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Ordnance survey map of ROSCARROCK
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Endellion
National Grid Reference:


SW 98 SE ST ENDELLION 1/10 Roscarrock 25.10.51 GV I House built around courtyard. Circa late C15 or early C16. Service wing possibly added or remodelled in early C19. Built for Roscarrock family. South east front elevation remodelled in late C18 or early C19; main range faced with bands of granite ashlar and squared rubble and slate hung left hand gable end; range on right of stone rubble probably refaced in C19 with remains of earlier ashlar masonry on right hand gable end. Rag slate roof with gable ends, cement washed on left with raised eaves. Brick shafts to end stacks, the left hand stack probably originally heating the hall. Brick axial stack to right of centre heating central room. Rear south west wing; squared rubble with moulded granite plinth and slate roof with gable ends. Contemporary circa C16 end stack on north west with moulded granite cap. Rear north east wing; stone rubble, with slate roof with gable ends and brick end stack. Lower slate roof to north west. A curtain wall and small tower encloses the courtyard on the north west; wall of ashlar stone notable for fine quality of construcion with battlemented granite parapet. Plan; The house is built around a courtyard with the main ranges facing south east and south west, the service range facing north east and a curtain wall enclosing the fourth side on the north west with a small tower on the west. The original development of the plan is uncertain. The south west range may have comprised a first floor hall with a fine circa late C15 roof of 14 bays. The range appears to have been unpartitioned and was probably heated by a fireplace on the south west gable end. A small turreted stair may have been positioned in the south and/or east corners of the courtyard between the hall and south west range and between the hall and service range on the north east. The exact arrangement of the south west range is uncertain. The fine circa late C15 roof of over 12 bays appears to have been undivided. The range was heated by a fireplace in the north-west gable end with a fine oriel window on the first floor at the north west end of the south west elevation. The large opposing granite entrance arches near the centre of the front and rear elevations indicate the existence of the through passage, possibly also providing access to the courtyard. Above the low ground floor are five moulded floor joists with evidence of two secondary beams, now removed. The remaining circa C18 and C19 joists are unmoulded. To the south east is a small room, known as the cellar with one chamfered circa C16 floor joist. It is possible that south west range always possessed a first floor; the ground floor comprising a three room plan with cellar on the south east; the low rooms on either side of the through passage would have been fairly important, indicated by the quality of the intersecting moulded beams although the central room appears to have been unheated. To substantiate this hypothesis the moulding on the 5 joists and remains of secondary beams appears to indicate that the floor is in situ. However, this would suggest a very low ground floor, below the apex of the north east entrance arch to the through passage. Alternatively, the south west range may have been partly floored with a cellar and chamber above on the south east, a central open hall and a service room on the north west with principal chamber above, lit by oriel window and heated by gable end stack. The closer spacing of the roof principals above the north west chamber could substantiate this theory, especially if the low moulded ceiling beams have been reset. However, there is no indication of a fireplace to heat the open central hall. The north west range comprises a curtain wall with an entrance leading into the courtyard and a small tower-like building on the west. This building of one room plan has been partly rebuilt and its original use is uncertain, possibly defensive with the remains of a possible pistol loop on the south west, a staircase tower or a gardrobe. The service range appears always to have been positioned in the north east range. In circa late C18 or early C19 the hall range on the south east was remodelled; the left hand side on the south forming a symmetrical house of two room and cross passage plan. Possibly contemporary or slightly later, an outshut was added across the rear to contain a stair and corridor giving access to the service range on the north east and the cellar to the south east of the rear (south west) wing. The front elevation was remodelled and refaced and the south west gable end slate hung. The lower end of the hall was remodelled in circa mid C19 forming a diary on the ground floor and two bedrooms above. In circa early to mid C19 the service range on the north east was remodelled or rebuilt with a large kitchen on the south east and further service rooms to the north west. Possibly contemporary with this, the ground floor of the rear south west range was designated for agricultural use and the small tower building to the south west of the curtain wall was used as a malting floor. In circa late C19 a second floor was inserted in the rear south west wing. South east range; two storeys. Symmetrical three window front on left with early C19 hornless sashes and crown glass. Central 6 flush panel door with fanlight and Doric porch. To right single window range with brick dressings and granite quoins. Early C19 16-pane hornless sash on ground and first floor. Lion-head guttering. Rear elevation with roof continued down over outshut. South west range Probably two storeys with second floor inserted. Asymmetrical four window south west front, with blocked entrance to left of centre. Remains of granite surround of entrance with hood mould and 2-light round-headed window to right. First floor with particularly fine granite oriel window of four segmental headed lights with cavetto moulded jambs, heads and caved spandrels; slate fenestration. Granite 2-light segmental headed window above blocked entrance and similar one-light and two- light windows to right. Rear elevation to courtyard; plank door to cellar on left, two-light window in partly blocked entrance with 4-centred granite arch, hollow chamfered jambs and central mullion. A small stone quatrefoil opening, possibly a pistol loop has been probably reset above to the right. The rear entrance which is partly blocked has a 4-centred granite arch, moulded jambs and carved spandrels. Above a two light mullion window with cavetto moulded jambs and central mullion (removed). The masonry below this window has decayed and the cill collapsed. The external stair on the right of the elevation may replace an earlier stair; the ashlar stone steps provide access to the first floor principal chamber or hall, the upper stage contained within a slate hung projection. Below, to the right, a single light segmental headed window with hollow chamfer and carved spandrels and segmental headed arch to entrance with roll mould and carved spandrels. The north west range comprises a fine curtain wall, with battlemented parapet and segmental arched entrance to north. The small two-storey tower-like building to the south west contains a small quatrefoil opening in the west side, possibly a pistol loop. The north east service range is of two storeys with brick segmental arches to openings. Large early C19 hornless 36 pane sash on ground floor lighting large kitchen; three sashes above, two replaced in late C20. Lower range to right with brick dressings. Interior south east range retains a circa late C18 or early C19 interior concealing possibly earlier features. The left hand range contains a wide central passage with moulded cornice; right hand room with C19 cupboards, chimneypiece and cornicing; the left hand room with fine gothick plaster cornice and ceiling rose, repaired in late C20 and C19 chimney-piece. C19 stair in outshut with stick balusters. Range on right remodelled as dairy in C19; one chamfered circa C16 ceiling beam with spade stops. Circa late C15 14 bay roof above right and left hand ranges almost complete; the principals have curved feet which appear to be jointed above the wall plate; the apices are morticed, carrying a diagonal ridge and the morticed collars and arch braces are moulded with a cavetto, roll and chamfer. The right hand range of five bays has been partly restored; of the three tiers of butt purlins, the upper two have been replaced, the lower tier with ornate moulding. The curved feet of the principals appear to be jointed and side pegged into an upright member which rests on top of the wallplate. Part of the wallplate appears to be carved although the detailing is eroded. The left hand range comprises 8 trusses; the three tiers of moulded butt purlins are complete and the diagonal ridge appears original. Each bay was ornamented with three tiers of paired windbraces, remaining largely intact on north west; the curved blades are chamfered with straight cut stops. Several common rafters survive and the carpenter's marks are complete. The feet of the principals were truncated on the north west, probably when the outshut was added and the feet are boxed in on the south east. South west range; stone flag ground floor. Five joists of circa C15, ornately carved with double cavetto, double roll and double cavetto moulding. The outline of the slighter secondary beams indicate a moulding of similar pattern, there being two cross beams to each joist. A small section of an ornately carved circa C16 frieze has been reset as a floor board near the centre of the range. On the first floor, the simple granite fireplace on the north west gable end has hollow chamfered jambs and straight cut stops. The circa late C15 roof above the south west range is of at least 11 bays, the south-east end not fully accessible; the curved feet of the principals rest on a wall plate carved with a crenellated cornice; the principals, morticed at the apices, carry a,diagonal ridge and the cambered collars are morticed into the principals. The three tiers of unmoulded threaded purlins are largely complete. Each bay of the roof was originally ornamented with three tiers of paired windbraces of which six survive. Below the crenellated cornice, the possibly ancient plaster has been painted in circa late C20. The small tower-like building to the west of the curtain wall contains a complete circa C19 malting floor. The roof was replaced in circa late C18 but the remains of a moulded timber wall plate survives on the north west side. The service range on the north east contains a kitchen, reputed to be the largest in Cornwall; complete C19 fittings. First floor not inspected. Domesday manor. Passed to the Roscarrock family who held the manor until 1670. John de Roscarrock was MP for Cornwall in 1347, John Roscarrock sheriff in 1491 and Richard Roscarrock was sheriff in 1551 and again in 1561. The C19 accounts of Roscarrock include those of C.S. Gilbert who decribed the house in 1817 as "a strong castellated building" of which many of the massive walls were "falling into decay". The chapel which apparently stood to the west of the house was "in great part demolished". Charles Spence's account of 1856 and Trevan's account of 1820 also describe the chapel and decay of other parts of the house. Roscarrock is one of the most important buildings in North Cornwall, comprising an interesting courtyard plan which is largely intact. The quality of the circa late C15 roofs is outstanding and a rare survival. Adams, Canon Medieval Chapels in Cornwall, manuscript including notes of Archer Treven (1820) quoted in Sites and Monuments Register, Truro Gilbert, C.S. An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall, 1817 Spence, Charles 'Iter Conubiense' Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society vol. V (1856)

Listing NGR: SW9863880375


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Adams, Canon , Medieval Chapels in Cornwall, (1820)
Gilbert, C S , An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall, (1817)
'Transactions of the the Exeter Diocesan Architectural and Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the the Exeter Diocesan Architectural and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 5, (1856)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

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