CLC Trenython Manor was built on the estate of Little Pinnock in 1872 by an Italian architect commissioned by the famous General Garibaldi. It was a way of saying ‘Thank You’ to Colonel Peard for his part in Garibaldi’s Italian campaign. Colonel Peard lived at Penquite before moving to Trenython Manor.
The West Briton of 29th April 1864 reports Garibaldi’s visit to England: “he travelled to Plymouth by train, where he was given a rapturous welcome. Everybody made a great fuss of him. There he stood in his red shirt and grey trousers, with pale face and his dark beard… still protesting against hero-worship.”
Soon after nine o’clock on Tuesday morning, the domain of Penquite became the focus of attraction to persons anxious to see Garibaldi. They came flocking toward it from all directions and in all sorts of vehicles not only the villages immediately contiguous, but some of the adjoining towns contributed larger numbers of their inhabitants.
Colonel Peard (1811 – 1880) and Garibaldi were almost doubles, a fact that the General used to confuse enemies and even friends. They were big, broad shouldered, bearded, cool and courageous. Colonel Peard was “this gigantic man who… was one of the biggest soldiers who ever shouldered a rifle.” He had been at Oxford where he earned a fearful reputation for strength and valour in contests between town and gown.
He was with Garibaldi in the Alpine campaign against the Austrians in 1859, became a daring leader of the Carabineers, and won the affection of the General. He gave up law to organise and captain the Fowey militia, as part of the Duke of Cornwall’s volunteers; Garibaldi gave him command of the ‘English Thousand Legion’ which distinguished itself so much that the whole of Italy was won back for King Victor Emmanuel, who awarded Colonel Peard the Cross of Valour. Garibaldi awarded him with Trenython.
In 1891, Bishop Gott, the third bishop of Truro, bought the house, and it remained a Bishop’s Palace for 15 years. He panelled the Dining Room walls with carved wood, mostly oak, obtained largely from churches. Some of the fine panelling comes from York Minster and Worcester Cathedral and some dates as far back as the 16th century. There is also General Wolf’s Headboard and Lord Nelson’s Sea Chest and fine Italian marbles sent over by Garibaldi in our restaurant.
For fifty years after the Gott family left, Trenython was a Great Western railway convalescent home. A local paper at the time reported: “Trenython, the seventh Railwaymen’s convalescent home was opened by Viscount Churchill, chairman of the GWR. It has accommodation for 85 men – the cost of refurbishment about £25,000 – and the architect was Mr B. Andrew of St Austell.
The two Egyptian pillars standing sentinel inside the front door had originated from the Temple of Ephesus and are thousands of years old.
Trenython is to be a self-contained institution with its own water supply, own electric system and own sewage system.”
(Source: ‘Tywardreath Past and Present’)
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