Lanhydrock in the 20th century
In 1953 the Right Honourable Francis Gerald Agar-Robartes, 7th Viscount Clifden (1883-1966) bequeathed Lanhydrock house and 366 acres of surrounding land to the National Trust. His brother Arthur Victor, the 8th Viscount (1887-1974), added 298 acres during the 1970s.
Having no immediate heirs and mindful of the incumbrances of heavy death duties Gerald’s gift of property and land was to secure its long-term future. It was agreed that the 7th Viscount and his siblings would live ‘rent free during their lifetimes if they should so wish’.
The Agar-Robartes family were created Viscount’s in 1899. Thomas Charles Agar-Robartes, 6th Viscount, (1844-1930), had ten children, his sons Gerald and Victor inherited the 7th and 8th Viscount titles in 1930 and 1966 respectively.
Gerald had no children, he and his two unmarried sisters lived in the house until the last died in 1969. Victor married and had one daughter, Rachel (1922-98) who lived in Africa.
Since 1953 the house, collections, gardens and wider estate have been cared for by the National Trust. Today Lanhydrock has become one of the foremost visited properties in National Trust ownership.
The wider Cornish landholdings were incorporated into the ‘Lanhydrock Estate Company’ in 1934 and passed, by descent, to the Williams family.
Lanhydrock House is currently one of 500 special places owned and looked after by the National Trust for the nation to enjoy.