Pendragon Country House in Cornwall combines all three.
History is around us. Evidence lives and breathes in what we see, the buildings we use, the traditions we revere. In every location as the geology changes building materials differ. These two things alone make the UK an island more varied than almost anywhere in the world. These two important drivers, geology and history underpin so many of our historic houses. Pendragon Country House on the most westerly county of Cornwall combines both aspects of how nature and nurture create something both unique and inspirational as a destination for a holiday, weekend break or life event.
Pendragon Country House is majestic
It is very much a product of the landscape and the industrial history. Slate hangs on the walls and the roofs. Handmade nails crafted to suit the construction lasted well over 140 years it was discovered when renovated recently. Even internally geological processes are in evidence. The king room named Tristram is fascinating. Here the original ornate ceiling is made of pressed tin that of course is an institution in Cornwall. You’ll see the majestic abandoned tin mine chimneys dotting the cliff tops in an iconic landscape addition. Tin is the backbone of the famous Poldark storied by Winston Graham. The current owners, Nigel and Sharon Reed love the ceiling but with a collective shrug of the shoulders admit that it’s nightmare to paint!
It’s not just history and tradition that dictated the fate of Pendragon Country House.
The house even boasts a technological first. In 1904 the clergyman who was the present incumbent at that time wrote to the Diocese, who owned the house, requesting a bath, hot water system and plumbing should be installed. The house still has the letters pertaining to this epistolary exchange. The Reverend had been given a quote of £19 for a boiler, system and indoor bath fully supplied and fitted. The Diocese and Duchy were horrified and offered £4.50 each towards the cost! After many letters and much fuss the Reverend had his bath for £19!
Tradition and history are evident here
That residing Reverend commanded a 13 acres estate and an important Parish. It is believed that the house was actually intended for the Rev. Edward Benson. This is in itself significant. Anyone visiting Truro will know just how eminent this gentleman was in Cornwall and among the Cornish. However, he never made it to actually live at Pendragon as in the meantime the plans for Truro Cathedral were drawn up and the Reverend became the first Bishop of Truro. He then subsequently became the Archbishop of Canterbury. Reverend Benson worked here during the 1860’s but never stayed in this house. His residence was in the previous Vicarage where a gable end wall still stands that survives from the 1750’s. The subsequent Reverend was blessed with quite the Country Vicarage as a result Cornwall hangs onto its heritage but has undergone a dramatic reinvention when it comes to gastronomy and locally produced food.
Pendragon Country House has continued the ethos of local sourcing.
Nigel and Sharon Reed say: ‘We are not only exceptionally sustainably minded but offer guests a true taste and flavour of Cornwall with all the amazing produce available. We only serve seasonal local produce and prepare meals on a ‘Plat du Jour’ basis, so guests normally sit down to a menu which is a total surprise. They do give us directions of allergies and dislikes and we source and cook freshly that day of service. This creates an experience far beyond usual pub grub and even restaurant offerings that tend not o be widely varied locally. Sharon is delighted by the amazing comments they receive ‘We are regularly told that people would never choose dishes on a menu, but really enjoy what Pendragon Country House offers. Regular guests generally ONLY eat in there, which says everything.
Their position between moor and coast means it is a perfect base for touring and gastronomy
It’s also a great stop for group travel. ‘We have had some lovely guests’, Nigel smiles, ‘even famous ones such as Alan Carr.’ With over 15 awards in over 5 years of operation including 4 awards for Cornwall, 3 regional South West awards, that’s the Scilly Isles up to Wiltshire and 1 national award it makes Pendragons the 2nd England 2013. These accolades combined with sustainable awards, hotel inspectors’ ratings and trip advisor they have plenty to back up why Pendragon Country House is such a must see attraction.
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