This Grade II-listed, early 19th-century house sits on Leskinnick Street, close to Penzance’s waterfront. Part of a small row of smart double-fronted houses, all set behind stone walls and pretty front gardens, the home has a handsome façade, as well as lovely original internal features. It has been lovingly restored and decorated by the current owner, who uses one of the bedrooms as a painting studio due to its superior quality of light. The house is two minutes from Penzance’s station, which runs direct trains to London Paddington in around five hours.
Setting the Scene
Penzance has a long history as a prosperous market town and fishing port – flourishing, in part, as a result of its trade in fish with Europe and the extraction of tin from nearby mines. Today it is a thriving place, with a plethora of independent shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as a variety of galleries. The town hosts the yearly Golowan Festival, a famous celebration of midsummer and the Feast of St John (the town’s patron saint). The week-long festival includes parades, dancing, market stalls and culminates in a beautiful fireworks display.
During the 19th century, when this terrace was built, significant progress was being made in developing Penzance’s harbour. This advancement was furthered due to the opening of the railway line in 1866, which improved connections to London via Plymouth; in fact, Penzance became the south-west terminus of one of the greatest railway routes of Victorian Britain.
The Grand Tour
The house’s white façade has blue-painted window frames and a matching blue front door, which opens into a generous hallway. Here, the first sight of exposed granite – a motif that continues throughout the ground floor – can be spotted around the doorway. There is a fireplace on one side, framed by alcoves with bookshelves. To the right is a bright sitting room, with two tall sash windows that punctuate a characterful wall of exposed granite and bathe the room in light. Wooden lintels sit above the frames while white-painted beams crown the room. There is a warming fireplace at one end of the room, with shelves fitted in the alcoves at either side – perfect for displaying ceramics.
An internal window helps draw light into the centre of the plan, where a corridor leads to the open-plan kitchen and dining room. The kitchen comprises white-painted cabinetry, with tongue-and-groove panelling lining the walls. A brilliant dining area is tucked around the corner. From the kitchen, a stable door swings open onto a private yard. There is also a bathroom on this floor, well-placed for washing sandy feet after visits to the beach.
A wooden staircase, complete with its original bannister and spindles, winds up to the first floor. This level is home to four bedrooms and a family shower-room. The latter is lined with green subway tiles and further tongue-and-groove panelling. The bedrooms have their original floorboards, and large sash windows.
The Great Outdoors
The front garden is filled with plants, including bamboo, palm trees and bluebells, with bay hedges. Due to its south-east orientation, its makes perfect spot to position a bench, facing the sun. To the rear of the house is a courtyard garden – a wonderful place for a morning coffee or an evening drink.
Out and About
Penzance is the last major town on the Land’s End Peninsula. Chapel Street, the most historic area of the town, contains an excellent selection of restaurants and pubs. Other brilliant places to eat include 45 Queen Street, The Shore and Pizza Plz. The town also has an independent cinema, The Acorn Theatre, while the re-opened Jubilee Pool, originally built in the 1930s, is one of the last remaining salt-water tidal pools in Europe. A ferry across to the Isles of Scilly sails regularly to the islands throughout the summer.
The picturesque fishing town of Newlyn is a 10-minute drive away; the area has long been associated with artists – including those of the ‘Newlyn School’ – who have been attracted by the light, the sea and the historic architecture. The village is home to an independent cinema and The Newlyn Art Gallery, which has an impressive programme of exhibitions from critically acclaimed artists. Eateries here include popular restaurant Argoe, as well as coffee shop and wine bar Lovetts.
The town of St Ives is 20 minutes from the house, home to an array of beautiful beaches and rambling walks. Like Newlyn, St Ives has long been associated with artists attracted by the evocative Atlantic light, namely including its 20th-century school of sculptors, painters and ceramicists. As a result, St Ives has many galleries, from Tate St Ives, the Penwith Gallery, the wonderfully preserved Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Leach Pottery, as well as many smaller, independent galleries including New Craftsman Gallery and Anima Mundi.
The town is full of fantastic eateries, cafés and independent shops, including the newly opened wine bar and coffee shop St Eia, serving natural wines and small plate; Little Palais, which again offers low-intervention wine and cocktails; and tasty seafood at Porthmeor Beach Café.
The 630-mile South West Coast Path also runs through Penzance and St Ives and offers fantastic walks in both directions.
There are some excellent schools nearby, including Mousehole School, as well as Ludgvan School, Nancledra School and St Hilary School in Penzance.
There are direct train services from Penzance Station that run to London Paddington in just over five hours. With easy access to the A30, Exeter is two-and-a-half hours by car, while London can be reached in six hours. Newquay Airport is an hour away and has regular flights to London as well as many other UK and continental airports.
Council Tax Band: C
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