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A Grade I Listed Building in St. Endellion, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5883 / 50°35'17"N

Longitude: -4.846 / 4°50'45"W

OS Eastings: 198638

OS Northings: 80375

OS Grid: SW986803

Mapcode National: GBR ZT.52C2

Mapcode Global: FRA 07QJ.5VD

Entry Name: Roscarrock

Listing Date: 25 October 1951

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1115088

English Heritage Legacy ID: 351337

Location: St. Endellion, Cornwall, PL29

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Endellion

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Endellion

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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Listing Text

1/10 Roscarrock
House built around courtyard. Circa late C15 or early C16. Service wing possibly
added or remodelled in early C19. Built for Roscarrock family.
South east front elevation remodelled in late C18 or early C19; main range faced with
bands of granite ashlar and squared rubble and slate hung left hand gable end; range
on right of stone rubble probably refaced in C19 with remains of earlier ashlar
masonry on right hand gable end. Rag slate roof with gable ends, cement washed on
left with raised eaves. Brick shafts to end stacks, the left hand stack probably
originally heating the hall. Brick axial stack to right of centre heating central
room. Rear south west wing; squared rubble with moulded granite plinth and slate
roof with gable ends. Contemporary circa C16 end stack on north west with moulded
granite cap. Rear north east wing; stone rubble, with slate roof with gable ends and
brick end stack. Lower slate roof to north west. A curtain wall and small tower
encloses the courtyard on the north west; wall of ashlar stone notable for fine
quality of construcion with battlemented granite parapet.
Plan; The house is built around a courtyard with the main ranges facing south east
and south west, the service range facing north east and a curtain wall enclosing the
fourth side on the north west with a small tower on the west. The original
development of the plan is uncertain. The south west range may have comprised a
first floor hall with a fine circa late C15 roof of 14 bays. The range appears to
have been unpartitioned and was probably heated by a fireplace on the south west
gable end. A small turreted stair may have been positioned in the south and/or east
corners of the courtyard between the hall and south west range and between the hall
and service range on the north east.
The exact arrangement of the south west range is uncertain. The fine circa late C15
roof of over 12 bays appears to have been undivided. The range was heated by a
fireplace in the north-west gable end with a fine oriel window on the first floor at
the north west end of the south west elevation. The large opposing granite entrance
arches near the centre of the front and rear elevations indicate the existence of the
through passage, possibly also providing access to the courtyard. Above the low
ground floor are five moulded floor joists with evidence of two secondary beams, now
removed. The remaining circa C18 and C19 joists are unmoulded. To the south east is
a small room, known as the cellar with one chamfered circa C16 floor joist. It is
possible that south west range always possessed a first floor; the ground floor
comprising a three room plan with cellar on the south east; the low rooms on either
side of the through passage would have been fairly important, indicated by the
quality of the intersecting moulded beams although the central room appears to have
been unheated. To substantiate this hypothesis the moulding on the 5 joists and
remains of secondary beams appears to indicate that the floor is in situ. However,
this would suggest a very low ground floor, below the apex of the north east entrance
arch to the through passage. Alternatively, the south west range may have been
partly floored with a cellar and chamber above on the south east, a central open hall
and a service room on the north west with principal chamber above, lit by oriel
window and heated by gable end stack. The closer spacing of the roof principals
above the north west chamber could substantiate this theory, especially if the low
moulded ceiling beams have been reset. However, there is no indication of a
fireplace to heat the open central hall.
The north west range comprises a curtain wall with an entrance leading into the
courtyard and a small tower-like building on the west. This building of one room
plan has been partly rebuilt and its original use is uncertain, possibly defensive
with the remains of a possible pistol loop on the south west, a staircase tower or a
The service range appears always to have been positioned in the north east range.
In circa late C18 or early C19 the hall range on the south east was remodelled; the
left hand side on the south forming a symmetrical house of two room and cross
passage plan. Possibly contemporary or slightly later, an outshut was added across
the rear to contain a stair and corridor giving access to the service range on the
north east and the cellar to the south east of the rear (south west) wing. The front
elevation was remodelled and refaced and the south west gable end slate hung. The
lower end of the hall was remodelled in circa mid C19 forming a diary on the ground
floor and two bedrooms above. In circa early to mid C19 the service range on the
north east was remodelled or rebuilt with a large kitchen on the south east and
further service rooms to the north west. Possibly contemporary with this, the ground
floor of the rear south west range was designated for agricultural use and the small
tower building to the south west of the curtain wall was used as a malting floor. In
circa late C19 a second floor was inserted in the rear south west wing.
South east range; two storeys. Symmetrical three window front on left with early C19
hornless sashes and crown glass. Central 6 flush panel door with fanlight and Doric
porch. To right single window range with brick dressings and granite quoins. Early
C19 16-pane hornless sash on ground and first floor. Lion-head guttering. Rear
elevation with roof continued down over outshut.
South west range Probably two storeys with second floor inserted. Asymmetrical four
window south west front, with blocked entrance to left of centre. Remains of granite
surround of entrance with hood mould and 2-light round-headed window to right. First
floor with particularly fine granite oriel window of four segmental headed lights
with cavetto moulded jambs, heads and caved spandrels; slate fenestration. Granite
2-light segmental headed window above blocked entrance and similar one-light and two-
light windows to right. Rear elevation to courtyard; plank door to cellar on left,
two-light window in partly blocked entrance with 4-centred granite arch, hollow
chamfered jambs and central mullion. A small stone quatrefoil opening, possibly a
pistol loop has been probably reset above to the right. The rear entrance which is
partly blocked has a 4-centred granite arch, moulded jambs and carved spandrels.
Above a two light mullion window with cavetto moulded jambs and central mullion
(removed). The masonry below this window has decayed and the cill collapsed. The
external stair on the right of the elevation may replace an earlier stair; the ashlar
stone steps provide access to the first floor principal chamber or hall, the upper
stage contained within a slate hung projection. Below, to the right, a single light
segmental headed window with hollow chamfer and carved spandrels and segmental headed
arch to entrance with roll mould and carved spandrels.
The north west range comprises a fine curtain wall, with battlemented parapet and
segmental arched entrance to north. The small two-storey tower-like building to the
south west contains a small quatrefoil opening in the west side, possibly a pistol
The north east service range is of two storeys with brick segmental arches to
openings. Large early C19 hornless 36 pane sash on ground floor lighting large
kitchen; three sashes above, two replaced in late C20. Lower range to right with
brick dressings.
Interior south east range retains a circa late C18 or early C19 interior concealing
possibly earlier features. The left hand range contains a wide central passage with
moulded cornice; right hand room with C19 cupboards, chimneypiece and cornicing; the
left hand room with fine gothick plaster cornice and ceiling rose, repaired in late
C20 and C19 chimney-piece. C19 stair in outshut with stick balusters. Range on
right remodelled as dairy in C19; one chamfered circa C16 ceiling beam with spade
stops. Circa late C15 14 bay roof above right and left hand ranges almost complete;
the principals have curved feet which appear to be jointed above the wall plate; the
apices are morticed, carrying a diagonal ridge and the morticed collars and arch
braces are moulded with a cavetto, roll and chamfer. The right hand range of five
bays has been partly restored; of the three tiers of butt purlins, the upper two have
been replaced, the lower tier with ornate moulding. The curved feet of the
principals appear to be jointed and side pegged into an upright member which rests on
top of the wallplate. Part of the wallplate appears to be carved although the
detailing is eroded. The left hand range comprises 8 trusses; the three tiers of
moulded butt purlins are complete and the diagonal ridge appears original. Each bay
was ornamented with three tiers of paired windbraces, remaining largely intact on
north west; the curved blades are chamfered with straight cut stops. Several common
rafters survive and the carpenter's marks are complete. The feet of the principals
were truncated on the north west, probably when the outshut was added and the feet
are boxed in on the south east.
South west range; stone flag ground floor. Five joists of circa C15, ornately
carved with double cavetto, double roll and double cavetto moulding. The outline of
the slighter secondary beams indicate a moulding of similar pattern, there being two
cross beams to each joist. A small section of an ornately carved circa C16 frieze
has been reset as a floor board near the centre of the range. On the first floor,
the simple granite fireplace on the north west gable end has hollow chamfered jambs
and straight cut stops. The circa late C15 roof above the south west range is of at
least 11 bays, the south-east end not fully accessible; the curved feet of the
principals rest on a wall plate carved with a crenellated cornice; the principals,
morticed at the apices, carry a,diagonal ridge and the cambered collars are morticed
into the principals. The three tiers of unmoulded threaded purlins are largely
complete. Each bay of the roof was originally ornamented with three tiers of paired
windbraces of which six survive. Below the crenellated cornice, the possibly ancient
plaster has been painted in circa late C20.
The small tower-like building to the west of the curtain wall contains a complete
circa C19 malting floor. The roof was replaced in circa late C18 but the remains of
a moulded timber wall plate survives on the north west side.
The service range on the north east contains a kitchen, reputed to be the largest in
Cornwall; complete C19 fittings. First floor not inspected.
Domesday manor. Passed to the Roscarrock family who held the manor until 1670. John
de Roscarrock was MP for Cornwall in 1347, John Roscarrock sheriff in 1491 and
Richard Roscarrock was sheriff in 1551 and again in 1561. The C19 accounts of
Roscarrock include those of C.S. Gilbert who decribed the house in 1817 as "a strong
castellated building" of which many of the massive walls were "falling into decay".
The chapel which apparently stood to the west of the house was "in great part
demolished". Charles Spence's account of 1856 and Trevan's account of 1820 also
describe the chapel and decay of other parts of the house.
Roscarrock is one of the most important buildings in North Cornwall, comprising an
interesting courtyard plan which is largely intact. The quality of the circa late
C15 roofs is outstanding and a rare survival.
Adams, Canon Medieval Chapels in Cornwall, manuscript including notes of Archer
Treven (1820)
quoted in
Sites and Monuments Register, Truro
Gilbert, C.S. An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall, 1817
Spence, Charles 'Iter Conubiense' Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural
Society vol. V (1856)

Listing NGR: SW9863880375

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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