Cornwall LivingIssue #118
Characters of Cornwall
How would you define ‘Cornish’ property?
A mosaic of patchwork fields, rolling hills, craggy coastlines and mystical woodland, the varying nature of the Cornish landscape never ceases to amaze. It is as characterful as those who inhabit it, and so too are the homes which have been built here over the years, decades, and centuries.
Many who think of a home in Cornwall will, in their mind’s eye, picture a granite cottage – four windows and a door, with a column of chimney smoke suggesting the promise of warmth beyond the threshold. And whilst a cosy piece of stone-built paradise in the heart of the countryside does represent the idyll for some, as we explore the particulars over the coming pages of homes from some of the county’s finest property agents, it’s clear that the meaning of ‘Cornish’ property cannot be so easily defined.
Of course, there are those that match this description, and one that springs to mind is Dormouse Cottage, a recent sale by the agents at Jackie Stanley (jackie-stanley.co.uk). Perhaps the most quintessentially Cornish cottage we have ever seen, Dormouse Cottage can be found tucked away by the village green in Penrose, just five miles from the bustling, north Cornwall port of Padstow. Almost flawless with its quality of build, retaining its exquisite Cornish character with slate flagstones underfoot, the home has nevertheless benefitted from a tasteful and comprehensive top-down programme of restoration and refurbishment. And yes, it includes a log-burner!
In truth, Cornwall is home to a full spectrum of property types, from rural cottages and sprawling country estates, to luxury coastal boltholes, ultramodern eco homes, historic townhouses and everything in between. Peruse the listings and recent sales of any Cornish estate agent, and what you’ll find is a tapestry of homes each as unique as the last.
Take, for example, two properties recently sold by Rohrs and Rowe (rohrsandrowe.co.uk): Seascape in Porthpean, and Tredower in Newtown-In-St-Martin. Whilst both are typical of the stamp of property that buyers have come to expect from this multi award-winning agency, they both appeal to very different lifestyles. Seascape, with its modern, open-plan design and host of technological features such as underfloor heating, Sonos sound system, CCTV and more, occupies a premier position overlooking the ocean. All four bedrooms benefit from en-suite bathrooms, and all have sea views. The South West Coast Path is accessible directly from the rear boundary, leading to two beaches on either side of the property, and there’s even an outdoor shower for rinsing sandy toes after a day spent exploring them. In short, it’s the perfect property for those seeking a frontline position in order to immerse themselves in the coastal lifestyle.
Tredower, meanwhile, appeals to those who value space, privacy and seclusion, far from the madding crowd. This 16th century farmhouse sits within five acres of stunning sub-tropical gardens on the Lizard peninsula, including a considerable-sized paddock backing onto an attractive stretch of woodland, with a stream running through it and eventually filling a lake to the rear of the house. Also inclusive of a healthy apple orchard, plus a range of outbuildings that could be developed for additional accommodation, Tredower represents the ultimate opportunity for a buyer to enjoy a life in rural Cornwall – the kind that is becoming increasingly hard to come by.
Another example is Lime Tree House, sold last year by Shore Partnership (shorepartnership.com). Located on the eastern edge of Penryn, with 1¼ acres of gardens and grounds just behind the 12th century church of St Gluvias, this historic country home dates as far back as the 1680s. Grade II listed and a former vicarage, the accommodation inside has been at once impeccably preserved and lavishly restored, the original Georgian detailing blending perfectly with a fresh, contemporary style. Incidentally, the property was sold with a separate two-storey coach house, complete with residential consent, giving the buyer scope to further develop what is already an exceedingly exceptional home.
The rarity of such property is, in part, a result of the pandemic. As we’ve all found ourselves spending more time at home than ever before, increasing numbers of homeowners have found themselves in search of more space, to proffer a healthier at-home lifestyle. And while the historic homes of Tredower and Lime Tree House are superb examples of their findings, they by no means define the stable of property that appeals to this aspirational shift. Take Netherfield, for instance, a new development of the highest quality, offering the promise of rural tranquillity but with the coast of the Roseland peninsula and cathedral city of Truro just a short distance away. Spacious, thoughtfully designed and wonderfully luxurious, these contemporary detached houses offer stunning accommodation over three floors. Four sumptuous bedrooms combine with high-spec kitchens and spacious living areas on the inside, with terracing and landscaped gardens – accessible from all floors – providing the perfect environment for al fresco evenings spent entertaining under the stars.
Similar developments can be found around Cornwall, being brought to life sympathetically to the environment around them whilst offering those in search of a lifestyle change the perfect opportunity to relocate to some of the country’s most beautiful destinations. Legacy Properties (legacyproperties.co.uk) is behind a number of them, including the homes at Applewood in St Columb, and Longshore in Porth. Whilst homes at both developments are brought to life to offer the perfect blend of luxury and practical living, their locations offer their own distinct appeal. Applewood can be found down a private tree-lined driveway, nestled on the outskirts of the picturesque Cornish town of St Columb Major. Comprising ten exclusive family homes, with a mix of three and four-bedroom detached houses, and three-bed bungalows, all feature large gardens and driveways. The tucked-away position of the development leaves residents to enjoy an air of seclusion, away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, as soon as they arrive home. Longshore, meanwhile, is a collection of exclusively four-bedroom homes on a frontline position overlooking Porth beach. Think sea views, luxe interiors and an unrivalled location, combining to offer the very best in contemporary coastal living. Inside each house, the interiors have been beautifully brought to life, enjoying the meticulous attention to detail and quality of finish that has become synonymous with the Legacy brand.
Taking it one step further to achieve the ultimate coastal lifestyle, is Kakuri, a modern eco-house on the market with Jackie Stanley. Occupying an elevated, prime position just back from Porthcothan Bay on the north coast, this outstanding five-bedroom home demonstrates both modern and traditional elements, blending sympathetically with the local environment. Designed around the site’s unique topography, retaining scale and character, inside can be found a labyrinth of unique accommodation to suit the whole family. Drawing on sustainable energy via a ground-source heat pump, the home feels almost utopian. It’s certainly a rarity on Cornwall’s market, its location, design and adoption of sustainable build features characterising it as a home for the future.
Another such example would be Coastal Retreat, designed and brought to life by Woodford Architecture and Interiors (woodfordarchitecture.com). Moulded into a south-facing grassland slope, this home replaces a former farmhouse with a highly sustainable new build. The design responds to the site, using natural materials including local slate to achieve the sympathetic aesthetic. Inside, the spaces are flexible, functional, and timeless in style, with huge windows and sliding doors seamlessly connecting the inside and out. Really, it comes as no surprise that Woodford were awarded the regional award for Best Residential Property in the United Kingdom, at the 2020-21 UK property awards!
Speaking of new builds and developments, it would be remiss of us to omit Acorn Property Group (acornpropertygroup.org) from the proceedings. Acorn is the developer behind a number of outstanding Cornish developments, each with its own unique selling point; the first we’ll touch upon is The Courtyard, Duporth, near Charlestown. In what is an exceptional location, The Courtyard offers both period and contemporary homes exclusively for over 55s. Centred around a listed clock tower, build by the Rashleigh family in the 1840s as part of Duporth Manor Farm, the site lies just a short walk from the beach and less than a mile from World Heritage Site, Charlestown. Designed with the easy life in mind, luxury is very much at the forefront of the design ethos, making retirement here a tempting prospect indeed.
Then there’s Treglos. Located within walking distance of Constantine Bay, one of the county’s best surfing beaches within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the 28 contemporary homes at Treglos offer the utmost in open-plan coastal living. Built for the future, they include pre-wiring for
electric vehicle charging points, and are heated using sustainable ground source heat pumps. Individual surf stores are even included, providing handy storage for wet and sandy gear.
From homes of history all the way through to those which have been built for the future; from the heart of the Cornish countryside, to the fringes of the Atlantic, whilst it might sound like a cliché, the luxury property market in the Duchy has something for every taste and style. And whether you envisage yourself waking up to the sound of waves lapping the shore, or immersing yourself in rural tranquillity, it’s impossible to predict what’s likely to appear on the market next, and for anyone seeking a lifestyle change here in Cornwall, that is an exciting prospect indeed.