Restoring the Net Loft

Net Loft at Polperro surrounded in scaffolding for restoration

The Net Loft is a Grade II listed building thought to have been built in the early nineteenth century.

The building is believed to have been a Chapel. By the fourteenth century Polperro was a busy port, and the village fishermen became rich enough to build their own chapel in 1391, dedicated to St Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. The chapel initially stood on Chapel Point above the harbour (in the grounds of the property 'Mont St Pierre'), but it is believed that it was moved some 200 years ago to Peak Rock, the site of the Net Loft today. 

 
In more recent years, before it was abandoned, the ground floor was used for boat building and the top for storing sails and pilchard nets. The building may also have been a lighthouse, as it is ideally situated for a beacon. It has seen its fair share of weather and stormy seas, battered by huge waves in recent winters.
 
Built onto the rock at the mouth of Polperro harbour
The Net Loft at Polperro
Re-pointing with traditional lime mortar
Net Loft repointing

The restoration took twelve months to complete in 2015/16. The entire refurbishment used a kilometre of wooden batten, 2500 roof slates, nine tonnes of sand, stone and lime, 40 light fittings and seven new windows, all transported by hand along 100m of coast path out to site. It is entirely off grid; the roof is integrated with 45 solar PV tiles, there is low energy LED light throughout.

This building, that once stood empty at the edge of the harbour, will now be available for the community and we welcome ideas for everyone for its future use.

Solar panels generate electricity for low energy lighting inside
Solar panels on the roof of the renovated Net Loft in Polperro

We have had a series of art exhibitions in the spring and summer of 2016. You can get a taste of it from these videos made by artists Sue and Philip Bennetta.

Net Loft, joint residency 2016

Response to place

...and the building was the perfect setting to show off up and coming artist, Amie Scott's glass work.

Amie Scott exhibition 2016, Polperro Net Loft
Amie Scott exhibition 2016, Polperro Net Loft