By Helen Bartrop Hocking:
The Bude, Stratton & District Old Cornwall Society gathered in The Parkhouse Centre on Lady Day evening to listen to the lecture ‘Grenville Estate and the development of Bude’ as researched by their newly elected President, Richard Michael Heard.
Starting with a quick recap of Part One, delivered many months previously, Mr Heard addressed the audience with his usual vigour. A local historian of Kilkhampton and Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh he has now read about 1600 letters of local evidence on out-going matters, concerning landowners and tenants, stored these days across the border in the Barnstaple Records Office.
Going back to a time when Old Cornwall Society was but a twinkle in its founder’s eye, the ‘talk’ included items from the Archives, such as a rare photograph of the ‘pitch and putt’ from 1904, and another of ‘Marine Terrace’ clad as it was with slate roofs, before it disappeared altogether from existence. Confined to history and those with a mind to remember, it was demolished to make room for ‘The Grenville Hotel’, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1909, the same year the Electric and Gasworks was started on.
Primarily, this story was about the Granvilles, Carterets and Thynnes but mention was also made of the Acland family. They built The Crescent, Vicarage Road, Breakwater Road and later, Lynstone Road, Killerton Road and Holnicote Road. Their Manor House of Ebbingford was once used as Vicarage to St. Michael and All Angels Church.
The name of ‘Summerleaze Beach’ comes from the days when Bude properties and grazing cliffs, were leased for the summer months, such as the beautiful red brick, ‘Beach Villas’ of Summerleaze Terrace.
Stratton Hospital started in 1869 and paid a nominal rent to Rev. Lord John Thynne of £2 p.a. Bude Railway Station, also built on Thynne lands, opened in 1898.
Maer Estate was sold to ‘Bude Land & Building Co. Ltd’ in 1901. Thereafter Down’s View and Crooklets came to be, with Ocean View Road and the rest to follow directly.
Determined by the Governmental requirement of ‘Death Duties’, in July 1911 at The Tree Inn, Stratton, approx.1,550 acres of Morwenstow property was put up ‘for sale’ from the Estate of the late Francis J. Thynne. In the same year, the population of Bude was only 1,594 people. By 1918 most of the Stratton properties had also been sold by the family but they retained a prestige in the local area for many years.
A photograph shows Anita Constance Thynne, of Penstowe Manor, opening the Poughill Hall in 1932. Her brother-in-law, Captain George Augustus Carteret Thynne of Trelana House in Poughill, had duly inherited the rest of the Estate on the death of her husband, she having borne him no heir. A World War II memorial stone was raised by the Thynne family in honour of the brave men lost to Kilk, and stands proudly in place to this day.
Society ‘talks’ are due to commence again in September.