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St Benet's Abbey

A Grade II* Listed Building in Lanivet, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4399 / 50°26'23"N

Longitude: -4.7641 / 4°45'50"W

OS Eastings: 203819

OS Northings: 63652

OS Grid: SX038636

Mapcode National: GBR N1.PL2M

Mapcode Global: FRA 07XW.MSK

Plus Code: 9C2QC6QP+W8

Entry Name: St Benet's Abbey

Listing Date: 25 October 1951

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1143103

English Heritage Legacy ID: 67585

Location: Lanivet, Cornwall, PL30

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Lanivet

Built-Up Area: Lanivet

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Lanivet

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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SX 06 SW
8/111 St Benet's Abbey

Abbey of the Benedictine order, later used as a house, now an hotel. Founded 1411 as
a lazar house or hospital ; used in C16 as the house of the Courtenay family, with
alterations of that time ; alterations of C18 and probably circa 1859. C20
alterations. Granite ashlar front and left side ; granite dressings. Stone rubble.
C20 slate roof with crested ridge tiles and gable ends. Stacks at the gable ends and
in axial position, with rendered shafts and with twisted terracotta pots.
Plan: The gatehouse of the abbey is to left, with the house range to right ; the
house appears to have been of 3-room plan, with one room to left and two to right of
the entrance passage. The room to right has a front lateral stack of the late C16 -
early C17, the stack removed and the fireplace remaining inside ; there is also a
rear lateral fireplace in this room, which appears to be of the C19 remodelling. The
room to left and the room to end right both have gable end stacks. The gatehouse is
of roughly square plan, with fireplace at the outer left side ; there is a carriage
entrance to front and rear, with a pedestrian entrance at the front to left. At the
front left corner is a stair tower. In circa late C18-early C19, a parallel rear
range was added, with a stair hall and service rooms to rear right.
Exterior: The front is of 2 storeys, with a gable over the gatehouse to left and an
asymmetrical range to right of 4 windows. The gatehouse has a polygonal stair tower
to left with a lancet. 2-centred arched pedestrian gateway to left, with roll-
mouldings, recessed spandrels and hood mould. Corbel set over, possibly as an image
stand. To right is the carriage arch, 4-centred, with roll-mouldings and shields in
the spandrels, with hood-mould ; the opening has been infilled in circa mid C19 with
a 3-light wooden window with cusped lights. At first floor there is an oriel, with 3
lights with ogee arches, hollow-chamfered, with a blocking course over, and with an
ogee recess to each side, with a carved spear at the side of each recess.
The main range is to right ; at first floor there are four 2-light casements with
pointed arched lights, each with a wrought iron grille with palmette pattern. At
ground floor there are 4 windows, 3-light, 2-light, 4-light and 3-light, with granite
cusped lights, and recessed spandrels, hollow-chamfered mullions and square hood
moulds. Doorway is second from left, with hollow-chamfered granite jambs, C19 door
with studs and strap hinges and square hood mould. The left end of the gatehouse is
in granite ashlar, blind. The rear of the gatehouse has 4-centred arched carriage
doorway with double chamfered order ; similar inserted 3-light wooden window with
cusped lights. At first floor there is a 3-light window in granite with cusped
lights, no hood mould. Terracotta cross finials. The right end is rendered, with 2-
span roof over the front and rear ranges ; in the gable end of the front range to
left is a dripstone from a former window. The gable end to right has a 2-light C19
casement. At ground floor there are two single storey rubble additions of C19, each
with gable end ; these have C20 sashes and doors with brick segmental arches. C20
greenhouse attached to left. The rear of the house is nearly symmetrical, with 3
windows at first floor to left and the stair hall with stair light to right ; all
windows are 12-pane sashes with margin glazing and granite basket arches. Second
from left is a 4-panelled door with overlight and similar arch. The stair light is
tall, with a basket arch and C20 glazing ; 2 small cellar lights below.
Interior: The gatehouse has granite ashlar walls inside. On the front wall the
gateways have chamfered rere-arches. On the rear wall there is a double order of
chamfered 4-centred arches to the gateway. Leading into the house is a chamfered 4-
centred arched doorway. The outer wall has a cupboard or aumbry with ogee arch. A
chamfered segmental-arched doorway to the stair tower, which has a stone newel stair;
the stair is unusual in that it ascends anti-clockwise. To the right is a 2-centred
arched doorway with roll-mouldings and recessed spandrels, C19 door with strap
hinges. On the outer wall is a mid C19 granite chimneypiece ; the ceiling is also of
C19, panelled wood. At first floor, the chamber above the gatehouse has a basket-
arched granite doorway leading into the house. The front and rear windows retain
fragments of late C15 stained glass, with figure work and panels of arms ; the arms
are those of the Courtenay, Arundel, and Archer families. The roof over the
gatehouse retains 3 trusses, with halved and pegged principal rafters.
In the main range of the house, the stair hall has an open-well stair with stick
balusters, scrolled string and wreathed handrail ; panelled plaster ceiling of C19
over the stair well. Leading to the gatehouse at ground floor are tall panelled
double doors with segmental arch. The room to right of the entrance hall has a
fireplace on the front wall in granite, with basket arch, roll-moulded with recessed
spandrels ; this has been partly reconstructed in C20 and has an inserted cloam oven.
On the rear wall of the same room is a C19 chimneypiece, which conceals a third
fireplace in the rear wall to left.
The entrance hall may be the site of an early passage, with a small room to left,
heated from a fireplace at the outer side, and with 2 larger rooms to right. The
house has been so remodelled in circa mid C19 that the original plan is not clear.
Sources: Pevsner, N.: Buildings of England: Cornwall 1970. Murrary : Handbook to
Cornwall. Lyson: Cornwall.

Listing NGR: SX0381963652

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