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Trelowarren House

A Grade I Listed Building in Mawgan-in-Meneage, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.0709 / 50°4'15"N

Longitude: -5.1865 / 5°11'11"W

OS Eastings: 172078

OS Northings: 23841

OS Grid: SW720238

Mapcode National: GBR Z6.CNQC

Mapcode Global: FRA 080T.R6Q

Entry Name: Trelowarren House

Listing Date: 10 July 1957

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1159172

English Heritage Legacy ID: 65326

Location: Mawgan-in-Meneage, Cornwall, TR12

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Mawgan-in-Meneage

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Mawgan-in-Meneage

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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Listing Text


4/169 Trelowarren House

Great House with chapel. Possibly late Medieval core and some circa early C16
features possibly reused. Substantially rebuilt, remodelled and extended circa 1609-
1665 by Sir Francis Vyvyan, who was granted a licence for the chapel in 1636, some
remodelling in the C18 involving the architect Thomas Edwards and considerable works
and remodelling in the C19 principally during the period of Sir Richard Rawlinson
Vyvyan, circa 1827 to circa 1870. All the phases of building here have been carried
out for the Vyvyan family who still own and occupy it. Rubble of various kinds and
brick (mostly with incised rendering to resemble ashlar), granite dressings including
mullioned windows, doorways, weatherings, hoodmoulds and parapet and gable copings,
Pentewan stone (west extension of chapel). Mostly dry Delabole slate roofs laid in
diminishing courses, hipped surrounding central valley over main (west) range,
otherwise with coped gable ends. Granite ashlar chimneys mostly lateral, some axial.
Plan: The original plan now difficult to determine but was probably U-shaped in the
C16, the main range probably with a 3-room plan, including a hall, on the site of the
present inner courtyard (west) side of the east range; at either side at right
angles to the front (east) side was probably a wing, each wing with a 1st floor
hall/great chamber/solar over (the position of this C16 building is still expressed
outwardly by the surviving windows with arch-headed lights and the ends of the wings
by the buttresses flanking the arched windows in the east entrance. A circa early
C19 elevation drawing shows the right-hand wing to be 3 storeys but a Borlase print
of 1758 shows 2 storeys.
Also in the C16 was probably a service range set back on the right hand side of the
present entrance front and the walls of this largely survive.
In the C17, space between the wings was filled in, the house was probably extended on
the left hand side and greatly at the rear (west) which became the entrance front
during the C17 and the C18. At the rear left hand side, at right angles, a chapel in
Gothic survival style was added (circa 1636), which returned at right angles at the
end forming a short wing pointing away from the courtyard. At the other side at the
rear, a parlour wing was added with a similar overall plan, so the house became once
more an overall U-shape but open at the west side instead of the east. There is a
service range parallel to the outer side of the parlour range and originally with a
narrow courtyard between, this may be C17 and remodelled in the C18 or possibly be
entirely C18 for there are no surviving pre-C18 features. Possibly in the late C18
but perhaps in the C19 the building at the end of the chapel was removed (still shown
in a print by Richard Polwhele) and the chapel was extended or the last 3 bays
rebuilt. The so called 'Strawberry Hill' Gothic plasterwork may have originally been
by Thomas Edwards together with some other slightly Gothic features in the house but
C19 additions and remodelling make interpretation difficult. In the C19, probably
during the Sir Richard Rawlinson Vyvyan period, circa 1827 to circa 1870, the end of
the other wing was remodelled and slightly extended, but a C17 gable with scrolled
kneelers (like the ones shown in the Polwhele print) still survives at the north side
with the rear of the roof steeper than the front (this was possibly so that the more
hidden rear roofs could be thatched or shingled for economy but the front slated.)
In the final phase, circa early C20 a service range was added, set back on the right.
Two storeys plus attics with dormers facing central roof valley. East entrance
front: five bays with weathered buttresses between bays, plus service range set back
on right, both with embattled parapets. The main 5-bay range has central doorway
(probably C18 or early C18) with an earlier basket-arched (probably C17) doorway on
the right. The former probably C16 wings are bays 2 and 4, bay 2 (from left) 1st
floor, has a probably C16 5-light mullioned window with arch-headed lights. A
similar window to the 1st floor of bay 4 is a C19 copy but probably replacing an
original window. All the windows have hoodmoulds - the other windows are either C17
or C19 copies: (from left), 1st bay has 4-light window to ground floor and over;
second bay has 6-light window to ground floor; central entrance bay has 3-light
window over doorway; 4th bay has 4-light ground floor window and the right hand bay
, probably added in the C19 (not shown on Borlase picture of 1758), has 6-light
ground floor window and similar window over. The doorway has a 4-centred arch and
square hoodmould. Circa early C19 double doors with octagonal and traceried panes.
The older doorway (now blocked, rediscovered in the C20) may align with the former
through passage position of the pre C17 house.
The south end of the range includes the parlour with ballroom above. Rebuilt in
granite ashlar probably by Thomas Edwards circa mid Cl8 (pre 1758) with a canted 2-
storey bay window in the middle flanked by 2-light windows.
Set back on the right of the east front is a 2 bay C17 front with 3-light mullioned
windows and set back slightly from this on the far right is a 3-bay service range
front, dated 1828, with 2-light mullioned windows.
Courtyard front (west). 3 bays with central octagonal 2 storey granite ashlar window
projection, formerly with entrance to the ground floor. This part of the house is a
C19 remodelling of the C17 entrance front. A plaque below the sill of the middle 1st
floor window is dated 1662. The window at the 1st floor right, 5-light with arch-
headed lights, is probably C16, the 6-light ground floor window probably 1662 and the
2 windows on the left of the porch are similar but C19 copies.
South range: chapel: built circa 1636 in freestone, originally 5 bays with doorway
to 4th from left bay on the inner courtyard (north) side; the first 4 bays survive;
the western end partly rebuilt as 3 bays circa early C19, repeating the Gothic
survival style of the original part. There is some classical influence: round
headed windows and hoodmould resembling an open pediment over the doorway. 3:1:3 bays
north front, the 5th bay slightly wider; high plinth; weathered buttresses of
diminishing width dividing the bays; impost string linked to round-arched hoodmoulds
over windows; moulded cornice with plain parapet with moulded coping over. The
windows are 3-light with cinquefoil-headed lights and quatrefoil tracery, the
original windows with replaced tracery. The doorway is 4-centred with bracket shaped
lower hoodmould up to impost string level. Studded Gothic traceried panelled door.
The south side of the chapel is similarly detailed with a window to each of the 7
bays and a lateral chimney with octagonal shaft between bays 2 and 3 from left.
The gable end (west) has tall ordered round-headed 4-light traceried window with ogee
shaped hoodmould; octagonal corner buttresses with Gothic style spirelets and a
stepped coping with pinnacles. All the windows of the chapel have leaded glazing.
North range: south front: two storeys, 6 bays, the left hand bay rebuilt in the
C19, the other bays substantially original; bays 1 to 3 from left with 3 light
mullioned windows, the mullions C19 replacements; the right hand 3 bays with original
outer frames of former mullioned windows but with circa early C19 three-light
casements with octagonal panes. The 1st floor windows are gabled half dormers. All
the windows have hoodmoulds.
The west return wall is entirely circa mid C19 1:2:1 bays. Gable ends slightly
projecting left and right with 2 storey bay windows with embattled parapets. There
is a doorway in the 3rd from left bay. This front overlooks the Ladies Garden qv.
North wall has highly irregular disposition size and shape of openings with various
sashes, some presumably circa mid C18, with wide glazing bars and 2 are circa late
C18, 5-panes wide with thin glazing bars. On the right is the gable end of a
projecting C17 wing with scrolled kneelers to an irregular coped gable (see plan).
Interior much of the interior is Strawberry Hill Gothic circa late C18 but part may
be circa early C19 following the same theme. (There are however a few more robust
details including some moulded plaster cornices of circa mid C18.)
Entrance hall and stair: plaster panelled walls, coffered under landings, in Gothic
mode; open-well open string cantelevered stone stair with heavy turned and carved
newel over curtail steps, ramped mahogany handrail over scrolled wrought iron
balusters, carved tread ends and some Vitruvian scroll detail; 6 panel mahogany
doors, one doorcase with ovolo architrave and entablature with modillioned cornice
carried on consoles. Stair rises to different floor levels of the former wings on
either side. Drawing room, once library: sunk panelling with trefiol heads;
anthemion cornice; marble chimney piece with an overmantle formerly in the chapel;
plasterwork in C18 manner, possibly Victorian. Library, once parlour: mid C19
panelling; Italian marble chimney piece; doorway into the east (ritual west) end of
Morning room: C18 panelling with dentil cornice; 6-panel doors, one of which is an
iron fire door and circa 1830 marble chimney piece. Old kitchen in far north range:
circa early C18 granite fireplace with segmental head, impost blocks and keystone;
built-in C18 dresser. Ante-room to ballroom: possibly C18 but may well be C19
pastiche. Panelled walls with Gothic style plasterwork and ogee-headed doorways.
Ballroom: Circa 1840 with Guilloche moulding to canopied ceiling; marble chimney
piece. Probably original C18 plaster ceiling cornice over window bay.
Room known as Saint Martin's: C18 egg and dart cornice; C19 chimney piece. Room
above Saint Martin's: early C18 chimney-piece with bolection moulded surround.
Three chambers in the courtyard range of the north wing have plaster barrel vault
ceilings, probably C17 in origin but probably renewed in the C18, the west room
ceiling probably C19 copy. The roof structure over this range is circa early C17.
with halved lapped dovetail jointed collars and threaded purlins. The roofs over the
east range not inspected but the roof over the chapel is of a similar structure to
north range according to Sumpster.
Chapel Interior Strawberry hill Gothic with very fine plasterwork, possibly
originally by Thomas Edwards but may have been renewed in the C19, certainly the west
end work is C19. Dado panelling with Gothic style panels; paired seats with canopied
heads, set into the piers between the windows; doorways with crocketted heads above;
brattished cornice with florets and plaster ribbed vault with central spine rib with
carved bosses over the intersections.
Trelowarren has been the home of the Vyvyans since the C15. In 1227 it was held by
Robert Cardinan, passing by marriage to the Ferrers family and again by marriage to
the Vyvians. The first Vyvian baronet was Sir Richard, Master of the Mint at Exeter
during the Civil Wars and a supporter of the King. Sir Richard Vyvian was probably
responsible for much of the C17 work at the house. Another Sir Richard Vyvyan
carried out much work in the C18 (Thomas Edwards period) and in the C19 Sir Richard
Rawlinson Vyvyan made many alterations.
Sources: Country Life, David Sumpster (HBMC)
This house has a complicated plan development, now difficult to unravel because of
the number of periods involved, however there may well be some of the late medieval
structure reused but the periods best represented now are the C17, C18 and circa
early and mid C19. The chapel is very fine with its part C17 exterior and
plasterwork of uncertain date. The internal features of the house are a complex
transition from one period to another with the changes of period flowing one to the
other in an uncertain mixture, suggesting that much work was started then not
completed. The C19 alterations and renewal, some in probably replica style of
replaced features adds to the problem making accurate dating difficult. The overall
effect of the exterior however is very satisfying, the C19 work linking well with the
earlier periods.

Listing NGR: SW7208623866

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

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