Visit Falmouth’s Old Buildings
Scattered amid the contemporary and not sold old architecture of Falmouth are the great houses and snippets of the Towns history. Always look up as you pass along the streets and be sure to look down alley’s and walk among the streets beyond the main town. Here are a few of the more obvious buildings you will see when you Visit Falmouth.
Had it not been raised to the ground in 1646 during the Civil War, Arwenack Manor would be Falmouth’s oldest remaining home. Instead it is the derelict portion of windowed wall, once part of the magnificent banqueting hall that stands as the oldest remaining structure.
As Sir John Killigrew and his army of Royalists fought to defend his Manor there has long been speculation that Killigrew himself set the fire to ensure the Parliamentarians would not revel in the satisfaction.
The Manor was eventually rebuilt albeit on a smaller and less grand scale and the status as the Country’s grandest Manor came to an end.
‘Arwenack’, loosely translates as, ‘white water’. One can only assume that the once close proximity of the sea and the white water of breaking waves prompted the name.
At the end of the Killigrews prominence the Manor steadily fell to neglect and in the 1970’s sadly fell victim to yet another fire. Extensive and sensitive restoration work began and today the Grade II listed building is made up of private apartments and a house.
‘Ludgate Hill’, a.k.a High Street – C18th
After Arwenack the oldest houses in the Town can be found at the high end of what was once known as, ‘Ludgate Hill’. Many of the houses around, ‘Barracks Ope’, are from around the C18th and looking through the archway of the ope and down the cobbled steps it easy to imagine another time.
The history of the High Street not unlike that of Arwenack is haunted with a history of fire and destruction. One particular fire occurred on 12th April 1862 when 30 houses were destroyed. Imagine how this street could look today had they survived.
Cromwell Cottage – Lansdowne Road
During the siege of Pendennis beginning in 1646 trenches and guns were placed along the coast. From Gyllngvase beach right along to the docks a network of escape routes and secret rat runs were in operation as Colonel Fortescue & Admiral Baton attacked from land and sea. One entrenchment ran from Gyllngdune Gardens to the centre of Lansdowne Road. Thus the house, believed to be the oldest on the road, came to be named, ‘Cromwell Cottage’.
Grove Hill House
The Fox Family built several houses in and around Falmouth including Glendurgan at Mawnan Smithm, (now owned by the National Trust), the Rose Hill in Woodlane, (now the main building for the Falmouth department of Falmouth University), and their Falmouth home, Grove Hill House.
The, Dell, car-park situated adjacent to the train station was once the location of the houses’s gardens and large fishponds. If you cast your imagination back even further you can picture the Roundheads, who would have been camped behind Arwenack House during the Pendennis siege, coming here withe their horses to drink and bath in a stream.
Which building fascinates you most when you Visit Falmouth?