Parracombe Arts and Literary Festival 2024

St Petrock's Church, Parracombe, Devon
17th May 2024 - 19th May 2024
16:00 Friday 17th May - 20:30 Sunday 19th May
Some events free, some £4 - please see description

A festival of the creatives in words, music and art drawn from the community and beyond.

A festival of the creative talents lasting for a month (3rd-27th May), this celebration of arts, words and music will move to St Petrock's for a weekend, to highlight this Exmoor jewel. 

Celebrate Parracombe's first Arts and Literary Festival with a weekend of special events at beautiful Grade I listed St Petrock's Church. On Friday, CCT's conservation expert Meriel O'Dowd reveals the secrets of St Petrock's Church ceiling.  On Saturday enjoy walks and talks on biodiversity and a talk on the 'Granite Kingdom' exploring the meanings of 'Cornishness' with Tim Hannigan. In two talks on Sunday, Todd Gray discusses Renaissance Carving between 1500 and 1550 in North Devon, followed by an investigation into the county's challenging history, exploring links to slavery, the Black Shirts and looting. 

The full festival line up is featured on the village website.

All welcome - tickets will be sold via Parracombe community shop, as well as on the door. You can also purchase them in advance online - see links in the descriptions below.

Friday, May 17

16:30: 'Don't Look Up' by Meriel O'Dowd 
St Petrock's Church
Tickets £4 (Buy online here)

Meriel O'Dowd, Conservation Projects Manager for the Churches Conservation Trust will talk about the repair of churches in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall. This will include the new vesting St Torney's at North Hill in Cornwall and discuss what works need to be undertaken to the ceiling at Parracombe church itself.

18:00-20:00: Art Exhibition 
Village hall

Exhibition open Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May 10am - 4pm

Saturday, May 18

14:00: Biodiversity Walk and Talk
Meet at St Petrock's Church
Free (Free tickets here)

'We can all contribute to halting the decline in biodiversity, which is evident across the British Isles. This walk and talk will focus on how we can make our gardens and homes as friendly for wildlife as we can.' Nigel Hester. 
Nigel Hester moved to Exmoor in 1987 and, until retirement in December 2018, worked for the National Trust in countryside management and natural river and coast projects, based at the Holnicote Estate. He has been a Trustee of the Exmoor Society since 2018.  

15:00: A walk through St Petrock's Church
St Petrock's Church 

A walk through St Petrock's church, exploring its history and architecture, with Linda Tansley and Karen Farrington 

17:00: The Granite Kingdom by Tim Hannigan
St Petrock's Church
Tickets £4 (Buy online here)

From Daphne du Maurier to Doc Martin, and from the romantic melodrama of Poldark to mystical images of the ancient Celts, Cornwall is densely laden with tropes and projections. But how do the ways it has been represented by novelists, poets and travel writers over the centuries intersect with the real place, its landscapes, histories and sense of identity? In The Granite Kingdom, Cornish author Tim Hannigan sets out on a meandering 300-mile journey on foot, from the banks of the River Tamar to his own family home near Land's End, to find out. In this illustrated talk, Tim shares stories from his journey, explores often misunderstood aspects of Cornish history and asks tricky questions about the meanings of "Cornishness". He also touches on Cornwall's relationship with its nearest neighbour, and reveals that the Tamar isn't necessarily as strong and stable a border as some on both sides of the river like to imagine.

Tim Hannigan was born in Penzance in Cornwall. He started his working life as a chef in busy Cornish restaurant kitchens but later escaped to Southeast Asia to become a journalist and guidebook writer. He is the author of several narrative history books, including the award-winning Raffles and the British Invasion of Java, as well as The Travel Writing Tribe and The Granite Kingdom. 

Sunday, May 19

14:00: 'Renaissance Carving in North Devon 1500-1550' by Todd Gray
St Petrock's Church
Tickets £4 (Buy online here)

Dr Todd Gray is a Devon historian and an honorary research fellow at the University of Exeter. He enjoys researching beyond academia and is well known for presenting engaging and inspiring talks. In this talk Todd will cover research material on the rich carving of the renaisaance in North Devon, including some material from St Petrocks.

19:00: 'Devon's challenging history: slavery, Black Shirts and looting' by Todd Gray
St Petrock's Church
Tickets £4 (Buy online here)

In this talk Dr Todd Gray will be looking at slavery links in the county, the rise of fascism with Sir Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts in 1933 and looting. Sure to be a fascinating exploration of the more challenging parts of Devon's history.

Karen Farrington
07966 486743

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