A Brief History of Trevince, the House and Family
The name Trevince is of Cornish/Celtic origin, possibly meaning the place/farm of the springs. It was first mentioned in 1281 and the family has been here since then, for over 20 generations. In the mid-16th century, Margaret Trevyns married Martin Beauchamp. The Beauchamp family can be traced back in Cornwall from him a further 13 generations to Hugh Beauchamp who was, in 1195, lord of Binarton (Binnerton, between Helston and Camborne). The family is related to the Beauchamp Earls of Warwick (the Kingmaker) and they share a coat of arms.
From the mid-16th until the early 19th century Trevince was occupied by the family but for the next 50 years it was rented to the Williams family of Burncoose, Scorrier and Caerhays. In 1863 Edmund Beauchamp Tucker (EBT) inherited the estate. He rebuilt the front part of the house, moving in on 13th December 1866 – exactly 150 years ago. After two more generations the estate passed through the female line into the Stone family, of Bristol origin.
Nothing remains of the medieval or Tudor buildings but the back of the house (what is now the wing) dates from the late 17th century.
EBT’s redevelopment was designed by James Piers St Aubyn, a prolific Cornish architect. The builders were Olver, a branch of whom were farming tenants at the time, and have remained so ever since. EBT commissioned a grand, imposing and eclectic residence. Built of granite ashlar and pink killas, the house has very varied inspirations of architectural style. From the classical portico entrance with its armorial cobbles, you pass a Gothic revival fireplace in the outer hall, through a doorway with pilaster capitals derived from ancient Egypt into a three story hall with a cantilevered gallery. The door cases have classical pediments while the banister finials are of Gothic influence. The hall was originally dominated by a billiard table.
The other reception rooms included a dining room, library, drawing room and a smoking room. Upstairs there were four principal bedrooms with dressing rooms, one with a salon, and a smaller fifth bedroom. The day and night nurseries were on the second floor, along with servants’ bedrooms. The remainder of the house, including the wing, was devoted to services. The wing was also sometimes used for members of the family. To the rear of the house were the ancillary buildings, including a laundry, now the estate office, and a stable yard. Beyond this are a sawmill and the home farm, now partly converted as a house.
The gardens include a walled garden of probable 18th century origin and parkland of similar date. In the 19th century, rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias provided a mainstay, with sub-tropical plants around the lawns and drives vaunting the mild climate. Avenues of Irish yews were planted and specimen trees complemented the native broad leaves. The kitchen garden provided cut flowers, fruit, vegetables, and there were a heated vinery and an orchid house as well as greenhouses. Beyond is a “wilderness” walk and then woodland, planted on the industrial waste of tin and copper workings as the Trefyns and Beauchamp families were mine and mineral owners from at least the Tudor period.
During the 20th century the family “diversified” into engineering (Charles Beauchamp) and market gardening (Howard Beauchamp). The house is in good structural condition, thanks to the huge efforts – including re-roofing – by Mike and Vanessa Stone, and sits at the centre of a thriving estate. The family has strong connections with its tenants, most of the larger farms having been in the same families for several generations. Some residential tenants have been with us for over 50 years.
Trevince is very much a family home and there is a constant programme of maintenance and alteration, not just in the house, but for the outbuildings, garden, woodland and the estate that supports and defines the way of life. We look forward to welcoming you to Trevince.
Richard and Trish Stone