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Lanhydrock House.jpg
Lanhydrock church
Lanhydrock is located in Cornwall
Location within Cornwall
Population186 (Civil Parish, 2011)
OS grid referenceSX
Civil parish
  • Lanhydrock
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBodmin
Postcode districtPL30
Dialling code01208
PoliceDevon and Cornwall
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°26′28″N 4°41′53″W / 50.441°N 4.698°W / 50.441; -4.698Coordinates: 50°26′28″N 4°41′53″W / 50.441°N 4.698°W / 50.441; -4.698
Lanhydrock House
The gatehouse
Lanhydrock House Gallery
A corridor within the property
Lanhydrock House - Billiard Room 2014

Lanhydrock (Cornish: Lannhedrek,[1] meaning "church enclosure of St Hydrock") is a civil parish centred on a country estate and mansion in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The parish lies south of the town of Bodmin[2] and is bounded to the north by Bodmin parish, to the south by Lanlivery parish and to the west by Lanivet parish. The population was 171 in the 2001 census.[3] This increased to 186 in the 2011 census.[4] The Parish Council meets every two months in Lanhydrock Memorial Hall.[5]

Lanhydrock ecclesiastical parish is in the Deanery and Hundred of Pydar and in the Bodmin Registration District. The parish is in the Diocese of Truro and is now part of the Bodmin Team Ministry.[6]

The parish church is dedicated to St Hydroc and stands in the grounds of Lanhydrock House. Parts date back to the late 15th century and the church has a chancel, nave, north and south aisles and three-stage battlemented tower with nine bells. Eight bells date from the late 19th century and are regularly rung. The ninth bell dates from circa 1599 and is only rung infrequently for tolling.[7]

Lanhydrock House[edit]

The great house stands in extensive grounds (360 hectares or 890 acres) above the River Fowey and it has been owned and managed by the National Trust since 1953.[8] Much of the present house dates back to Victorian times but some sections date from the 1620s. It is a Grade I listed building[9] and is set in gardens with formal areas. The hill behind the house is planted with a fine selection of shrubs and trees.[10]

Lanhydrock estate belonged to the Augustinian priory of St Petroc at Bodmin but the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the 1530s saw it pass into private hands. In 1620 wealthy merchant Sir Richard Robartes, of Truro, acquired the estate and began building Lanhydrock House, designed to a four-sided layout around a central courtyard and constructed of grey granite. Robartes died in 1624 but work on the building was continued by his son John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor, a notable public figure who served as Lord Privy Seal and Lord President of the Council. The embattled walls were built of rude (rough), massive granite blocks with years 1636 and 1642 on the walls, indicating when they were built. A barbican gate was added and the house was garrisoned by Parliamentary forces in August 1644 when Sir Richard Grenville took possession.[11]

During the 18th century the east wing of the house was demolished leaving the U-shaped plan seen today. On 4 April 1881 a major fire destroyed the south wing and caused extensive damage to the central section. The fire started in the kitchen and the near gale-force wind fanned the flames along the south wing and the ″communicating block″.[11] Of the main house only the north wing, with its 116 feet (35 m) Long Gallery, and the front porch building survived intact, along with the original gatehouse which also dates back to the mid-17th century. The gallery was decorated with old plaster work which was considered to be the finest of its type in the west of England with figures representing the creation in ″bas-relief″. The property was insured for £10,000 in the Royal Standard Office and for £10,000 in the County Fire Office and the damage is estimated to cost £8,000 to £10,000[11] It was reported in August 1881 that the rebuilding of the house would cost £50,000 and was to be undertaken by Messers Lang and Son of Liskeard.[12] New sections were built behind the south wing, including a kitchen block, in the style of the original building – which was unusual at the time.

The Robartes family declined significantly during the First World War, including the heir Thomas Agar-Robartes MP, who was killed during the Battle of Loos in France, while trying to rescue a colleague from no-man's land. Only one descendant survives, living in a cottage on the estate.


The cross in the churchyard

Arthur Langdon (1896) recorded two Cornish crosses and two cross bases (at Tredinnick Cross and Reperry)[13] in the parish. One cross is in the churchyard and the other is half a cross head at Treffry. The cross in the churchyard is ornamented on all four sides of the shaft.[14] In addition to these there is a cross called Bodwen Cross; this cross was recorded in 1850 but was not mentioned by J. T. Blight or Arthur Langdon. It was found again in 1937 near Helman Tor in the parish of Lanlivery. It was taken from there and erected in the new cemetery at Lanhydrock. A request for it to be returned to Lanlivery to a site on the Saints' Way was refused.[15]

Recent history[edit]

Most of the current building, therefore, dates from late Victorian times. The second Lord Robartes (later the 6th Viscount Clifden) rebuilt the house to meet the needs of his large family, appointing local architect Richard Coad to design and supervise most of the work. Coad had previously (1857) worked as assistant to George Gilbert Scott on earlier work at Lanhydrock.

In 1953 the house and approximately 160 hectares (400 acres) of parkland were given to the National Trust by the 7th Viscount Clifden. The public tour is one of the longest of any National Trust house and takes in the service rooms, nurseries and some servants' bedrooms, as well as the main reception rooms and family bedrooms. In 2004 it was one of the Trust's ten most visited paid-entry properties, with over 200,000 visitors.

In 1872 Lord Robartes MP of Lanhydrock, Bodmin, was listed in the top ten land holdings in Cornwall with an estate of 22,234 acres (89.98 km2) or 2.93% of Cornwall.[16]

Parts of the estate have been designated as an Important Plant Area, by the organisation Plantlife, for its ancient woodland and lichens.[17]

Lanhydrock was the main setting for a 1996 film version of Twelfth Night directed by Trevor Nunn, and starring Helena Bonham Carter as Olivia. On 12 June 2008 Lanhydrock hosted an episode of BBC TV's Antiques Roadshow, which was first aired on 12 October 2008 (part 1) and 30 November 2008 (part 2).


  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel Archived 15 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 200 Newquay & Bodmin ISBN 978-0-319-22938-5
  3. ^ GENUKI website; Lanhydrock; retrieved May 2010
  4. ^ "2011 census". Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  5. ^ Cornwall Council website Archived 3 January 2009 at; retrieved May 2010
  6. ^ Church of England "A Church Near You" website; St Hydroc, Bodmin; retrieved May 2010
  7. ^ "Dove Details". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  8. ^ National Trust website: Lanhydrock Archived 30 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved May 2010
  9. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1157870)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 April 2007.
  10. ^ "Lanhydrock". National Trust.
  11. ^ a b c "Great Fire At Lanhydrock House, The Seat Of Lord Robartes". The Cornishman (143). 7 April 1881. p. 5.
  12. ^ "Local News". The Cornishman (162). 18 August 1881. p. 6.
  13. ^ For more details of Reperry Cross, see Lanivet
  14. ^ Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: Joseph Pollard; pp. 382–83, 183, 227 & 423
  15. ^ Langdon, A. G. (2002) Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall; 2nd ed. Federation of Old Cornwall Societies; p. 42
  16. ^ Who Owns Britain - by Kevin Cahill (author)
  17. ^ "Lanhydrock Park". Plantlife. Retrieved 7 February 2012.