the two Wednesdays of the Festival – 13th and 20th September – and Volunteer Madie Parkinson-Evans will be presenting ‘Troika Tales – Celebrating Ceramicists’ on Friday 22nd September.

Please see below for further details on the walks and talk along with how to book your ticket.

Please visit the September Festival’s website here to book your ticket to Madie’s ‘Troika Tales’ talk.

Events News

St Ives Archive Celebrates World Photography Day

Bamaluz Beach
Bamaluz Sunbathers by James Warbey

In celebration of World Photography Day on August 19, St Ives Archive is putting on a special one-week photo sale featuring 16 limited edition prints by local photographers. Beginning this Saturday and lasting until August 26, the photographs – all taken of St Ives by emerging artists and established professionals alike – will be available for £25 each on the Archive’s online shop.

The unique selection of photographs includes film, digital, black and white and colour prints portraying different aspects of St Ives: close-ups of ancient stones, atmospheric beach scenes, nostalgic townscapes and lively skatepark photography. All images were originally a part of the Archive’s Secret Photo Show in April, a two-day art sale that raised £550 for the preservation of the town’s rich photographic heritage. Since the Archive’s founding in 1996, the organisation has digitised more than 35,000 photographs, some of which date from the mid-19th century.

Tegen Veal, one of many young photographers who has a print for sale, recently finished her A levels, including one in photography, and is going to Falmouth University in September to study marine and natural history photography. When asked how the town and seaside inspire her work, Tegen said: “St Ives will always have a place in my heart because it’s where I feel at home. I love to capture this in my photography, using it as a medium to portray feelings and my perspective on life as well as little moments that catch my eye.”

St Ives Harbour
St Ives Harbour by Samuel Crookshank

Two black and white film prints by Samuel Crookshank also feature in the World Photography Day sale. St Ia’s 15th-century church tower appears in both, as seen from the harbour in one and the memorial gardens in the other. In addition to being a photographer, Samuel is a musician, poet and surfer. He said of the photo show in April, “I am honoured to attend this incredible event. What a part of history and St Ives history especially!”

Photography lies at the heart of St Ives’ history and the Archive’s collection. Opening our eyes to many facets of the town’s heritage, from fishing and mining to art and architecture, traditions and customs, St Ives Archive’s photographic database is accessible to anyone interested in the history of the parish. To celebrate the talented local photographers who continue to capture the beauty, people and stories of St Ives, make sure to visit the Archive’s online shop. All sales support our ongoing heritage work and help protect the future of our collection.

St Ives Skatepark
St Ives Skatepark II by Nik Read

The featured image of this article is Smeaton’s Pier by Tegen Veal.

Events News

St Ives History Walk with Tony Mason: Summer Series

Events News

Secret Photo Show: Meet the Photographers

For the first time, St Ives Archive is collaborating with local photographers to put on the Secret Photo Show, a two-day art sale to raise money for the Archive.

The show will include works by a talented group of photographers from a range of specialities and expertise. All photos, to go on display next week, were taken in and around St Ives, complementing the Archive’s own collection of 35,000 images and the photographic heritage of the town.

To support these incredible local photographers, join us on the 5th and 6th of April at Harbour View House in St Ives (see poster below). Until then, be sure to check out their photography and creative practices by visiting their websites and social media profiles below.

We hope to see you at the Secret Photo Show, and who knows, you may even take home a beautiful print by a photographer you never knew!

See Instagram for more details.

James Warbey

Warbey is a professional photographer based in St Ives, capturing the beauty and magic of the sea and the surf. His work is regularly featured in publications like Local, Oceanographic and Salt Water and all of his images are available as fine art prints on his website.

Website | Instagram

Georgia MacGregor

Georgia runs a boutique hotel in St Ives, Cornwall, with her husband Ant where you can find a small selection of her travel prints on display. Her background is in interior design which she continues to practice at Harbour View House. To browse and order her bright and beautiful prints, please visit her website below.

Website | Instagram

Oli Riley

Oli is a photographer, filmmaker and artist from St Ives. As a surfer and all-around nature lover, he feels inspired to share the beauty of nature with others and hopes to make people more aware of the intricate details in nature that lie all around us. Learn more about his award-winning work and upcoming projects on his website.

Website | Instagram

Tegen Veal

Tegen is a young photographer based near St Ives with a passion for the sea and the environment. She loves exploring different techniques and processes within photography and the creativity it offers. Her practice also includes experimenting with lumen prints and interviewing locals for her “connected to water” series.


Jackson Whitefield

Jack is an artist who lives and works in St Ives. Inspired by his immediate surroundings, he works across photography, film, drawing, bookmaking and site-specific earthworks. To learn more about his art, photography and publications, be sure to visit his website and profile on Instagram.

Website | Instagram

John Chard

Born within a stone’s throw of the harbour, John loves chronicling the changing seasons around St Ives’ historic port, as well as other locations around West Cornwall. He offers a wide range of prints and gifts on his website and takes on private commissions in the local area.

Website | Instagram

Barrie Walker

Barrie is a long-time photographer who lives in St Ives. He is a member of the St Ives Camera Club, which was formed in 1977 and still meets today. A selection of his works, from seascapes and sports photography, can be found on the Camera Club’s website.

Website | Instagram

Tom Wedge

A passionate photographer living in St Ives, Tom is known for documenting stunning sunrises and natural phenomena around the coast. His nighttime photography of star trails and moonrises is just as magnificent. Find more of his work on Alamy below.

Alamy | Facebook

Anthony Gribbin

Anthony is a painter and photographer based in St Ives. He is the director of the National Acrylic Painters’ Association and a regular exhibitor at STISA open shows. His art can be described as Geometric Abstraction, often mixing layers and planes, colours and patterns.


Keith Mason

Cornwall being his favourite place in the world, Keith has captured many gorgeous scenes in and around St Ives. He takes family portraits, commercial headshots, cast images for shows, pictures at gigs, and other events. Check out his website and Facebook for more.

Website | Facebook

Toby Davies

Toby is a photographer living in St Ives, specialising in film and black and white photography. The natural landscape and old buildings feature in his work alongside travel scenes and striking portraits. Follow his Instagram account for more.


Nik Read

Owner of Meor Design agency in St Ives, Nik is a natural storyteller working across all aspects of brand strategy. He specialises in the hospitality, tourism, food and drinks industries so pop over to his Instagram for tempting food shots and beautiful lifestyle photography.

Website | Instagram

Alex Chirita

Alex was first drawn to street photography when he moved to London from Bucharest, experimenting with digital and film. After relocating to St Ives during the pandemic, he loves photographing the stunning coastline and light-filled streets of the town.


Samuel Crookshank

Sam is a photographer, musician, poet and surfer living in St Ives. He specialises in black and white film photography and recently held his first exhibition at Black Seal Gallery. To discover more of his emotive film collection, visit his Instagram profile below.


Tom Gaunt

Tom is an artist from St Ives, working mainly with photography to inform artworks created using sculpture, printmaking, and bookmaking. His focus revolves around the local rich industrial heritage and landscape and explores the relationship between the two. You can find his work via Instagram, and his website.

Website | Instagram

Chris J. Dawe

Based in Carbis Bay, Chris paints in acrylics and used to work as an imaging scientist and professional photographer. He’s also working on a long-term photographic project using equipment that allows him to shoot infrared landscapes of local landmarks. The project is called ‘Where Human Eyes Fail’.

Artwork | Facebook

The logo for the show was designed by Kelly Jolliff. Based in St Ives, Kelly is a freelance digital designer with an interest in UX. To learn more about her work and portfolio, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Events History and Heritage News

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of John Passmore Edwards

The Archive Centre was asked to put together a display to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of John Passmore Edwards. Over the past few months, two volunteers sifted through the information and photographs held in the archives and put together a display to be held at the St Ives Library. 

From humble beginnings, Passmore Edwards worked to establish a successful business and dedicated 90% of the money he made to fund buildings to enrich the lives of others. Over a space of 14 years, 70 major buildings were established as a direct result of Passmore’s bequests. These buildings included 24 libraries along with hospitals, schools, orphanages, museums, gardens, and drinking fountains. Twenty of the seventy buildings are in Cornwall, with one of them being the library in St Ives, opened in 1896.

John Passmore Edwards display at St Ives Library.

To learn more about the life and legacy of John Passmore Edwards, visit the Greta Williams Room in St Ives Library. The Passmore Edwards display will be on view until the 30th March and throughout the month, visitors will be encouraged to share their own memories of the library.

A video by Tony Mason about the great Cornish philanthropist John Passmore Edwards.
Events News

Pop-up Archive

St Ives Archive opened a pop-up Archive at 1A Bedford Road, St Ives, between the 12th and 17th September as part of this year’s St Ives September Festival. The purpose of the pop-up was to raise awareness of the wealth of local historical information that is held by St Ives Archive in their Research Centre in Carbis Bay, by making it more accessible to locals and visitors alike in the centre of St Ives during the popular festival.

The focus of the displays at the pop-up centred on the history of the Old Vicarage Flats (which can be found in Street An Pol, next to the Guildhall) and the Archive loved welcoming visitors who have memories of the building throughout its past history, as well as any memories of Street An Pol (or Shoot/Shute Street as it used to be known).

Photo caption: Elephants walking up Tregenna Hill, probably part of a parade to advertise a circus in town. At the bottom of the hill on the left is Mrs. Wall’s boot shop. Just out of sight beyond is the newly-opened Cornish Bank, opposite which stands the library. Behind the crowds in Tregenna Place is the Consolidated Bank in High Street. c1910


St Ives September Festival

St Ives Archive is excited to have been a part of this year’s St Ives September Festival! In addition to having a ‘Pop-up Archive‘ during the Festival, there were guided walks and specialist history talks around town. A huge thank you to Trustee Tony Mason, social historian Janet Axten, volunteer Madie Parkinson-Evans and all of our volunteers and trustees who contributed to and helped at the Pop-up Archive.