Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of PENCARROW HOUSE
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1311084 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 14-Oct-2019 at 00:35:22.


Statutory Address:

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

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:



4/21 Pencarrow House


Country house. Circa late C17 or early C18 origins on earlier site. Partly rebuilt between 1760s and 1775, begun by Sir John Molesworth, 4th baronet who died in 1766 and continued by his son Sir John, 5th baronet who died in 1777. The architect was probably Robert Allanson of York who died in 1773. Partly remodelled in circa 1844 for Sir William Molesworth, 8th baronet, by George Wightwick and the interior was modernised in 1919 by Ernest Newton Stuccoed stone rubble and brick south and east elevations; stone rubble on north and dressed slate stone with ,moulded plinth on west elevation. Slate roofs with hipped ends to south and east fronts. Axial stacks. Plan: Whilst the house was considerably rebuilt in the 1760s and 1770s, there would appear to be evidence suggesting that the earlier house was of a large size and that part of it still survives in a remodelled form. Lysons suggests a date for remodelling in 1730 and quotes Borlase who spoke of it as the most capacious mansion in Cornwall. However, the will of Sir John Molesworth, 5th baronet, who died in 1775 refers to considerable sums of money, expended in the 'building, rebuilding and repairing' of the house. Whilst much of the circa late C17 bolection moulded panelling in the music room and entrance hall came from Tetcott, being reset by Wightwick in the 1840s, the early C18 back stair, sash windows in the rear (north) elevation, joinery in the west range and 2-light mullion windows in the cellar are probably all a survival from the earlier house. Additionally the Palladian design, whilst accomplished on the east front, is fairly archaic for the 1760s and 1770s and the symmetry of the exterior on the east and south front is not accompanied by a symmetry of axis on the interior; a possible explanation could be that the earlier ranges inhibited the axial planning often associated with the Palladian houses of the 1750s. The principal rooms of the house are arranged in the east front range and south garden range. The east range was partly remodelled in the 1840s by George Wightwick with a central entrance hall flanked by a music room on the right (north east) and drawing room on left (south east). The long south front may have contained the original entrance for the 1770s remodelling; the entrance hall flanked by the dining room and stewards room to the left (south west) and the drawing room in the south east corner. A broad corridor continues from the entrance hall in the east range, along the rear of the south rooms to left and the stair hall to right (north) with its groin vaulted corridor. The private family rooms in the lower range contain circa 1700 panelling and comprise part of the earlier house. Exterior: East front of 2 storeys and attic with a symmetrical 2:3:2 window front with late C18 and C19 12-pane sashes. Pedimented central bay set forward. Rusticated quoins and modillion cornice. C19 central porch with partly glazed door flanked by sashes. Segmental arched pediments above the 3 central sashes on first floor with triangular pediments to the 4 flanking sashes. Seven 6-pane sashes above. Similar window arrangement to south front with wider spacing. The west elevation which comprises part of the earlier house has fine quality masonry and a moulded plinth. There are several straight joints indicating partial rebuilding and the lower stage of the west wall of the south front contains similar masonry and indicates that part of the south range was probably remodelled and the eaves raised in the 1770s rather than totally rebuilt. On the north elevation are several early C18 sashes with thick glazing bars. The Venetian stair window on the left is of mid C19 whilst the Venetian window on the right is probably early C18. Interior: East range; entrance hall partly remodelled by Wightwick in 1844 when the bolection moulded panelling and over-mantle (originally from Tetcott) were reset. Rococo. plaster ceiling in music room. Maple grained panelling and niche added by Wightwick reusing earlier joinery. Fine C18 chimney-piece in dining room. Inner stair hall has a groin-vaulted corridor, heated by a combined stove and colza oil lamp standard manufactured by Hearder of Plymouth in circa 1830s. Impressive cantilever open well stair with wrought iron balustrade which appears early C19 in character. The plasterwork above the stair to the upper landing is of circa 1770s. The back stair is of early C18 in style with square newels, turned balusters, closed string and with a moulded rail. First floor with joinery, carpentry and plasterwork largely complete. One attic room with complete circa late C17 bolection moulded panelling. Pencarrow, Bodmin: Guide, fifth edition 1986 Gilbert, Davies Parochial History of Cornwall founded on the Manuscript Histories of Mr Hals and Mr Tonkin, 1838 Hussey, C 'Pencarrow, Cornwall' Country Life: July 8, 1954. 118-121 Lysons, Rev D Magna Britannia: Volume III, 1814 Maclean, Sir J Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor, 1876 Pearson, A George Wightwick; Wightwick's Architectural Cornwall. Pevsner, N and Radcliffe E. The Buildings of England, Cornwall. 2nd edition. 1970 Polsue, J Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall, 1872, reprinted 1974

Listing NGR: SX0397371056


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pencarrow Bodmin, (1986)
Davies, G, Parochial History of Cornwall founded on the Manuscript Histories of Mr Hals and Mr Tonkin, (1838)
Maclean, J, Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor in the County of Cornwall, (1879)
Pearson, A , Wightwick's Architectural Works in Cornwall
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds, (1970)
Polsue, J, Lakes Parochial History of the County of Cornwall, (1872)
'Country Life' in Country Life, (1954), 118-121
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 8 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly,


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 18 Jan 2001
Reference: IOE01/03297/24
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Charles A Perry. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].