Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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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. Clether
National Grid Reference:


ST CLETHER SX 28 SW 4/171 Basil Manor - (formerly listed as Lower Basil Farmhouse)


Large house. Probably early C16, remodelled and extended in late C16 and in C17 and restored and partly rebuilt in circa 1870s-1880s by J.P. St Aubyn. Stone rubble and roughly coursed and dressed stone, part with moulded granite plinth. Snecked stone to C19 rebuilding. Scantle slate roofs with gable ends. Rebuilt circa C17 stone ashlar and granite axial and end stacks. Plan: Courtyard plan: front range with gatehouse which has a wide passage directly opposite the main entrance to the house. The main range on west has what was originally probably a through passage which has been blocked to rear; thin reset partition on the higher right hand side and a thick wall containing a flue on the lower side. The hall to right is heated by a rear lateral stack, divided from the small unheated inner room beyond by a thick cross wall which continues up to the ceiling of the first floor. There is a one-room plan circa C17 wing to front of the inner room which is heated by an end stack and a second probably C17 wing to the rear of the inner room, heated by a side lateral stack. A third circa C17 wing was added to the end of the right of the inner room. This wing now contains a reset staircase although the position of the mullion window in the end wall would suggest that this wing was intended as a stair wing: however this would be an unusual position for a stair. Below the passage to left the partitions have been altered and the exact arrangement is uncertain. There are two rooms on the lower side and then a wing of two room plan which extends to front left, the two rooms sharing a central axial stack. There is a C19 semi-circular stair turret which projects into the courtyard. This turret and the front wall (facing the courtyard) was rebuilt or refaced by J.P. St Aubyn in circa 1870s-1880s. However, the rear wall facing the garden is much earlier although there are several straight joints. This wing therefore probably has C17 origins. Continuing from this wing, across the front is the gatehouse range which has a wide passage to right of centre and several other ground floor entrances on the front and two from within the passage. There is a straight flight stone stair to the left of the passage up to the first floor. The house was partly refenestrated and partly re-roofed by J.P. St Aubyn and several of the partitions were altered both in the late C19 and in the C20. However, the house does appear to have Medieval origins with two circa early C16 trusses surviving over the lower end of the hall; whilst the truss over the passage partition appears fairly clean the next truss on the higher side is smoke-blackened in patches indicating that the hall was probably open to the roof and heated by an open hearth. The roof structure over the higher side of the hall, over the inner room and circa C17 wings to front and rear of the inner room was replaced in circa late C19. The roof structure over the putative stair wing is circa early C17 and the roof structure over the lower end again C19. Exterior: Two storeys. Asymmetrical elevations on all faces. The front elevation of the gatehouse (facing east) has a 4-window front. Wide 4-centred granite arch with rounded stops to right of centre. Three 4-centred chamfered and hollow chamfered arches to left, with stepped and diagonal stops. First floor with two C20 2-light mullion windows to left and two circa C17 2-light mullion windows to right. Several rows of pigeon holes near centre. There is a straight joint towards the left hand end and a straight joint between the gatehouse and lower right hand range. However, the latter is probably the result of a rebuilding rather than extension, low battlemented range to left. The coat of arms on the gatehouse was reset by the previous owners in the mid C20 and it is uncertain where it came from. Within the courtyard the east elevation of the house was partly refenestrated by J.P. St Aubyn. 4-centred arch with hollow chamfer and roll mould to left of centre with two C19 windows to left and a C19 6-light window and circa late C16 6-light window partly restored in C19 to right. The two 6-light windows are of similar style with segmental headed hollow chamfered arches to the lights. First floor with C19 2-light mullion window to left and two circa late C16 3-light mullion windows to right. Returning to front right the C17 wing has a C19 6-light mullion windows of similar design to the hall windows and a C19 3-light mullion window on first floor. The moulded granite plinth to the main range does not continue along the front wall of this C17 wing; the front wall appearing to have been partly rebuilt. To the left of the main range the north elevation of the wing to front left was refaced or rebuilt by J.P. St Aubyn. It has a 2-storey semi-circular stair tower with conical roof to right of centre with a C19 6-light mullion window to left and C19 plank door to right. The west elevation of the gate house range has a 4-centred granite arch to left of centre with hollow chamfered and roll moulded frame and carved spandrels connecting the gatehouse with the wing to front right of the main range is a stone rubble garden wall with C19 cast iron gate. The west elevation of the main range has C17 fenestration which has been partly renewed in the C19 and the south elevation was considerably altered in the late C19 with large granite mullion windows inserted with gabled half dormers above. Interior: The gatehouse has a straight flight of stone steps up to first floor. At the top of the steps to left and right are square headed chamfered granite doorframes. C20 partitions have been inserted on the first floor. The roof structure was only partly accessible; the roof structure to the left of the stair is of the circa C18 with partly halved, lap-jointed and pegged and nailed apices and collars. The main range of the house has a wide passage with a reset screen (inserted by the previous owners in the mid C20 replacing an earlier glazed screen). The screen has C19 panelling on the lower left hand face and C17 panelling facing the hall. The hall and passage have multiple moulded cross beams (with roll mould flanking ogee mould) which are supported on granite corbels. The beams are jointed into a continuous wall plate which has a similar carved moulding and continues around the hall and passage, thereby forming a framed ceiling. C19 hall fireplace. C17 panelling reset on higher partition between hall and inner room. The inner room has very slight chamfered beams with straight cut stops. The cross wall between the inner room and front wing has been removed and the fireplace in the latter has been blocked and the ceiling plastered. The stair wing has a probable C19 stair which was reset by the previous owners in the mid C20. The stair is of a grand early C18 style with open string, square newels with ornate finials and turned and barley-sugar twisted balusters. It is possible that the treads and part of the stair may be earlier. In the wing on front left of the main range the fireplaces are unmoulded and the granite lintels probably C19. The C19 stair in the turret has a central newel but the arrangement is that of a dog- leg; deep moulded rail and stick balusters. The closed tread has a carved panel which is possibly C17 and has been reused. On the first floor the partitions have been altered. There is a granite 4-centred chamfered arch above the partition between the hall and inner room. Roof structure over the room directly below the passage, over the higher end of the hall, the inner room and over the wings to front and rear of inner room replaced probably in 1882. (There is a short note which was written on one of the trusses in 1882). Above the lower end of the hall and the partition between the hall and passage are two trusses which have morticed apices, morticed cambered collars and holes for two tiers of threaded purlins. Hanging from the centre of the collars is a pair of tear-drops shaped flat pendants with an incised triangle directly above. This unusual carving is carved from the same piece of wood as the collar and was not applied separately. The higher truss is blackened and sooty in patches on the blade and collar and more uniformly on the underside of the truss. The roof structure above the stair wing has 4 trusses with morticed apiced and halved, dovetailed and single notched lap-jointed collars. The roof structure above the front left hand wing was not inspected. Peter Trevillyan had two parlours at Basil in 1608 suggesting that the house was already sizable in the early C17 and John Trevillyna was taxed for 11 hearths in 1664. Sources Cheshire, V.M. and F.J. The Cornishman's House, 1968 Stoate, T.L. Cornwall Hearth and Poll Taxes 1660-1664 Information from trustees.

Listing NGR: SX2045884070


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Chesher, V M, F J , , The Cornishmans House, (1968)
Stoate, T L , Cornwall Hearth and Poll Taxes 1660-1664, (1981)


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

End of official listing

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Date: 10 Mar 2005
Reference: IOE01/13702/08
Rights: © Mr Jeremy Miners. Source: Historic England Archive
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