Lanhydrock House, Cornwall

Lanhydrock, Cornwall

Lanhydrock, Cornwall is now owned by the National Trust, Lanhydrock House has a long history. The house is set in 450 acres of woods and parkland running down to the Fowey river and surrounded by formal and woodland gardens.

Lanhydrock was originally a Augustinian Priory of St Petroc, until the dissolution of the monasteries in1539. It was purchased by the Robartes family in 1620, and remained their home until it was given to the National Trust in 1953.

The house appears to be Tudor, but the majority of the 17th century house was destroyed by fire in 1881. Only the entrance porch and the north wing remained, but the burnt part was reconstructed to look like the original. In the gardens is the 15th century church of St Hydrock.

Sir Richard Robartes, the son of a successful Cornish moneylender, bought Lanhydrock, and began to build a traditional four-sided house around a central courtyard. After his death in 1634, the house was completed by his son, John, a prominent Parliamentarian during the Civil War.

The house was not occupied for much time after that until the middle of the 19th century, when the 1st Baron Robartes of Lanhydrock and Truro came to live here. He commissioned the well known Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott to remodel Lanhydrock.

However 20 years after the work had been completed, fire destroyed all but the north wing of the house. The shock is said to have killed killed Lady Robartes a few days later and Lord Robartes son afterwards. Their son, Thomas, re-built the house with a neo-Jacobean façade using a local architect, Richard Coad, who had been a pupil of Scott's during the earlier modernisation programme.

When Lanhydrock house was given to the National Trust in 1953 there was very little furniture in the building. The gallery in the north wing, is the most impressive room and it had survived the fire of 1881. The carved plasterwork ceiling is particularly noteworthy.

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