Ponsanooth7 bedroom detached house - 30 Acres
- Grade I Listed manor house
- Former 2 bed coach house
- Detached barton farmhouse
- Two apartments
- Palladian-fronted stable & cart buildings
- Traditional Outbuildings
- Formal gardens & lakes
- Established woodland
- Walled kitchen & flower garden
- In all about 30 acres
A beautiful and historic country estate within 7 miles of the south and north coasts of Cornwall, available for sale for the first time ever.
The Pengreep Estate is situated in a private position between the villages of Gwennap and Ponsanooth in south Cornwall.
Its unique setting offers excellent levels of privacy and total control of its surroundings yet remains in close proximity to the main towns of Truro, Falmouth and Redruth with all their amenities and services. Pengreep occupies a discreet yet very well connected position in Cornwall, and is within seven miles of both the north and south coasts of Cornwall, the former with its sandy surfing beaches (with the nearest at Porthtowan), and the latter with the sailing/boating waters of the Carrick Roads at Falmouth or Mylor Yacht Harbour.
The pretty village of Gwennap was at the centre of the mining industry in Cornwall and in the seventeenth century was part of the “richest square mile in the world”.
There are several main-line railway stations nearby including Truro which is on the London Paddington-Penzance line and has a regular overnight ‘sleeper’ service. Road access is excellent with the A30 only about 3 miles away at Scorrier.
Pengreep House was originally a farmhouse built in the early 18th century by the Beauchamp family. When Joseph Beauchamp died in 1818, the lease of the house was advertised and the house was described as “The mansion house of Pengreep, together with the coach house, walled gardens, beautiful ponds, pleasure grounds, plantations and about 120 customary acres of meadow land, with several cottages for servants or laborers: the whole in high order and condition and fit for the residence of a large and genteel family.”
During the nineteenth century Pengreep was occupied by John Williams (whose grandmother had been a Beauchamp) until in 1890 it became the residence of the Ford family who were related by marriage to the Beauchamps. The Williams were one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Cornwall. They were prominent owners of mines, smelting works and quarries for several generations during the Cornish Industrial Revolution. Several important local features are attributed to the Williams family: The Great County Adit and the Portreath Mineral Tramway, circa 1809, the first railway of its kind anywhere in the world.
In 1865 John Williams extended the dwelling but, nevertheless, even though the present house derives from three periods, it was thought worthy of being given a Grade I status by the English Heritage surveyors, since they consider it to be “predominantly (a) mid 18th century house and as such is a fine and complete example.”
The lakes in the grounds appear to have been created from the stream which lies along the south of the drive, the first near enough to the road for it to have been used to water the horses of passing coaches. In the lawn on the northern side is a curious mound of uncertain origin, surmounted by an ancient surviving oak, which appears to be in a painting from the early 1800s.
In the centre of the carriage ring in front of the house is a sun-dial with the Beauchamp arms, and to the north-east of the house are the foundations of a once large conservatory, which looked out over a garden with regular formal paths, now a plantation of camellias and rhododendrons.
The main house has been used as a location for, amongst others, adaptations of Rosamund Pilcher novels for German and Italian television, in addition to fashion and advertising film and stills shoots.
Pengreep has been the seat of at least three High Sheriffs of Cornwall, most recently in 2012. It provides an excellent backdrop for both large scale garden parties and more formal entertaining in the panelled dining room, library and ballroom. It was noted in Pevsner and also features in the more recently published Cornwall’s Great Houses and Gardens by author and researcher Barry Gamble.
The majority of the properties on the estate have been correctly and fully re-roofed and weather-proofed over recent years to a very high standard. Cornish Delabole slate and associated new leadwork on the ridges, valleys and hips has been the preferred option. The present owner has been personally and hands-on involved in every aspect of renovation and maintenance, sourcing the highest quality traditional materials and working side-by-side with some of the finest local craftsmen in the district. Almost all of these skilled artisan tradesmen have also been involved in restoration work on well-known Cornish National Trust properties including St Michael’s Mount, Trelissick and Penrose together with other well-known privately-owned Cornish historic houses including Tregothnan, Trelowarren, Trengwainton and Caerhays Castle.
Considerable refurbishment work has been carried out on the basic, boring but important, infrastructure; drives, access, drainage, private water supplies, pond dredging, waterfalls and sluice gates. The over-arching discipline has been to use traditional, non-technological solutions that are therefore resilient and less prone to public utilities failure, winter storms and the like.
There is a professionally constructed, all-weather sand school for dressage and developing riding skills. Horses have always featured at Pengreep and there is plentiful scope for both stabling, grazing and riding.
There is ample opportunity for commercial ventures with the further development/restoration of additional properties and the two handsome Neo-Palladian villa-fronted stable buildings, both of which have had planning permissions granted in the past for residential and business use. Architects’ drawings are available. Almost all the old buildings exhibit numerous original detail, with a wealth of dressed granite quoins and flagstones, cobblestones and restrained but high quality period architectural detailing. The old laundry building, for example, still has its original copper clothes-boiling vat, large granite flags as well as a series of bread ovens. Of particular note and occupying its own former walled garden between the main house and the barton farm is the Fig House, a large, detached brick-built building which would make a beautiful conversion into a dwelling and also has the possibility of its own access drive from the main road. Behind the house, there is also a beautiful former brick and stone built stable block with bell tower, which would also make a wonderful conversion, subject to necessary consents.
A set of central steps from the front drive lead up to a panelled front reception hall, which in turn leads off to the main reception rooms and a rear hall which accesses the principal staircase, drawing room and rear service rooms.
The large kitchen is set on the north-eastern side of the house and features a granite-stone floor, oil-fired AGA, large central island unit and sash windows overlooking the gardens.
There are up to seven bedrooms on the first floor, many having lovely views over the front gardens down to the lakes and woodland beyond. On the second floor there are six further attic rooms. There are also extensive wine cellars under the house.
NOTE: Whilst the buildings have been well maintained (including replacement roof in recent years), the main house is in need of some refurbishment.
Across the rear courtyard from the main house, and above a range of store rooms, is a charming one-bedroom apartment, with further annexe. Snookers is so named as it used to be the billiard room attached to the main house. It was completely refurbished in 2015 to include full insulation, plumbing, rewiring and roofing.
One bedroom apartment adjoining Snookers.
The Coach House
Across the yard from the stable block is a former coach house, with slate-hung, stone and timber clad elevations and sympathetically converted into a spacious and well appointed two bedroom, two bathroom dwelling. It was completely refurbished in 2015 to include full insulation, plumbing, rewiring and roofing.
To the north of the main house, off a second access from the road, Pengreep Barton comprises a detached three bedroom stone farmhouse located above the working farmyard which has been partly refurbished.
The Great Outdoors
The two acre, south-facing walled kitchen garden offers considerable opportunity for vegetable self-sufficiency for the estate. The area is latticed by access paths, contains the foundations and remains of a series of heated greenhouses and potting sheds and has its own spring-fed, gravity-pressurised water supply. In addition, there is a walled section of ornamental flower gardens and shrubberies laid out on a similar system of inter-connecting, meandering gravel pathways. This garden features many mature camellias, magnolias, rhododendron and wisteria plantings and awaits the avid gardener to re-tame its present wild abandon!
The series of four stream-fed ponds, making up almost two acres of water, not only provide a unique, romantic vista to the property but also contain naturally-stocked brown trout and are frequented by herons, kingfishers, wild mallard and geese, moorhens and other wildfowl. The ponds are deep enough to swim in and have, on occasion, even been used to wakeboard! The local microbiology club noted that the ponds were remarkable for both their water quality and biological diversity. The lawns that frame the house and ponds have been encouraged to grow a considerable variety of wildflowers and herbs in line with the present owner’s regenerative and biodynamic agricultural practices and supports an increasingly varied and complex natural ecosystem that has been the subject of much interest from Cornwall Wildlife Trust advisors and experts.
The immediate mixed deciduous woodland in the vicinity of the main house feature dramatic slopes, a stream flowing through its valley bottom together with a series of stone bridges and a network of paths and trails. These beautiful and abundant surroundings have given the present owner’s family much pleasure in many active country pursuits; walking, foraging, shooting, fishing, riding, mountain biking, trials riding and camping to name just a few activities. There are spectacular opportunities for glamping in addition to inexhaustible supplies of firewood for log burners and wood boilers as well as game for the larder.
The woodland offers sporting potential. For a number of years it was home to a small shooting syndicate with driven pheasant and woodcock the main quarry. Since adopting regenerative farming methods there have been increasing numbers of deer making regular appearance in the woodland.
Mainly mains water and electricity but some of the properties are fed with private spring and boreholes. Private drainage at all properties.
Perranwell Station 2.5 miles, Falmouth 6 miles, Mylor Yacht Harbour 6 miles, Redruth/A30 4 miles, Truro 7 miles, Porthtowan 8 miles, Newquay Airport 27 miles (all distances approximate)