Tregenna Castle

Tregenna Castle

Tregenna Castle, in St Ives, Cornwall, was built in the eighteenth century as a home for a wealthy family. The estate was sold in 1871 and became an hotel, a purpose for which it is still used today.

The castle is a Grade II Listed building. [cite web|url=|title=Listed Buildings in Penwith|last=English Heritage|publisher=Penwith District Council|pages=p.65|accessdate=2008-04-25] It is surrounded by convert|72|acre|ha of gardens and natural woodland, [ [ Treganna Castle Estate website (accessed 22 April 2008)] ] and has views along the coastline of Cornwall.


Tregenna Castle was built in the eighteenth century as the residence of the Stephens, an important local family. The estate was put up for sale by auction on 31 October 1871. The castle – "an imposing castellated edifice, very substantially built of granite" – at this time included three pairs of bedrooms on the upper floor and another bedroom on the ground floor; a school room; billiard room; WCs; and servants' quarters in the basement. The sale included the "park, lodge, glen, pasture grounds, gardens, woods, plantations, and lands in hand 90 Acres, 1 Rood, 20 Perches." [cite web| last =Parsons| first =Rick| title = The Tregenna Castle Estate Sale Particulars| work = West Penwith Resources| date = 2003| url =| accessdate = 2008-08-14]

Railway hotel

The Great Western Railway (GWR) opened its St Ives branch line on 1 June 1877 [cite journal| last = Jenkins| first = Stanley C| title = The St Ives Branch| journal = Great Western Railway Journal| issue = Late Summer 1992| pages = 2–34| publisher = Wild Swan Publications Ltd| date = 1992] and it leased the Tregenna Castle as an hotel the following year, opening it on 5 August 1878. Early railway hotels had only been situated near large terminals or junctions, but this one was the first intended by the GWR as a holiday destination in its own right.cite book| last = MacDermot| first = E T| title = History of the Great Western Railway, volume II 1863-1921| publisher = Great Western Railway| date = 1931| location = London]

Sir Daniel Gooch, the chairman of the GWR, stayed at the hotel a few weeks after it opened to the public. He recorded in his diary that::"the situation of this house is very fine; it is a castle within its own grounds of about convert|70|acre|ha, a great part of which are gardens and woods with pretty shaded walks ... The house feels more like a private house than a hotel; the views from it are very fine, looking over the town and bay of St Ives and along the coast as far as Trevose Head." [Diary of Sir Daniel Gooch, quoted in Jenkins (1992)] The GWR purchased the hotel outright in 1895.

One of the GWR's buses, a 1.5 ton Milnes-Daimler type, was stationed at the hotel from 1913 to convey residents to the golf links at Lelant but the service was suspended in 1916 due fuel shortages during World War 1. It was replaced in 1922 by a new bus on a Burford chassis. This operated for seven years until the arrival of a new Thornycroft bus with a Duple body in 1929. [cite book| last = Cummings| first = John| title = Railway Motor Buses and Bus Services in the British Isles 1902-1933 (Volume 2)| publisher = Oxford Publishing Company| date = 1980| location = Oxford| id = ISBN 0-8609-5050-5]

The Great Western Railway named two of its express locomotives after the hotel: [cite book | last = Pike| first = Jim| title = Locomotive Names| publisher = Sutton Publishing| date = 2000| location = Stroud| id = ISBN 0-7509-2284-2]
*Earl of Cornwall Class number 3280 carried the name "Tregenna" from 1897 to 1930.
*Castle Class number 5006 was given the name "Tregenna Castle" in 1927.


The GWR was nationalised to become the Western Region of British Railways on 1 January 1948. Railway hotels throughout the United Kingdom eventually became the British Transport Hotels division but they were all privatised during the 1980s. The hotel and grounds are currently managed by the Tregenna Castle Estate.


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