Like a phoenix from the flames

Artist's impression of the fire at Lanhydrock in 1881

In 1881 a fire started in the kitchen chimney and high winds caused it to spread rapidly. It raged through Lanhydrock house, destroying most of the work Thomas James Agar-Robartes and his wife Juliana had carried out to make the imposing mansion a more welcoming home.

Fatal consequences

Juliana, who was 69 at the time, had to be rescued form an upstairs room and sadly died a week later, presumably from smoke inhalation and shock.

Her grieving husband never fully recovered from her loss and fell into a rapid decline. A year later, he too was dead.

A new beginning

Their son, Thomas Charles, and his wife Mary, took over the property following these untimely deaths and refashioned the Jacobean building in high-Victorian style.

Not only were the rooms redecorated with rich colours and fabrics, but the house was also equipped with state-of-the-art technology in the kitchens.

With fire safety at the forefront of Thomas’s mind, the walls were reconstructed in thick concrete and many fire hoses were positioned all around the house. Spot them as you walk around the property today.

A happy family home

Lanhydrock became a happy family home, where Thomas Charles and Mary raised their nine children. Their future seemed bright until, like so many others, their lives were shattered by the First World War.