They are a constant fixture in the everyday life of Helston – but how often have you stopped to look at the granite buildings, pavements and kennels?

These will be the focus of an ambitions three-day festival taking place in the town next weekend, called Water and Stone.

It has been organised by CAST, to coincide with the Helston Makes It! festival that starts today (Saturday, September 18) and runs through this week with daily, and sometimes twice-daily, 'Meet the Maker' sessions at the Museum of Cornish Life until this Friday.

Water and Stone is a series of walks, talks and demonstrations that aims to look at the links between geology and industry in Helston.

The programme will include free demonstrations of granite carving by sculptor Stéphane Rouget and of granite dressing by stonemason Jamie Pharaoh. Both Stéphane and Jamie work at Trenoweth Granite Quarry near Falmouth, the last working dimensional quarry in West Cornwall.

With the support of Helston Town Band, the demonstrations will take place in the old band room on Church Street, just down from the entrance to St Michael's Church, with anyone welcome to drop in and see Stéphane and Jamie at work between 10.30am and 4pm next Saturday, September 25.

Sculptor Stéphane Rouget will be giving a free demonstration of his granite work in Helston

Sculptor Stéphane Rouget will be giving a free demonstration of his granite work in Helston

There are also two free walks exploring aspects of stone and water. Next Saturday morning urban geologist Dr Ruth Siddall will lead a walk around Helston exploring the geological sources of Helston’s built heritage. She will be joined by geologist Dr Beth Simons, who specialises in the characterisation of Cornish granite, and artist and granite enthusiast David Paton. Anyone wishing to take place should assemble at the CAST building at 3 Penrose Road at 10am.

Then the following day, on Sunday, September 26, there will be a walk up the Cober Valley looking at the history of water power and the network of leats that served the mills of Helston and Lowertown, and still the kennels of Helston. Amateur historian and enthusiast of water power, Peter Benbow, will join the walk. Again, people should assemble at CAST at 10am.

Both walks are free, but booking is required by emailing

Back at the CAST building itself, there will be a two-day programme over Friday and Saturday starting with a keynote talk on Friday evening, 'Stories of Cornish Granite’ by Dr Ruth Siddall, of University College London. This will be preceded by a CAST Café supper.

Then on the Saturday, following a CAST Café lunch, there are talks by granite sculptor David Paton, geologist Beth Simons, architectural historian Nick Collins, who worked on the Conservation Area Appraisal completed by Alan Baxter Associates in 2010, as well as internationally renowned artist Richard Wentworth.

Full details of the programme can be found on the CAST website and tickets for the talks and meals can be bought through Eventbrite, costing £16 for one day, or £27 for both. To reserve a place for a walk or talk without meals email

Water and Stone is supported by FEAST, Helston Town Council, Cornwall Heritage Trust and The Curry Fund. The project is also supported by Cornwall Council’s Community Chest small grants scheme, with individual grants from Councillors Guy Foreman (Helston South & Meneage) and Mike Thomas (Helston North).