400 years of hidden stories at Lanhydrock

Gatehouse, garden and house at Lanhydrock

A team of volunteers are hard at work at Lanhydrock, sorting through thousands of letters, bills, receipts and other documents accumulated over 400 years of history. This project will shed new light on the story of the Agar-Robartes family and their ancestors, staff, tenants and community at Lanhydrock.

The task ahead

Cornwall Record Office archivist Claire Wardale trains and leads the team as they sort, clean and reveal the contents of the paper archive from Lanhydrock house.

The volunteers are working their way through box after box, filled with papers dating from the 1570s to the 1970s. The collection will reveal the story of the Robartes family, who owned Lanhydrock before it came to the National Trust in 1953.

What’s in the archive?

The team have a varied and fascinating task ahead, and will encounter papers form the English civil war era, as well as records relating to the 1881 fire and subsequent rebuilding of the house and over 500 plans of properties and land.

The archive also contains a large amount of information about the tenants on the estate and the life of the local community over the years, alongside the records of prominent family members including Charles Robartes, who commissioned the stunning Lanhydrock Atlas, which is displayed in the house today.

" The collection contains a wealth of material that has so far been largely inaccessible to the public due to the lack of detailed information. This is a great opportunity to discover what stories are hidden in these boxes."
- Councillor Julian German, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Economy and Culture

What do we hope to achieve with this project?

Paul Holden, House and Collections Manager at Lanhydrock helped develop the project and hopes it will shed new light on what we know about Lanhydrock over the centuries. We also hope that by having a better understanding of what is in the archive we can facilitate future research.

Find out what we find out

All the information uncovered through this project will be entered onto the Cornwall Record Office online catalogue, so if you want to learn what the team discover from the archive then visit their website and have a browse.