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Latitude: 50.1801 / 50°10'48"N
Longitude: -5.4252 / 5°25'30"W
OS Eastings: 155560
OS Northings: 36730
OS Grid: SW555367
Mapcode National: GBR DXZ6.HRT
Mapcode Global: VH12M.XQ9T
Plus Code: 9C2P5HJF+2W
Entry Name: Downs (Roman Catholic Convent, Part of St Michaels Hospital)
Listing Date: 14 January 1988
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1160452
English Heritage Legacy ID: 70266
Location: Hayle, Cornwall, TR27
Civil Parish: Hayle
Built-Up Area: Hayle
Traditional County: Cornwall
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall
Church of England Parish: St Erth
Church of England Diocese: Truro
HAYLE TRELISSICK ROAD (west side), Hayle
12/158 Downs (Roman Catholic Convent,
- part of St Michaels Hospital)
Small country house, now used as a nursing convent, including front courtyard walls
gate piers and gates. Circa 1880 extended in 1902 and again early C20. Built for
Mr Rawlings and designed by E. and J.D. Sedding. Rock-faced elvan brough to course
and granite dressings. Steep dry Delabole slate roofs with projecting eaves rafters
and granite coped gable ends. Crested clay ridge tiles. External stone lateral
stacks with shaped tops and one stack has blind battlements. Gable end stack to
Plan: Irregular plan with 4 principal rooms, each wih a gable-ended front, ranged
around a central T-shaped on-plan entrance hall and stair hall. The short axis of
the entrance hall is approached by a porch in the front (east) angle ; this leads to
a vestibule and then to a 2-storey axial-entrance hall and stair hall with another
entrance and porch in the angle behind the principal right-hand wing. A lower
service wing adjoins the left-hand side of the front. Extended circa early C20 with
2-storey wing at rear left and single-storey infill wing between this and original
service wing. Slightly later single-storey wing (with memorial plaque to Lizzie S.
Brooke) adjoins at right angles to the front, left of the porch ; and a church built
1927 (not included) adjoins at the rear left side. Tudor Gothic style.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Similarly detailed fronts have plinths, moulded strings under
first floor sills, hoodmoulds, and relieving arches over ground floor windows and all
gable end windows. Most windows have transoms ; the principal windows have cusped-
headed lights and most of these have foiled tracery. All the windows have their
original leaded glazing. Louvred ventilators to the gables. Principal 1:1:1 bay
east entrance front has original gable end projecting forward on the left and side
wall of principal wing on the right. Integral hipped lean-to porch in the angle with
4-light timber-framed gabled bay window over. Porch has 4-centred arched doorway on
the right and 2 light traceried window on the left. The bay window, has pargetted
plasterwork in the panels between the braced framing, moulded sill, trefoil-headed
lights, quarterfoil tracery and arch-braced king post on corbel to a gable with a
brattished barge board with central pendant. Lower central panel under window has a
later crucifix of the Daughters of The Cross of Liege. Original wing on left has 3
light window to middle of first floor ; ground floor has circa early C20 gable-ended
wing in front. Far left is original lower service wing with 4-centred arched
doorway. Right of the porch is 2-light window to first floor and further right a
lateral stack offset at first floor level and partly carried on moulded corbels.
North garden front has gable end of principal wing on the left, side wall of one of
2 parallel gable-ended wings set back on the right and gable-ended porch in the
angle. Principal gable has 2-storey gabled bay window with 4 lights to the front and
2-light sidelights to the 1st floor window. All have cinquefoil-headed lights and
quatrefoil tracery. Porch has bracket-arched window to the front and ornate framed
gable end with central bell-cote. Over the porch is a 3-light window lighting the
stair landing, and on the right a 3-stage lateral stack lateral stack surmounted by
pair of square shafts linked by a recessed half-column. Right-hand return wall of
principal wing has 4-light window with cinquefoil headed lights to ground floor;
former doorway over, originally leading to a balcony, and single-light window, far
right. Principal 3-light stair window is in the south wall of the house and has
trefoil headed lights and tracery.
Interior: has wealth of Tudor Gothic detail and is virtually unaltered since built.
Stair hall has dog-leg stair with closed string, square-on-plan column balusters and
fluted newels with ball finials and moulded pendants. A timber framed oriel (now a
cupboard) carried on corbels overlooks the stair. Principal parlour has fluted
panelling, fine Gothic style ceiling and 4-centred arched chimney piece. Throughout
the house are original panelled doors (some with 4-centred arches, some with
architraves), plaster ceiling cornices and old or original fittings.
Slate-coped courtyard walls at the front are pierced by wide gateway, right of middle
and ogee-headed doorway through the right-hand wall into the gardens. Original gate
is panelled and has pierced arches.
The Downs was bought by Miss Francis E. Ellis in 1901 and extended by her in 1902 so
that the extension and part of the house could be used as a convent named St
Theresa's convent who founded St. Michael's Hospital on land bought by Miss Ellis in
1904. A memorial statue of St. Michael (q.v.) was erected to her memory in 1933.
Sources: Historical information provided by Sister Patricia, the Sister Superior and
by Hayle Town Council.
Listing NGR: SW5556036730
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