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Latitude: 50.5064 / 50°30'23"N
Longitude: -4.7659 / 4°45'57"W
OS Eastings: 203973
OS Northings: 71056
OS Grid: SX039710
Mapcode National: GBR N0.KKM1
Mapcode Global: FRA 07XQ.F3K
Plus Code: 9C2QG64M+HM
Entry Name: Pencarrow House
Listing Date: 4 November 1988
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1311084
English Heritage Legacy ID: 67655
Location: Egloshayle, Cornwall, PL30
Civil Parish: Egloshayle
Traditional County: Cornwall
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall
Church of England Parish: St Breoke
Church of England Diocese: Truro
SX 07 SW
4/21 Pencarrow House
Country house. Circa late C17 or early C18 origins on earlier site. Partly rebuilt
between 1760s and 1775, begun by Sir John Molesworth, 4th baronet who died in 1766
and continued by his son Sir John, 5th baronet who died in 1777. The architect was
probably Robert Allanson of York who died in 1773. Partly remodelled in circa 1844
for Sir William Molesworth, 8th baronet, by George Wightwick and the interior was
modernised in 1919 by Ernest Newton
Stuccoed stone rubble and brick south and east elevations; stone rubble on north and
dressed slate stone with ,moulded plinth on west elevation. Slate roofs with hipped
ends to south and east fronts. Axial stacks.
Plan: Whilst the house was considerably rebuilt in the 1760s and 1770s, there would
appear to be evidence suggesting that the earlier house was of a large size and that
part of it still survives in a remodelled form. Lysons suggests a date for
remodelling in 1730 and quotes Borlase who spoke of it as the most capacious mansion
in Cornwall. However, the will of Sir John Molesworth, 5th baronet, who died in 1775
refers to considerable sums of money, expended in the 'building, rebuilding and
repairing' of the house. Whilst much of the circa late C17 bolection moulded
panelling in the music room and entrance hall came from Tetcott, being reset by
Wightwick in the 1840s, the early C18 back stair, sash windows in the rear (north)
elevation, joinery in the west range and 2-light mullion windows in the cellar are
probably all a survival from the earlier house. Additionally the Palladian design,
whilst accomplished on the east front, is fairly archaic for the 1760s and 1770s and
the symmetry of the exterior on the east and south front is not accompanied by a
symmetry of axis on the interior; a possible explanation could be that the earlier
ranges inhibited the axial planning often associated with the Palladian houses of the
The principal rooms of the house are arranged in the east front range and south
garden range. The east range was partly remodelled in the 1840s by George Wightwick
with a central entrance hall flanked by a music room on the right (north east) and
drawing room on left (south east). The long south front may have contained the
original entrance for the 1770s remodelling; the entrance hall flanked by the dining
room and stewards room to the left (south west) and the drawing room in the south
east corner. A broad corridor continues from the entrance hall in the east range,
along the rear of the south rooms to left and the stair hall to right (north) with
its groin vaulted corridor. The private family rooms in the lower range contain
circa 1700 panelling and comprise part of the earlier house.
Exterior: East front of 2 storeys and attic with a symmetrical 2:3:2 window front
with late C18 and C19 12-pane sashes. Pedimented central bay set forward.
Rusticated quoins and modillion cornice. C19 central porch with partly glazed door
flanked by sashes. Segmental arched pediments above the 3 central sashes on first
floor with triangular pediments to the 4 flanking sashes. Seven 6-pane sashes above.
Similar window arrangement to south front with wider spacing.
The west elevation which comprises part of the earlier house has fine quality masonry
and a moulded plinth. There are several straight joints indicating partial
rebuilding and the lower stage of the west wall of the south front contains similar
masonry and indicates that part of the south range was probably remodelled and the
eaves raised in the 1770s rather than totally rebuilt. On the north elevation are
several early C18 sashes with thick glazing bars. The Venetian stair window on the
left is of mid C19 whilst the Venetian window on the right is probably early C18.
Interior: East range; entrance hall partly remodelled by Wightwick in 1844 when the
bolection moulded panelling and over-mantle (originally from Tetcott) were reset.
Rococo. plaster ceiling in music room. Maple grained panelling and niche added by
Wightwick reusing earlier joinery. Fine C18 chimney-piece in dining room. Inner
stair hall has a groin-vaulted corridor, heated by a combined stove and colza oil
lamp standard manufactured by Hearder of Plymouth in circa 1830s. Impressive
cantilever open well stair with wrought iron balustrade which appears early C19 in
character. The plasterwork above the stair to the upper landing is of circa 1770s.
The back stair is of early C18 in style with square newels, turned balusters, closed
string and with a moulded rail. First floor with joinery, carpentry and plasterwork
largely complete. One attic room with complete circa late C17 bolection moulded
Pencarrow, Bodmin: Guide, fifth edition 1986
Gilbert, Davies Parochial History of Cornwall founded on the Manuscript Histories
of Mr Hals and Mr Tonkin, 1838
Hussey, C 'Pencarrow, Cornwall' Country Life: July 8, 1954. 118-121
Lysons, Rev D Magna Britannia: Volume III, 1814
Maclean, Sir J Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor, 1876
Pearson, A George Wightwick; Wightwick's Architectural Works.in Cornwall.
Pevsner, N and Radcliffe E. The Buildings of England, Cornwall. 2nd edition. 1970
Polsue, J Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall, 1872, reprinted 1974
Listing NGR: SX0397371056
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