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Cocks Hill
Penhallow, Cornwall£950,000 Freehold

Cocks Hill

A wonderful former church house a short distance from the vast expanse of Perran Sands

This captivating home lies in the hamlet of Perranzabuloe, a mile inland from the vast expanse of Perran Sands, a staggering complex dune system extending 620 hectares. Grade II-listed and constructed in 1842, it extends to over 1,700 sq ft internally. It has been completely restored under the current ownership to an extremely high standard, using a neutral palette of colours and materials to create a serene environment. Built by the church to serve the parishioners of Perranzabuloe as a community hub and Sunday School, formal architectural elements abound and are intertwined with vernacular materials.

Setting the Scene

The house is in the heart of the village, adjacent to the Church. Set back from the road behind wooden gates, the wide five-bay façade allows the interior to be flooded with natural light. Finely finished limestone lintels with hoodmoulds, along with ashlar quoins, contrast beautifully against the rusticated Cornish stone. The renovation of the house in recent years has been total, with all major elements renewed.

The distinctive colouring of Cornish stone is due to the high iron content in the geology of the Cornish peninsular. The mineral-rich earth of Cornwall is vitally important to the county’s history; mining has been undertaken here since the Stone Age, and the tin and copper mines of the peninsular have international historical importance due to their production of bronze. Evidence remains that a thriving metal trade existed with traders as far afield as Phoenicia and Carthage during the bronze age and antiquity. For more information, please see the History section below.

The Grand Tour

The central entrance leads to a voluminous double-height hall. The plan of the house is inverse, with the bedrooms located on the ground floor. The elevated position of the living space provides sweeping views and maximised natural light.

Ascending to the first floor, the double-height, open-plan living space extends to 51 feet in length. With original floorboards running underfoot throughout and double-aspect glazing, it encompasses the kitchen, dining and living areas and a study. Brilliantly suited to entertaining, the kitchen is contemporary in aesthetic with stainless steel cabinetry and a large island with a micro cement worksurface. Reclaimed whitewashed wooden panelling, with a characterful patina, runs up to the dado rail and adds a sense of informality and tranquillity to the space; on the rear wall, stone has been left exposed.

The living space is bright and airy and has a contemporary wood-burner set in a Cornish slate hearth, with red flecks that echo the stonework of the exterior.

The ground floor provides sleeping accommodation, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The main bedroom lies to the right of the hall. Square in plan and bathed in light from dual-aspect glazing, it is beautifully finished with calming powder-blue limewashed walls and sisal carpet underfoot. A large cast-iron rolltop bath is situated between the windows with a wood burner nearby, creating the perfect environment for long evening soaks following a hard day surfing at Perran Sands.

Two further bedrooms lie to the left of the hall. The first is at the rear and finished in an earthy-pink limewash, contrasting with the reclaimed timber panelling on the ceiling and the accompanying window bench. The third bedroom is also panelled with reclaimed timber finished in a white limewash; a pocket door leads to a large wet room with raw brass hardware and neutral tiles.

The Great Outdoors

The garden lies to the side of the house. A veritable sun-trap, the landscaping has been laid out with entertaining in mind. A flight of external steps lead down from the first floor to a stone terrace, which can easily accommodate dining for 14. At the front of the garden, the dining area transitions into a barbeque and fire pit area with white gravel underfoot, intersected by raised beds providing herbs and vegetables.

A large garage lies to the right of the house, this is currently used for storage and utilities by the current owners and could easily be made into annex accommodation subject to planning.

Out and About

Perranzabuloe is rich in both activities and amenities. There are many fantastic walks locally; the South West Coast Path is a short stroll across the fields, or ramble to Trevellas Cove via Canteen for a lunchtime pitstop. The current owners are keen surfers and cycle from the house with boards across Perran Sands, or at low tide, across Perranporth beach. The far-end of the three-mile-long beach provides secluded surf spots with near-perfect waves (most of the time).

Chapmans & Son is a highly acclaimed butcher less than a mile away. Fresh fish, caught on the day, can be delivered to the door by Cornwall Fisheries or collected from Chaple Porth beach, two miles away. Da Bara is a nationally acclaimed bakery that delivers. A short walk across the fields leads to the Black Flag Brewery, which serves a large selection of locally brewed beers alongside woodfired pizza at the weekend.

The AsOne community space and café in Perranporth serves delicious Caribbean cuisine; the chef was trained at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Watergate bay. AsOne also hosts monthly reggae nights and cook ups.

Truro is Cornwall’s only city and is a 10-minute drive. It’s home to a awe-inspiring gothic revival cathedral along with a wide range of shops and amenities including a Waitrose.

Bristol is less than three hours by car. Truro rail station is a 10-minute drive, with trains running to Paddington in four and a half hours and Bristol in three and a half. Newquay airport is under a 30-minute drive, with regular flights to London Gatwick taking 1 hour 15 minutes.

Council Tax Band: D

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.

History

The Penhale dune system is home to the 6th-century St Piran’s Oratory, one of the oldest Christian sites in the UK. An abbot of Irish Origin, St Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall and tin miners. According to folklore, the King of Ireland feared Piran so greatly that he ordered him to be thrown off a cliff into a stormy sea with a millstone around his neck. Legend says that at this point, the sea became calm, and Piran floated across the water to the sandy beach at Perranzabuloe with the millstone as his raft.

According to folklore, St Piran also discovered tin smelting (by accident); a black stone on his fireplace was said to have got so hot that liquid tin leaked out. This process became tin smelting. Soon, local miners began digging for and smelting tin. They made a good living selling it to merchants from Europe. This led to Piran being named the Patron Saint of Tinners, as tin mining was the backbone of the Cornish industry for centuries.

St Piran (and its oratory) also had a hand in the creation of the historic Cornish flag; the white cross was said to represent the white-hot tin in the pattern it formed when it fell on to the blackness of the stone. The design of the flag also represents the white light of truth shining out of the darkness, in reference to how St Piran brought Christianity to Cornwall.

The current Perranzabuloe church (which Cocks Hill was built to serve) was constructed after the original oratory was buried under the dunes.

Cocks Hill — Penhallow, Cornwall
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