Discover Hidden Treasures at Trevelyan House, 4th - 9th June 2012


Visitors and the local community were invited to enjoy the delights of the Elizabeth Treffry Collection on Women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Free displays and tours of the collection took place in the informal and homely surroundings of Trevelyan House, a grade II-listed Georgian gem in the heart of historic Chapel Street and home of the Hypatia Trust. The Hypatia Trust was one of 55 organisations across the UK to take part in The Independent newspaper and the Collections Trust national campaign called Hidden Treasures.

Free tours took place throughout the week led by Honorary Curator and Historian, Dr. Tehmina Goskar.

Visitors were able to view a rare copy of 'King Arthur's Wood' by artist and author Elizabeth Forbes, a fairy-tale written and illustrated for her family in 1904, 19th century photograph albums by women photographers and other items from this unique Cornish collection.

More information:

Revealing Hidden Treasures

Discover Hidden Treasures at Trevelyan House, Penzance, 4-9 June 2012

The Independent logo

Visitors and the local community are invited to enjoy the delights of the Elizabeth Treffry Collection on Women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Free displays and tours of the collection will take place in the informal and homely surroundings of Trevelyan House, a grade II-listed Georgian gem in the heart of historic Chapel Street and home of the Hypatia Trust.

Discover a rare copy of Elizabeth Forbes's 'King Arthur's Wood'The Hypatia Trust is one of 55 organisations across the UK to take part in The Independent newspaper and the Collection’s Trust national campaign called Hidden Treasures.

Free tours will take place throughout the week led by Honorary Curator and Historian, Dr. Tehmina Goskar.

Tours will feature:

  • A rare copy of King Arthur's Wood by artist and author Elizabeth Forbes, a fairy-tale written and illustrated for her family in 1904
  • 19th century photographs by women
  • Women’s writing in Cornwall
  • Find out about our campaign to find a new home

Tours start at 2.30pm and will last for 30 minutes on:

Monday 4 June (Bank Holiday), Tuesday 5 June (Bank Holiday), Wednesday 6 June, Thursday 7 June and Saturday 9 June.

PLEASE NOTE: No tours Friday 8 June.

Joining instructions: Visitors can drop in to Trevelyan House between 11am and 4pm to browse the Asterisk Bookshop and Redwing Gallery on the ground floor. For the collections tour please arrive at least 5 minutes before the tour starts at Trevelyan House, 16 Chapel Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4AW.

Access: A staircase leads to the tours and is unsuitable for wheelchair users.

Getting here:

Map: View Larger Map


Trevelyan House 16 Chapel Street Penzance Cornwall TR18 4AW.

Telephone: 01736 366597



Trevelyan House is situated in historic Chapel Street. There is stepped access to the house and a further set of stairs to access the first floor where the tour will take place. Not suitable for wheelchair users.

Parking and travel:

There are several nearby Cornwall Council carparks. The nearest are Greenmarket car park off Union Street or St Anthony’s Gardens car park off the Promenade. Charges apply. Penzance is well served by local and cross-country bus and rail services. Trevelyan House is a short walk from most other car parks, the rail station and bus station.

More travel information:

For more information on travelling by rail, plan your journey at

For more information about buses and coaches to Penzance visit:

To locate short and longstay carparks in Penzance visit:

Hunger Lunches Summer 2011

Hunger Lunches 2011

A series of six hunger lunches were held at Trevelyan House to raise money for the Save the Children Fund East Africa Appeal. Six hundred pounds was raised. We received generous sponsorship from the Co-operative store in Queen's Square who provided food each week.

We are also grateful to St. Mary's Church, the Penzance Quaker Meeting and all our helpers and donors.

Open August at Trevelyan House 2010

For the month of August there were special exhibitions at Trevelyan House.


Speaking Volumes

collage books


Derek Finch


Finding Dora

handmade books & installation


Diana Wayne


The Penguin Collector

a display


Kelvin Hearn & Melissa Hardie


The Dwellings Bookcase


Melissa Hardie with Roy Callow

Exhitited at Newlyn Art Gallery 23 July – 2 October

Annual Founders Day Thanksgiving Celebration 2009

On Sunday 29th November we held an AUSTERITY PIE PARTY !


at Trevelyan House

.......that is cherry pie, apple pie, punkin’ pie, pecan pie all baked by Donna Anton & Melissa Hardie

tea -- coffee -- hot spiced cider -- cranberry juice

The event was a sell-out with over 50 people attending.

There was -

  • Bluegrass live music by Mrs Kirk & Co
  • Free draw for 2 copies of the Newlyn Art Dictionary
  • Book-bobbing for mystery prizes
  • Exhibits in every room on current projects

Melissa writes:

The house was full to overflowing with the jolly crowd that 'pulled a book' in the book-bobbing, and fed on scrumptious pies (15 pies consumed of 5 varieties - those on the invite + chocolate cream pie for 'dessert' and spiced cider.

Alethea Wigzell and Marion Whybrow each became the proud new owner of a copy of the Newlyn Art Dictionary & Sourcebook.


Peter Waverly's timely exhibition of the 48 businesses closing down in the past year in Penzance, made sobering but very interested viewing.

All of this plus the delightful bluegrass music of Mrs Kirk & Co throughout the afternoon. It really was a huge success and much fun had by all!

£120 was raised and given to Save the Children’s Ethiopia Food Crisis Emergency Appeal

Thanksgiving Dinner and Book Launch 2008

MelissaDeidre1The Hypatia Trust's 12th Thanksgiving Dinner took place at Trevelyan House on Thursday 27th November. As usual, it was very well subscribed. So many people wanted to attend that a few late applicants had to be disappointed.

The event was linked to the Launch of the book A Passion for Nature - 19th Century Naturalism in the Circle of Charles Alexander Johns.

The book was written by Deirdre Dare and Melissa Hardie and is published by Patten Press & Jamieson Library.

MelissaDeidre2The evening began with bubbly and canapés at The Old Custom House, which is directly opposite Trevelyan House, and is another of Penzance's historic buildings.

We were there at the invitation of Barnes Thomas Fine Arts, and the authors signed copies of their book for the guests.

After the reception the guests crossed the street to Trevelyan House for the Thanksgiving dinner presented by Justin Ashton and staff of The Lime Tree Restaurant.

There were so many guests that the buffet meal was consumed in all the available rooms in both the restaurant and the Hypatia Trust offices.

The Tenth Annual Founders Day Dinner November 2006

Golowan Mural
Golowan Mural

The tenth annual dinner was the best attended yet. Justin and Miki Ashton catered for well over 50 people in The Lime Tree, producing a delicious turkey dinner. The big news was that John Garrihy had completed the Penzance People's Mural, which was up in its full glory for the occasion.

There were exhibitions in every room, mostly related to the People of Penzance.

Also on display were copies of the books which have been written by friends of Hypatia and published during 2006.

The proceeds of the raffle, which amounted to £144, were donated to ACE.

Founders' Day Dinner 2005

erechtheion3On Saturday 26th November 2005 we continued our series of annual November 'Thanksgiving' dinners - this year we had a Greek theme. After all, Hypatia was a Greek scholar although she lived in Egypt. We were fortunate to have our member, Donna Anton, to make several Greek specialities.

ACE-logoWe added £5 to the price of each ticket and donated it to ACE - our local charity working to improve education in Uganda. We also held a raffle with the proceeds going to ACE. In all ACE will receive just over £200.

You can learn more about ACE by clicking here.

Transatlantic Meditations: Three talks on the Mutual Cultural Influence of English and American Societies through the 19th century


Salem1 Wednesday 22nd June 2005

Unwelcome Publicity: The Persecution of "Dangerous Women" in 17th-century Old and New England

Were the Salem Witch trials an American anomaly?

With the rebirth of transatlantic studies in America, scholars of so-called Early American literature have begun to call attention to the continuities and discontinuities involving the leap across the proverbial pond.

This talk offers not an explanation for the trials, but an exploration of possible precursors to this event, such as the lives and trials of Anne Askew and Anne Hutchinson.



Wednesday 6th July 2005

Weapons of Mass Production: The Impact of Old World Texts and Narratives on New World Settlers

What makes a text 'American'?

While location may be the obvious answer in the contemporary world, the origins of the form have been hotly contested amongst British and American scholars of the eighteenth century.

Recently, it has been argued that the sentimental female protagonist of the Early 'English' novel was a contribution of the 'American' captivity narrative.

This talk seeks to question the notion of origins altogether.



Wednesday 20th July 2005

Equality Control: The Contribution of English Women to the American Women's Movement in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Has the liberation of women been steadily progressing throughout history?

The purpose of this final talk is twofold: it first seeks to demonstrate that history in terms of women's rights has not been necessarily and continually progressive.

Second, it seeks to bring together the histories of women's liberation in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century as they influenced one another.

A Day with the Women of ancient Athens: Private Lives, Public images


Greek goddesses lived life to the full: Aphrodite, goddess of love, born from the sea; martial Athene, born from her father's head; Artemis, free to run and hunt where other women dare not go. The women of Greek drama take control: Clytemnestra wreaks terrible revenge on Agamemnon when he returns from war with the Trojans with a female slave; Lysistrata leads a sex strike in protest at war.

Everywhere the public places of ancient Athens were decorated with magnificent images of women. Drinking cups and water vessels regaled the user with the female form. But, did these images in text and object reflect the true position of women in 5th century Athens?

This event took place on Tuesday 6th May, 2003.

The Opening of Trevelyan House

Malcolm Sutton and Satchiko Quayle Two evenings of celebration, and three days of activities, marked the official opening of Trevelyan House as the Trust's new headquarters.

Thursday 28th November 2002 was the quieter of the two evening parties, and was attended by members and guests.

They were able to tour the house and inspect the facilities, and enjoy a glass of wine.

The new electronic piano was demonstrated by Malcolm Sutton and Julia MacLean. The instrument was purchased following our recent Vivace appeal.

Malcolm is currently cataloguing a large collection of sheet music which has been donated to the Trust.

Town Crier, Phil 'Piglet' Rowley, was in attendance, and is seen here enjoying himself with Hypatia trustee, Anne Sutton, and Jacqueline McEwan.

Eva Tucker

The morning of Friday 29th November saw the Inaugural Lecture.

The London scholar and critic, Eva Tucker, gave a lecture entitled 'The Enchanted Guest of Spring and Summer' - a reassessment of the life and work of Dorothy Richardson.

Following a light lunch the afternoon was given over to poetry. Entitled 'The Well-spring of Poetry', it consisted of a medley of talks and poems, presented by Jacqueline Pritchard, Martha Street Pinnons, Jo Pacsoo, Ann Alexander, and Angela Stoner.

In the evening we held our Civic Reception, and entertained the Mayor of Penzance and members of the Town Council, together with members of Penwith District Council and Penzance Chamber of Commerce, and the deputy Mayor of Hayle.

Master of ceremonies was again Piglet, the Town Crier, and he kept order as best he could.

Guests and visitors were welcomed by the Trust's chairman, Heather Rowe.

The Mayor of Penzance, Cllr. Ruth Simpson, said how impressed the Town Council is with the sympathetic restoration of Trevelyan House, to become, once more, one of Penzance's most beautiful buildings.

She also enthused about the activities of the organisations using the facilities.

Professor Charles Thomas, the Cornish archaeologist and writer spoke about the history of the name Trevelyan, and our Member of Parliament, Andrew George, said how much he is enjoying using the premises already for his 'surgeries' for constituents.

Frank Lynch

There was also an impromptu speech from our builder, Frank Lynch. (Sadly Frank died in the autumn of 2003)

During the evening we were entertained by 'polite jazz' from The John Cox Quartet.

A presentation was made to Hedi Saunders, our hardworking voluntary administrator, and she was thanked for all the effort she has put into the project.

She is seen here, on the left, receiving a bouquet of flowers from trustee, Anne Sutton, and a round of applause from everyone.

Open Day

On Saturday, 30th November, we were open all day for visitors and friends.

We held a book sale with some local book dealers attending, as well as raising money by selling some of our duplicates.

Book launches were held by Andrew George, Catherine Wallace, Ann Alexander, Alexandra Pratt, Mary Casling, and Jim Hosking.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 1st December, there was a film presentation and discussion, entitled 'Speaking for themselves: 7 women and their experiences with cancer'.

The visiting presenter was Gesine Meerwein from Freiburg, Germany, Women's Archive.

We are grateful to the ETS electrical store in Penzance for the loan of a video projector for this event.

The Yellow Wallpaper

The Hypatia Trust presented a special screening of this highly successful film, and also arranged personal appearances by its star, Julia Watson, and director, John Clive. It was shown at the Acorn Theatre, Penzance, on International Women's Day, and was attended by a large and enthusiastic audience.

The film is based on the story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860 - 1935), the American humanist, feminist and novelist.

The evening started with a wine & cheese reception in the downstairs bar, and the film was then shown in the theatre, after Julia and John had been introduced to the audience by Alice Kavounas.

After the film there was a question and answer session with Julia and John.