Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more


Stithians, Cornwall

It having just been St Pirran’s Day recently, why not have a look at some Cornish property up for grabs? Just southwest of the Cornish village of Stithians is this curious little house named Tretheague, now up for sale from Savills with seventeen acres attached. Stithians is known for its agricultural show held every July since 1834 and “one of the largest and best-known ‘one-day’ shows in the West Country” according to the agents’ propaganda tells us.

“The Manor of Tretheague” the propaganda continues, “was owned by the ancient Cornish Beville family until the end of the 16th century. Philip Beville of Killygarth died leaving the property to his son in law, Sir Bernard Grenville of Stowe, who sold off various tenements and dismembered the manor as such. The family of Tretheague lived at the property for three centuries until Walter Tretheague died around 1602. They were followed by the Morton Family who did well from mining interests in the county until another wealthy tin adventurer, Nicholas Pearce, who developed Wheal Maudlin at Ponsanooth, took over the old manor in 1690.”

“John Pearce rebuilt the house the year before becoming High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1745 and his descendants sold the property to J M Williams in 1872, another member of a famous Cornish family that prospered from the Cornish mining boom. Under the guise of Williams Cornish Estate the property was sold privately to Bernard Penrose in 1962 who then spent almost 20 years restoring this somewhat unique and unspoilt gem that had remained almost unaltered since the time of its construction.”

“The house standing replaced an Elizabethan house that was recorded as having seven chimneys in the tax of 1660, although only small fragments of mullions and cut and chamfered stone survive. The major rebuild took place around 1744, almost certainly designed and overseen by the famous Greenwich architect Thomas Edwards who presided over several commissions in Cornwall for a period when rich County families and well-to- do mining adventurers felt it necessary to show off their new found wealth and elevation in Cornish society.”

“The house overlooks beautiful parkland which borders the drive and separates the house from the country lane. This parkland has been the scene of summer cricket matches from time to time and now contains individual specimen trees of lime, Canadian maple, beech and horse chestnut.”

“An imposing set of granite steps with wrought iron railings rise to the entrance which is at upper ground floor level. Inside the house much of the original period detail is intact, and on the upper ground floor the hall, panelled dining room and magnificent shallow-rise turning staircase feature fine plaster ceilings with modillions and Rococo detail.”

I like the exterior and setting, but from the photos the house feels curiously small on the inside. I somewhat dislike such primly contained box plans, and prefer a bit of awkward additions and extensions from centuries of use. Treatheague seems a bit too clean cut, but worth a look at least.

This post was published on Sunday, March 25th, 2012 8:22 pm. It has been categorised under Architecture Great Britain and been tagged under , .
Mark S. Abeln
26 Mar 2012 4:37 am

It is a charming house in the interior, while the large, rough blocks on the exterior seem like the architect was trying too hard to make it look rustic. Rusticated, but not rustic, if you know what I mean.

The photographer made the classic mistake of thinking that the purpose of an ultra wide-angle lens is to ‘get the whole scene in’ the frame, and while we do see most of the rooms, the edges of some are highly distorted — in particular, see the chair at the top of the stairs, or the sofa. This lens does make the rooms appear larger, but on careful viewing they are much smaller than an initial impression would suggest. The nice interior work makes up for this, in my opinion.

Leave a comment

Name (required)

Email (required)



Home | About | Contact | Categories | Paginated Index | Twitter | Facebook | RSS/Atom Feed | © Andrew Cusack 2004-present (Unless otherwise stated)