Newsletter No.5

Buildings at Risk

March  2021

Newsletter No.5

Cornish Buildings Group

A three-year project led by the Cornish Buildings Group and supported by Historic England and the Cornwall Heritage Trust commenced in September 2020. The funding supports a case officer in order to help identify and monitor buildings at risk and seek solutions for neglected, redundant or derelict listed buildings and unlisted buildings.

No. 2 Boscawen Road, Falmouth.

In the news

Listing application put forward for 2 Boscawen Road, Falmouth

Eastbury House, now No.2 Boscawen Road, was built by Mr Stamford-Jones in the 1930s, an iron monger from Falmouth. The house was probably built as an investment as he also built No 9, followed by No.11 called Harrogate House, a house that backs onto No.2 Boscawen Road that is also probably by Alfred Cornelius (1876, Teignmouth -1964, Truro).

This choice of architect for No.2 was almost certainly Alfred Cornelius, sometime assistant and successor to the Truro based architect Silvanus Trevail (1851-1903). Cornelius, a Fellow of the Society of Architects, lived and worked at No.81 Lemon Street, Truro, but later moved to a Glendaragh House at Perranwell Station. Cornelius remains one of the most significant architects working out of Cornwall in the 20th century. His work creates a bridge between the stiffness of the Victorian Gothicists and more flexible modern approach to buildings. 

No.2 Boscawen Road was built in the Arts and crafts style. The exterior remains intact and retains some original internal features. The property is built with steeply pitched Delabole slate roof, white rendered elevations relieved and enhanced by leaded light windows and part slate tile hanging.  The house retains its bay window (with seat) and first floor porthole style window. The garden is laid to lawn with shrubs with an outlook to sea.

Although it cannot be said for certain that Cornelius was the architect of No.2 it is certainly in his style and compares well with Nos. 6 and 8 where signed plans by Cornelius exist. Only a few plans by Cornelius plans survive, a couple are in Kresen Kernow. However, No.2 is noted on http://www.ukmoho.co.uk/html/building/13201.html as being by Cornelius.  

Houses, such as No. 2 Boscawen Road, in a complete and unspoiled state are a diminishing heritage asset in Cornwall. The house is under threat from poor design interventions described in application https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/planning/online-planning-register/ application PA20/10855 − the Design and Access statement acknowledges

The site of 2 Boscawen Road is sat within a historically prominent area. The Gyllyngvase region of Falmouth has serviced as both a war time sanctuary and a tourist holiday destination.

The residential nature of Falmouth is unique for it’s range of properties. From modern developments to strong characteristic buildings such as Eastbury House.

Eastbury House is a Cornealius design which has a strong sense of style and a certain prevalence in the Boscawen area. It can be seen replicated along the road with several properties taking on the particular post war style.

Eastbury House is a significant heritage asset for Cornwall. This house typifies the Arts and Crafts aesthetic of the UK and unequivocally states the alternative to the International style of the modernists during this interwar period.

Wheal Busy, near St Day

Wheal Busy

Many years have lapsed since the Cornish Buildings Group first took up the case of Wheal Busy. It was our late member John Stengelhofen (ex-chairman) who championed this building and campaigned for its future. Despite high hopes that this sadly dilapidated building would be restored the following information has been shared by Highways England in their A30 Designated Funds, e-bulletin,February 2021.

Since our last update, we’ve sadly decided that we’re unable to take forward our plans to stabilise the Wheal Busy Smithy. Originally this funding was awarded in 2019 but we were delayed in starting due the need to discharge some of the planning conditions. Due to this delay, we unfortunately lost the initial funding.

In re-applying for the funding last year, we changed the scope of the project to incorporate match funding and propose that part of the refurbished building be used as a community space to ensure our investment would be providing benefits to the public. Our discussions with the landowner have highlighted that this won’t be possible in the way we’d anticipated. We’ve collectively agreed that our funding would be better used elsewhere, and that the landowner would be better placed finding alternative sources of funding for their works.

Historic England have indicated that this is not the end of the campaign, so watch this space.

For more on this building see

Great Wheal Busy, 1872 – Cornish Buildings Group ‘Buildings at Risk’ Project (wordpress.com)

The Ship Inn, Fowey

It was reported to this project that the Ship Inn at Fowey had a potentially serious structural issues with part of an elevation breaking away. After a conversation with St Austell Brewery they have assured us that repairs and decorations are scheduled. They told us that  ‘…we will be digging out the existing lime pointing, installing Helifix stainless steel bars resin in the stone work joint and re-point installing with new lime/ sand point to match the existing pointing’.

The Butcher’s Arms, St Ive

Several correspondents have made contact about the condition of this former pub. A scheme has been approved and the final pre-commencement conditions have now been signed off. Works on this new scheme http://www.stivevillage.co.uk/ will start soon.

Approved scheme for the Butcher’s Arms, St Ive.

Updates

Carharrack chapel, near St Day       

We have reported this case to the Methodist ‘Listed Buildings Advisory Committee’ for comment and support. The application to convert Carharrack chapel (2*) can be seen on the Cornwall Council planning portal at https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/planning/online-planning-register/ application PA20/11000 and PA11001.

Old Fire Station Redruth

Old Fire Station, Redruth

Like Carharrack chapel, the Old Fire Station, Redruth, has been on our risk list since 2014. Thankfully, permission to convert this fine Victorian building to residential use has been permitted. This building has been neglected for some two decades and how has a well-deserved brighter future.

Polvellan manor, Looe

Our blog post on Polvellan manor has attracted huge interest

Case Study: Polvellan Manor, Looe (not listed) – Cornish Buildings Group ‘Buildings at Risk’ Project (wordpress.com)

We have learnt that a planning application to turn the house into residential units is likely to be submitted soon. The blog post explains it rich history and spectacular decline. This is a prominent building in a significant landscape setting which deserves a brighter future.  

Polwithen House, Penzance

Our application for listing this building subject to a threat from development is now active.

St Paul’s, Truro

We have contacted the church commissioners about this case. They are aware of our online e-petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-st-paul-s-church-truro to save this arts and crafts style church from demolition. The building was last formally marketed in early 2019 and resulted in three proposals, none of which, they felt, could be sustained. They have not given up finding a solution or prospected bidder for the building but told us that interest has ‘fallen away after a visit and the extent of repair work becomes clear’. The church commissioners continue to engage with Cornwall Council and Historic England on options for the future of the site, although they made clear that ‘lockdown restrictions over the past year have not helped us in progressing such discussions’. They concluded ‘At the end of the day, demolition remains a realistic prospect (either totally or in part)’.

‘Storm Tower’at Compass Point, Bude.

To save the Storm Tower at Compass Point from falling into the sea due to coastal erosion. Now is our chance Save Our Storm Tower! The good news is that £32,600 has been crowd funded towards a £50,000 target.

Donate at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-compass-point-project

How can you follow the project?

Our WordPress blog https://buildingsatrisk.wordpress.com/ has proved successful and up until mid- January has received over 3,000 views. Our website has been updated as the project progresses https://sites.google.com/site/cornishbuildingsgroup/home

Updates and alerts will be shared via our Twitter feed @CbgCornwall

To keep up-to-date on the project please follow our blog; when we have something to say you will receive an alert. Or you can follow us on Twitter.

Requests for information

Melador Farmhouse

We are currently working with the Society of the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) on Melador Farmhouse, near St Stephen-in-Brannel.

This Grade 2* listed granite rubble and cob farmhouse has origins dating from the late 16th or early 17th centuries. It has some 18th, 19th and 20th century additions. The building retains good exterior features including a gable end stack with granite shaft, cornice and shaped top and a lateral granite stack on chamfered plinth, with moulded string course, cornice and stone bellcote with crocketed pinnacle.

Inside evidence survives of a through passage plan house with an inner room, hall and passage. The house may originally had an open hall.

Historic England are considering putting the farmhouse on its national Heritage at Risk register, which would bring some further publicity to its plight.

If you have any news on the building please let us know.

Please support us

This project has made a positive start. You can play your part in this work by volunteering to support our aims. You can do this by reporting your concerns about historic buildings or valued heritage assets in your area which are either derelict or not being properly looked after. Please contact Paul Holden at cbgcasework@gmail.com

A form that will help us with some background local knowledge is available on our website

https://sites.google.com/site/cornishbuildingsgroup/buildings-at-risk-register/buildings-at-risk-project-2020-2023

And finally…

Loss of character? South Quay Shelters Harbour heights in Newquay.

These shelters at Newquay were built in 1931. To support the cliff face ready mixed concrete was used to create this structure which stands out significantly in views across the local beaches. It was originally designed with the pillars at the top but by c.1938 it was realised that people were sitting at the top alongside the road, so a walkway was installed to allow recessed seating on the upper level. By doing this a lower covered seating level was created.

Cormac have filled these shelters in with aerated concrete which means, should opinions change in the future, it would be easier to take out.

Thank you for your support Paul Holden, FSA.

Published by buildingsatrisk

Since 1969 the aims of the Cornish Buildings Group have been to stimulate interest, appreciation and knowledge of good building in Cornwall, and to encourage the erection, protection, repair and recording of such buildings. Like any amenities group, we depend on numbers, strength and support of our membership, who provide the force and knowledge that have made us effective for over fifty years. We encourage the protection and repair of historic buildings whether these are listed buildings or simply good examples of traditional building. We aim to encourage good architecture and to raise the general standard of building throughout the county. We hope that our generation may leave behind it buildings which will be looked back on with that same pleasure and enjoyment that we experience when we look at the architecture of past ages.

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