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New research on Cornish architecture
Papers from the 2015 Cornish Buildings Group conference
‘Only a Cornishman would have the endurance to carve intractable granite’
Edited by Paul Holden
Normal price £20.00
ISBN 978 0 9957473 2 6
Paperback 168 pages
In 1950 Nikolaus Pevsner opened his Buildings of England Series guide to Cornwall with the words ‘Cornwall possesses little of the highest aesthetic quality though much that is lovable and much that is moving’. Sixty-four years later Pevsner’s iconic work was updated and revised.
To celebrate this achievement the Cornish Buildings group, in conjunction with the Yale University Press, Cornwall Heritage Trust and the National Trust, held a two-day conference that championed the Cornish built environment, thereby proving that Cornwall has a rich and varied architectural heritage and examples of some of the most important building types in the country.
This book draws on the papers delivered at the conference. Each chapter has been written by a recognised expert in their field, taken together this collection of essays constitute the most important contribution to Cornish architectural history for several generations.
Silvanus Trevail: Cornish Architect and Entrepreneur
By Ronald Perry and Hazel Harradence
Normal price £20.00
Paperback 245 pages with 150 colour illustrations
ISBN 978 1 903427 43 9
A century ago, the name of Silvanus Trevail would have needed no introduction. As President of the Society of Architects, a national body some 600 strong, he was a familiar figure in the big cities of Britain, his forceful speeches widely reported in the London and provincial press. In the West Country he was as famous for his radical reforming politics as for his architecture: his public health crusades as Mayor of Truro and Chairman of Cornwall County Council Sanitation Committee, provision of technical schools and libraries, and promotion of tourism greatly assisted a region traumatised by the collapse of its once-powerful metal mining industry.
When risk-averse Cornishmen refused to back his ideas, Silvanus Trevail financed his own developments. In three hyperactive decades he handled around 300 architectural commissions, including schools, religious buildings, housing developments from country mansions to workers’ cottages, banks and shops, technical colleges, art schools and libraries, hospitals and hotels.
Then one morning in 1903 he donned his top hat and frock coat, boarded a train from Truro, put a revolver to his head and shot himself, bringing a brilliant career to an end at the age of 52.
This biography is the first to evaluate Trevail’s remarkable life and achievements, with over 150 colour illustrations of his buildings and a comprehensive catalogue of all his projects.
Hazel Harradence is a founder member and membership secretary of The Silvanus Trevail Society. The Society, formed in 1993, aims at increasing awareness of the historical significance of Trevail’s architectural practice through research into his life and the preservation of his work. Hazel came to Cornwall bringing business and administrative skills that have been put to good use in connection with historical and environmental groups on whose committees she has served for many years. Researching various aspects of Cornish history has led to her lecturing across the county and producing articles on these subjects. She has spent a considerable amount of time working as a volunteer at Cornwall Record Office, assisting in cataloguing collections.
She is the sole author of the Silvanus Trevail Register of Buildings, the most comprehensive work of its kind ever produced for a British architect.
Ronald Perry B Sc, MA, Ph D, Dip Ed, is secretary of The Silvanus Trevail Society. He came to Cornwall in 1965, after administrative and academic experience in England, Germany and the Far East, to build up the Faculty of Management, Business and Professional Studies at Cornwall College. He has carried out numerous socio-economic surveys of the region for the British Social and Economic Research Development Group. More recently, he has published many historical studies, mainly dealing with the period when Silvanus Trevail lived, for the Institute of Cornish Studies of Exeter University, the Royal Institution of Cornwall, the Trevithick Society, the Cornwall Association of Local Historians, An Baner Kernewek and the China Clay History Society. For his contribution to the history of Cornwall, Dr Perry was created a Bard (Scryfer Negis) of the Cornish Gorsedd.
Funding the ladder: The Passmore Edwards legacy
by Dean Evans
Normal price £20.00
Paperback 268 pages with over 120 black & white and colour illustrations
ISBN 978 1 903427 66 8
John Passmore Edwards was born in Blackwater, Cornwall, in 1823 and went on to make a fortune from publishing popular technical magazines like the English Mechanic and Building News. He used his fortune to establish hospitals, convalescent homes, institutes, art galleries and museums, as well as libraries in London and Cornwall. Edwards was also involved in campaigns against slavery, and was a notable opponent of the Boer war. He was a supporter of the Chartist and Temperance movements, and a lifelong advocate of parliamentary reform. He was briefly a member of parliament for Salisbury, where he opposed the interventionist policies of the British government in Egypt. Passmore Edwards believed that by ‘funding the ladder’ through bequests and philanthropy the poor might be encouraged to ‘climb’; his legacy is the extraordinary number of buildings, many bearing his name, that support this passionate belief.
Dean Evans worked in local government and for the Environment Agency. He became involved in the restoration of the Blackwater Institute, one of Passmore Edwards’ earliest bequests, and developed a project to celebrate the centenary of Edwards’ death. He has written numerous articles on Passmore Edwards and addressed history groups in Cornwall and London. He lives in Cornwall.