Cornwall LivingAutumn 2021
Stained glass and steeple
We take a look into the unique and imaginative conversion of a stunning Victorian church that came with a fascinating local history.
Situated in the charming countryside location of Baldhu, just outside of Truro, can be found a rather special piece of architecture dating back over 170 years, beautifully preserved and thoughtfully renovated to create the most striking family home, flecked with original period detailing amongst a fresh and contemporary framing.
Tower House represented a rare opportunity for the new owners to reside in a unique piece of Cornish history, with the church having originally been constructed in 1847 for the Reverend William Haslam. Designed by the noted Ecclesiastical Gothic Revival architect William White, the church was intended to stand at the heart of a new community, but when Baldhu Mine failed to prosper the building was without a congregation. Victorian churches are in a class of their own when it comes to quality of design, materials and workmanship and their conversion to residential use is quite rare. When converted in 2008, the Church Commissioners confirmed that only one other Anglican church had been converted in Cornwall, making Tower House an uncommonly unique property.
Architecturally, the building is a beautifully restored Victorian gem with lime-pointed granite walls forming the nave, chancel and south aisle under two parallel roofs with a three-stage tower and a stunning broach spire constructed of dressed limestone ashlar, a truly magnificent construction to behold. Entering the property you come across a beautifully light and spacious arrangement, framed with exposed roof trusses, limestone columns and crowned with vaulted ceilings, with the particularly unique feature of the original pulpit in which Reverend William Haslam himself was converted by local miner turned preacher, Billy Bray, who still has a worldwide following 150 years on, and whose grave is a well-known landmark within the grounds.
The galleried ground floor living room features slate flooring and a woodburner, while the kitchen and dining area is defined by a glorious leaded stained-glass window, and the vaulted sitting room with original features offers incredible views of the tower and sky above. The master suite radiates a spacious luxury, while the two bedrooms tucked away in the tower offer a quiet escape, with a fourth bedroom on the ground floor.
With a fascinating past attached to this stunning property, we’re sure that Tower House is ready for a new chapter to add to its rich heritage.