Trelissick house - rooms with a view
Trelissick has been a home for thousands of years - evidenced by the Iron Age promontory fort at Roundwood Quay. The current house started life in the 1750s and has seen many changes, both physical and in ownership.
Ida Copeland gave the house along with the entire Trelissick estate to the National Trust in 1955 with the family retaining the house as their home. When the family chose to leave the main part of the house in 2012 we began the trial opening of a suite of ground floor rooms with magnificent views over the Carrick Roads and Fal Estuary which you can visit today.
You soon understand why John Lawrence decided to build a villa and develop a garden here in the 1750s. Set in a commanding position over the Fal Estuary with views to Falmouth and out to sea, the vista is ever changing with the natural rhythyms of climate and tide and if it could speak it could tell many Cornish stories about trade, conflict and the industrialist families that have lived at Trelissick.
The Daniell family, well known as miners, bought Trelissick in the 1800s and developed the house with the London architect PF Robinson by putting on the porticos and further developed the estate. It was once said that Thomas Daniell could ride to Truro without leaving his own land. With Thomas Daniell bankrupt through gambling, the house was then sold.
Boscawen and Davies-Gilbert families
Trelissick passed through the hands of the Boscowen family at Tregothnan and onto the Davies-Gibert family. It was Carew Davies Gilbert, wealthy through inheritance at a young age who built the second floor onto Trelissick house and many of the farm buildings that are now home to Crofters Cafe, our bookshop and facilities. Carew was also a major Victorian plant hunter and contributed hugely to the development of the garden at Trelissick.
In the 1900's a wealthy banker and director of Harrods, Leonard Daneham Cunliffe, brother of Lord Cunliffe (deputy governor of the bank of England) was sailing in his boat, Loranda, and spotted Trelissick House. He fell in love with it and decided he wanted to live there. He started by renting Trelissick and eventually purchased the estate in 1918. He lived at Trelissick with his staff until he died in 1937, passing Trelissick to his step-daughter, Ida Copeland.
CopeIand family and Spode
Ida was from a family of Italian bankers, a second cousin of Florence Nightingale and was married to Ronald Copeland, chairman of the Spode Copeland china works. They used Trelissick house as a summer home, eventually giving Trelissick estate to the National Trust, with the house and walled garden being retained as a family home. Their son, Spencer, and in turn grandson William lived in the house until William, his wife Jennifer and their children decided to move their main home in 2012.
They held a country house auction to sell the collections within the house, including the important family collection of Spode Copeland China.
The National Trust
The National Trust purchased some important lots at auction, which combined with items purchased from family members since gives us the partly furnished house you see on your visit today. Trelissick House was first opened in December 2013 for a Christmas event and trial opening now continues. The National Trust will always care for Trelissick House and we are in the process of deciding how we use and present the house in the future to help tell the stories of Trelissick, provide a sustainable business model and everyone who visits a very enjoyable time.