Prideaux Place, Padstow
Standing pretty overlooking the much-loved town of Padstow, the grand Elizabethan manor of the Prideaux Estate has been home to the same family since it was completed in 1592. Come and take a tour of the house, learn all about the Prideaux family, and stroll through the pretty gardens, taking in the views over the estate’s deer park and the Camel Estuary.
THE HISTORY OF PRIDEAUX PLACE
The Prideaux family have lived in the house ever since it was built. They acquired the estate during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s and 1540s, and the house was completed in 1592. In the eighteenth century, Edmund Prideaux added to the house, as did the Reverend Charles Prideaux-Brune in the early nineteenth century – but generally, the house has changed little during the last four centuries.
Fourteen of Rosamund Pilcher’s stories have been filmed at Prideaux Place, several of which current owner Peter Prideaux-Brune has appeared in. Some filming for the most recent series of Poldark has also taken place on the estate.WHAT IS THERE TO SEE AND DO?
There are a total of 81 rooms in the house, the best of which are included in daily guided tours – and one with a particularly beautiful, ornate plaster ceiling. The tours take visitors through rooms in current use by the Prideaux family; because it is their home, visitors get to see current and past family photographs, the family’s dogs and sometimes even a family member or two!
An eclectic mix of various periods is depicted in the décor of the house, including Italian paintings, family portraits, porcelain and antiques – as well as England’s oldest cast iron canon in the Armoury. See if you can spot Me Too – Peter Prideaux-Brune’s childhood teddy bear, stories about whom have raised money for the restoration of the estate and its ancient deer park.
The extensive, peaceful gardens overlook the deer park, and boast views as far as Bodmin Moor. An ongoing restoration programme is returning the gardens to their former glory; as well as the existing classical Temple, obelisk and grotto, there is now an 80 tree lime avenue and an Acer Glade, and the Victorian Formal Garden and woodland walks have been remodelled.
The historic deer park is home to a herd of fallow deer – and is thought to be one of the oldest in the country. Legend says that if the deer die out then so does the Prideaux family!
King George V donated a master buck from Windsor to the herd in 1927, however this donation was short-lived as the master buck was accidentally shot the next day! A new breeding programme began in 2010, with deer – including a white doe - from Powderham Castle near Exeter being introduced to the herd. Visitors to Prideaux Place can watch the deer being fed by Deerkeeper Jim Hocking; fodder beet, fruit, vegetables and oats in winter, and simple grain and apples in spring and summer.
Overlooking the deer park and the Camel Estuary is Prideaux Place’s licensed Terrace Tearoom. The estate’s former Schoolroom, the Tearoom serves light lunches, cakes and coffee as well as traditional Cornish cream teas with clotted cream – plus real ales from the Padstow Brewing Company and Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin.