Silvanus Trevail

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Silvanus Trevail
Silvanus Trevail.png
Born (1851-11-11)11 November 1851
Luxulyan, Cornwall
Died 7 November 1903(1903-11-07) (aged 52)
Brownqueen Tunnel, Cornwall
Buildings Carbis Bay Hotel
Headland Hotel
Housel Bay Hotel
King Arthur's Castle Hotel
Hospital of St Lawrence, Bodmin


Silvanus Trevail (1851–1903) was a British architect, and the most prominent Cornish architect of the 19th century.

Early life[edit]

Trevail was born at Carne Farm, Trethurgy in the parish of Luxulyan, Cornwall on 11 November 1851. [1][2]

Career[edit]

Trevail rose to become Mayor of Truro and, nationally, President of the architects' professional body, the Society of Architects.

Trevail rebuilt the derelict Temple Church in 1883

He was Cornwall's most famous architect, certainly of the 19th century. Following the Education Act of 1870 which created Board Schools, Trevail designed around fifty such schools throughout the county. He also designed hotels including the Headland Hotel, Newquay, Carbis Bay Hotel in Carbis Bay, and restored the church at Temple. He was said to be a man ahead of his time, a campaigner for sanitation improvements and an entrepreneur.

Selected works[edit]

Death[edit]

His success however, did not bring him happiness. Trevail had a history of depression and had been unwell for some time before committing suicide. On 7 November 1903 he shot himself in the lavatory of a train[4] as it entered Brownqueen Tunnel a short distance from Bodmin Road railway station.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harradence, Hazel (2003). "You Never Know!". Silvanus Trevail Newsletter. The Silvanus Trevail Trust. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Best, R. S. The life and good works of John Passmore Edwards, with an appendix on the architect Silvanus Trevail, who designed nine Passmore Edwards buildings (pp.47-48). Dyllansow Truran (1982) ISBN 0-907566-18-9.
  3. ^ Morris, Jonathan. "Historic Bodmin dancehall to be demolished". BBC. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "SILVANUS TREVAIL DEAD.; President of British Royal Society of Architects Believed to Have Killed Himself.". The New York Times. November 8, 1903. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  5. ^ Laws Peter (2002). "Silvanus Trevail Society Newsletter". The Silvanus Trevail Society. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Perry, Ronald (2009) "Silvanus Trevail: social reformer, developer, architect", in: Ferry, Kathryn, ed. Powerhouses of Provincial Architecture, 1837-1914. London: Victorian Society; pp. 15-27

External links[edit]

  • There are biographical references to Silvanus Trevail on the Library & Museum of Freemasonry website, www.freemasonry.london.museum under classmark BE68(Tre)Roy, which contains reference to a copy of the Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall for 2001