Cullacott, Cornwall

Cullacott, Cornwall

Cullacott is a Grade I listed 15th century medieval hall house built of granite, cob and stone, set in a cobbled courtyard on a small working farm. The house has been described as "the most important surviving medieval house in Cornwall".

By 1990, Cullacott was unoccupied and facing serious decay. The farming family which owned the house, wished to repair it, but did not have the money needed for this. Now with help from an English Heritage grant the owners have sensitively restored it and it is listed in Simon Jenkins’ ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses’. In June 1997 a bevy of Commissioners, led by The Duke of Gloucester, himself an architect, came down from London to visit the house.

It is one of the county's best vernacular buildings, still with medieval wall paintings and a hall open to the underside of the roof. Built in the 1400s, it was embellished by the Tudors, including with wall paintings (damaged but still fascinating), and has a medieval Great Hall rising two storeys high to its roof.

Cullacott was originally part of the land owned by Tavistock Abbey, Devon. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, it was among property given to John Russell, who became the Duke of Bedford.

The 'New' wing, built in 1579, at the time of the great Elizabethan re-build, provided grander accommodation for the family of the day. It provided a retiring parlour, bed chambers and the ultimate in sanitation at the time - a garderobe.

Cullacott was then re-sold and by 1620 were owned by Francis Drake nephew of Sir Francis Drake.

Till 1700 the farmhouse of wealthy families, after that it became a farm-worker’s cottage, even a stable. Because of this it was never "improved" over the years, and has retained much of the original architecture of an almost complete medieval house.

A feature of the property is the Great Hall, with the remains of magnificent murals (circa 1485 - 1525) - a fictive tapestry together with Henry VII/VIIIs coat of arms, a representation of St George and the Dragon and a figure thought to be St James of Compostella. The faint painting of St. George is not in the centre of the west wall because the original staircase was moved, at some point, and the painting was consequently rendered asymmetrical.

Today the house has been restored and carefully divided the house into two cottages - the (original) Long House and the Tudor Wing. The house stands on the cobbled former farmyard. On its other side, a long terrace and big garden with long views down over the owners’ farm

Cullacott, Cornwall

Historic House Cornwall Map