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House and Adjoining Buildings on Right, Cardew Pottery

A Grade II Listed Building in St. Breward, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5448 / 50°32'41"N

Longitude: -4.7035 / 4°42'12"W

OS Eastings: 208549

OS Northings: 75161

OS Grid: SX085751

Mapcode National: GBR N3.H3MX

Mapcode Global: FRA 171M.FD8

Plus Code: 9C2QG7VW+WH

Entry Name: House and Adjoining Buildings on Right, Cardew Pottery

Listing Date: 11 November 1987

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1143123

English Heritage Legacy ID: 67437

Location: St. Breward, Cornwall, PL30

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Breward

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breward

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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Former public house with malt loft and skittle alley, now two attached private houses.


Former public house with malt loft and skittle alley, now two attached private houses.

Mid C19, converted in 1939 by Michael Cardew. Stone rubble with granite quoins. Wenford Bridge House has a rag slate roof with gable ends and brick end stacks. The former malt loft to the right (now The Brewhouse) has a brick stack on the right-hand gable end. Single-storey range to right, originally the skittle alley, has slate roof with gable ends; it is now part of The Brewhouse.

Wenford Bridge House is on the left and has a double depth plan with central entrance; bar originally in left-hand room heated by end stack with smaller bar to rear. Living room on right and kitchen to rear right, both heated by end stack. Stair to rear of passage and rear door offset. The Brewhouse is a two-storey range to the right with a one-room plan forming an obtuse angle with the front elevation of the house; ground floor heated by an end stack with cloam oven to front right and originally boiler to rear right. The former malt loft on the first floor is heated by an end stack with a loading door on front elevation. A single-storey range further to the right, rectangular in plan, was originally the skittle alley with a raked floor, and is now bedrooms in The Brewhouse.


Wenfordbridge (also known as Wenford Bridge), a terminus of the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway, opened in 1834 and handled coal, sea-sand and granite. By the 1880s the Wenford Inn, located to the north of the terminus, was open. Outbuildings attached to the east of the inn were later converted to a skittle alley. In 1939 the potter Michael Cardew bought the Wenford Inn (by then closed and falling into disrepair) from St Austell Brewery and its outbuildings.

Between 1923 and 1926 Michael Cardew OBE (1901-1983) was apprenticed to Bernard Leach (1887-1979) in St Ives; Leach described Cardew as his ‘first and best student’. In 1926 he established the Winchcombe Pottery in Gloucestershire where he began to find success with lead-glazed slipware made in the C18 tradition (he sold Winchcombe in 1945). In 1939 he bought the former inn at Wenfordbridge to create a family home and establish a pottery in Cornwall. From 1942 Cardew spent much time in Africa, and in 1950 he became Senior Pottery Officer in the Ministry of Trade in Nigeria, and until 1965 Cardew spent only two months a year in Cornwall, the rest in Nigeria. In 1965 Cardew returned to live permanently at Wenfordbridge, from when he wrote his influential book ‘Pioneer Pottery’ (published in 1969). The publication was principally the result of a two-week seminar - ‘Fundamental Pottery’ - held at Wenfordbridge in August 1959, and attended by Bernard Leach, Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie and Marianne de Trey, amongst others. Cardew’s son Seth (1934-2016) joined him at Wenfordbridge in 1971, and took on the house after his father’s death in 1983, until selling it in 2004.

Reasons for Listing

Wenford Bridge House and The Brewhouse, a C19 former public house converted into a house and workshops by the potter Michael Cardew in 1939, is listed for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
*as a good example of a mid-19 vernacular house, later converted to a public house and for which evidence remains.

Historic interest:
*for its strong association with the renowned potter Michael Cardew and other mid-century potters who visited, including Bernard Leach.

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