Caerhays Castle, Cornwall

Caerhays Castle, is located in a sheltered valley overlooking Porthluney Cove on the South Coast of Cornwall between Truro and St Austell. It is a creation of the famous architect, John Nash during the 19th century.

The surrounding parkland and woodland gardens were originally populated with the discoveries plant hunters in China shortly after the turn of the 20th century. At the turn of the century J C Williams arranged plant gathering trips to China. The gardens are famous for their magnolias, camellias, oaks and rhododendrons.

Porthluney Beach at Caerhays is also privately owned by the estate. The secluded beach has a large expanse of sand that is not overlooked by any buildings.

The Trevanion family had owned the land since 1390. Little is recorded of the site prior to 1801, when John Bettesworth Trevanion inherited the estate inherited the estate. He employed the fashionable architect, John Nash, to create the mansion in 1808. The mushrooming cost of his own life style and the building costs of Caerhays ruined the family, and in 1840 the Trevanions, who fled their debts and escaped to Paris, where John Trevanion died.

Caerhays Castle lay abandoned for 13 years. Eventually the derelict building was bought in 1853 by Michael Williams of Scorrier and Burncoose, who restored the property. He was also a mine owner and MP. It is said that ducks were found swimming in the round dining room.

Extensive repairs had to be carried out. There is some doubt as to whether Michael Williams ever t lived in Caerhays Castle. Both he and his son John Michael, spent much of their time in Swansea or London.

Michael Williams, Caerhays 1853 - 1858 M.P. West Cornwall

John Michael Williams 1858 - 1880 Industrialist and

Banker John Charles Williams "JC" 1880 - 1939 M.P. 1892 - 95

The Rt. Hon. Charles Williams1939 - 1955 M.P. Torquay 1924-55

F. Julian Williams, C.B.E. 1955 -

Things to notice in the house are - Porte Cochere outside the front door ( an enclosed area to enable people to alight from their carriages in the dry), an impressive staircase, a grand Front Hall and a Gallery. There is a Victorian library with books on minerals and travel.

The fifth generation of the Williams family still lives at the castle and there are a number of Trevanion family portraits.


Caerhays Estate, Cornwall


Historic House Cornwall Map