A derelict manor house on sale for £600,000 is primed for a Grand Designs-style makeover.
Transforming ruins into a home fit for the five acre plot of land it lies on will be no easy task but has all the potential to become one of "Cornwall's finest country houses", an estate agents claims.
Offers are in excess of £600,000 for the house and land known as Trehane Manor which was ravaged by a blazing fire in 1946 and left to crumble ever since.
Historic records suggest that its gardens were once some of the best in the county following 200 years of cultivation.
Upmarket estate agents Lillicrap Chilcott announced the impending sale of Treharne House, near Truro this week as a ‘remarkable once in a lifetime restoration opportunity'.
The marketing blurb reads: "An exceptional 5-acre site in a magical and private setting, with the ruins of a Grade II Listed Queen Anne manor house and detailed planning consent for its reconstruction to create what would be one of Cornwall's finest country houses. An unrivalled and unrepeatable opportunity in a blissful yet highly convenient location."
The history of the Trehane estate goes back to the 13th century and is mentioned in Tudor times when Sir John Trehane appears on the list of soldiers who would have fought in the event of the Armada landing.
In 1700 the then owner John Williams set about building a new house for his wife and family, which was completed three years later.
Ownership of the house passed through the family line and in 1861 ended up in the hands of Captain William Stackhouse Church Pinwill, who was a serving officer in the Indian Army and didn't return to Trehane until 1868.
Capt Pinwill had a keen interest in natural history and was thankful to his brother-in-law, the Archdeacon of Bombay, for sending plants to Cornwall for Trehane's gardens.
In her fascinating book, Vanished Houses of Cornwall, Rosemary Lauder writes that in his day Pinwill was considered one of the Duchy's foremost gardeners.
An index that he compiled listed 4,500 plants and in 1914 he was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society. Trehane was renowned for its rare species, many grown for the first time in this country.
Trehane was requisitioned just before the Second World War and Austrian Jews fleeing the Nazis stayed in the house in temporary huts in the grounds – one of which has been restored by the property’s current owners.
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US servicemen were later based on the estate in preparation for the D Day landings in June 1944.
A Major Anthony Deakin owned the property next and during renovations in 1946 a plumber unknowingly set fire to the inside attic. The fire rapidly took hold and the whole roof and floors were destroyed. Firefighters could only save most of the walls and two of the four chimneys.
The house was bought in 1962 by David Trehane, who, remarkably, had no connection to the estate despite his surname. The ruin was beyond rescue but Mr Trehane did all he could to ensure the gardens were of a high standard, before selling the property to the current owners.
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