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Historical Attractions on the Roseland Peninsula

St Mawes Holidays > Roseland Info > Things to do and see > Historical Attractions on the Roseland Peninsula

Caerhays Castle

The home of the Williams family, Caerhays Castle overlooks Porthluney Cove. It is near Mevagissey and it is four miles south east of Tregony and signposted off the A3078. The Trevanion family had owned the land since 1390. The house itself was built for John Bettesworth Trevanion, who at the age of 21, inherited the estate in 1801. John Nash, a fashionable architect of the day, was employed to create the mansion in 1808. Profligate living plus the costs of building the mansion ruined the family, and in 1840 the family were so heavily in debt that they fled to Paris, where John Trevanion died. Caerhays Castle was thus abandoned for 13 years.

Eventually in 1853 it was purchased by a Cornish Member of Parliament, Michael Williams, who restored the property. He was also a mine owner. It is said that ducks were found swimming in the round dining room. There is a good example of a Porte Cochere outside the front door (this is an enclosed area to enable the gentry to alight from their carriages in the dry). An impressive staircase, a grand Front Hall and a Gallery demonstrate the work of Nash. There is a Victorian library with a penchant for books on minerals and travel. There are 60 acres of woodland and garden and many of the plants and shrubs originate from trips made by John Charles Williams to China for this purpose around 1900. The gardens are particularly proud of their magnolias, camellias, oaks and rhododendrons.  The fifth generation of the Williams family still lives at the castle and there are a number of Trevanion family portraits.

The castle is only open for a limited period 16 February to 31 May.  Tours of the castle & gardens are available though the Caerhays website or by calling 01872 501310.

St. Anthony Lighthouse

A coal beacon burned here for centuries until the present lighthouse was built in 1834. It guards the entrance to the Carrick Roads, warning passing ships of the infamous Manacles rocks. Although automated the light house is often open for visitors during the summer. The lighthouse was also the set for the television series ‘Fraggle Rock’.

St. Anthony Battery

The strategic importance of St. Anthony Head for the defence of Carrick Roads and Falmouth is testified by the remains of many fortifications. During WW I the area was used for Army training and in WW II gun batteries were stationed here. The Headland is owned by the National Trust – an interpretative panel is situated by the toilets and a leaflet giving further information is for sale during the summer.

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