Boconnoc is one of the great houses of Cornwall with long drives through the parkland to its own medieval church. The park was created by Thomas Pitt in 1780. There is a restored lake and Golden Jubilee walk. 19th century pinetum which includes Lobb's collection. The garden is surrounded by parkland and woods with magnificent old trees & flowering shrubs.
Boconnoc is five miles east of Lostwithiel. It is named after the Old Cornish for 'Dwelling place of Conoc' or perhaps Bo-Con-Oke - 'Place of Stunted Oaks'. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1087 as Bochenod.
The first owners were noted as the De Cant family (1268). In 1320 - 1386 the Manor was owned by the Carminows.
In the grounds (actually the largest park in Cornwall) can be seen the Boconnoc church which is thought to have been consecrated in 1413.
During the Civil War 1642-1646 Boconnoc was involved in two significant battles. The two armies met near Braddock Church, the Royalists being commanded by Bevil Grenville and Ralph Hopton marching from Boconnoc Park where they had bivouacked overnight. They routed the Parliamentary forces. A further battle took place the next year. The King made his headquarters at Boconnoc and the Roundheads were gradually squeezed into Lostwithiel and Fowey, and their surrender at Castle Dore.
Lord Russell, Earl of Bedford sold Boconnoc in 1579 to Sir William Mohun who rebuilt it.
Thomas Pitt purchased the estate with the proceeds of the Pitt Diamond which he sold to the Regent of France where it ended up beautifying Napoleon's sword. Pitt's grandson, William, became Prime Minister. William Pitt the Elder grew up in Boconnoc House.
The Obelisk which is 123 feet high and was erected in 1771 by Thomas Pitt, 1st Lord Camelford, in memory of his wife's uncle and benefactor, Sir Richard Lyttelton. It is situated near to where the Battle of Braddock Down was fought in the Civil War. In 1786 Sir John Soane made alterations to the house and stables.
In 1820, the estate was inherited by the Fortescue family who still own it.
Boconnoc House was occupied during the Second World War, by American troops and the grounds used as an ammunition dump in preparation for the invasion of Europe.
From 1969 the house was not lived in, and deteriorated. Anthony and Elizabeth Fortescue are now embarked on a program on restoring it.
The church in the grounds thought to have been consecrated in 1413.
The parsonage and glebe of Boconnoc were included in the park and grounds of Boconnoc House, by Act of Parliament, in 1806 when a new rectory house was built at Broadoak (Bradock) to serve both parishes.
There is a Deer Park(around 100 deer) within the grounds and also a 20 acre garden which is open in the Spring for various charities. The 17th century deer park and woodland were landscaped in the late.18th and early 19th centuries.
Boconnoc played a significant role in the Civil War as recounted in the Daphne du Maurier novel 'The King's General'. Boconnoc House and Park have been used for numerous film locations including the BBC 'Poldark' series, Daphne du Maurier's 'My Cousin Rachel' and scenes from the 1993 film of 'The Three Musketeers'.
Historic House Cornwall Map