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Pencarrow House

pencarrow house

Uncover History at Pencarrow House and Gardens

With parts dating back over 700 years, Pencarrow House near Bodmin offers families a glimpse into historic country house life amongst delightful grounds. Owned by the Molesworth-St Aubyn family since the 1500s, guided tours allow visitors to discover the opulent interior preserved in Regency and Victorian styles, brimming with heirlooms handing down through generations.

Alongside the stunning views from the house, rambling woodlands dotted with follies, a walled garden blooming with organic produce and a tea room situated in the old laundry outbuildings provide ingredients for an intriguing heritage day out discovering Cornwall’s past amidst Pencarrow estate’s varied charms.

pencarrow house

Getting There

Pencarrow House is between Boedmin and Wadebridge, just off the A389. Well signposted, it has parking spaces for visitors driving.

By public transport, catch the regular bus #96 (Bodmin to Wadebridge) alighting at Chapel House and then walking 20-30 minutes via quiet lanes. You could do the saem thing if you get the #11 from Wadebridge to Plymouth.

Opening Arrangements

Pencarrow House opens for guided tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays between April and September:

Tour capacity is just 12 visitors to preserve intimacy. Booking ahead online is essential with private group bookings available. The house closes outside summer months.

Entry Ticket Prices

House and Gardens

Adult £15.50 | Child 5-16 £5.00 | Under 5 Free | Registered disabled £13

Gardens only

Adult £8.75 | Children free | Registered disabled £7

Cash payment only on arrival. All proceeds go towards conserving Pencarrow’s architecture and interiors. Check opening arrangements online before visiting.

pencarrow house from a drone

Inside Pencarrow House

As visitors approach Pencarrow House, they are greeted by a grand entrance, hinting at the opulence within. The interiors of the house are a treasure trove of historical artifacts, family heirlooms, and fine art. Each room tells a story, capturing the essence of different periods in history. From the impressive drawing rooms to the intimate family spaces, Pencarrow House provides a fascinating journey through time.

One of the highlights of the house is the library, housing an extensive collection of books that reflects the intellectual pursuits and interests of the Molesworth family. The furniture, decor, and personal items on display offer a glimpse into the daily lives of the people who once called Pencarrow home. Visitors often find themselves transported back in time as they explore the various rooms and corridors, imagining the tales that have unfolded within these walls.

Pencarrow House and Gardens are not just a static glimpse into the past; they also host various events and activities throughout the year. From guided tours that delve into the historical significance of the estate to seasonal celebrations that bring the gardens to life, Pencarrow offers a dynamic and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

Art and Antiques at Pencarrow House

Pencarrow House boasts an impressive collection of art and antiques, including family portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds, riverscape views of London by Samuel Scott, and a tableau of the Four Misses St Aubyn by Sir Arthur Devis.

The china and porcelain exhibit Meissen figurines, Chamberlayne’s Worcester dinner service, Sèvres plates, famille verte plates from the Kangxi period, and a notable Qianlong famille rose bowl depicting farming scenes and a fox hunt. The furniture includes a giltwood Adam suite, tables in the style of William Kent, a Louis XVI settee, and a George IV four-poster bed. Family artifacts, including children’s toys, drawings, an 1840 portable shower, and costumes, are on display.

Marble busts in the inner hall, adorned with various hats, add a touch of whimsy and practicality, preventing them from catching a cold.

The Gardens and Grounds

Over 50 acres of gardens stretch before the house containing organic orchards, camellia lined walkways and a scented walled garden blooming with old rose varieties and fruiting vines.

The gardens boast a diverse range of plant life, from vibrant flowers to ancient trees. Wandering through the meticulously landscaped grounds, visitors can experience the changing seasons and the breathtaking beauty of nature. The gardens are not only a visual delight but also serve as a peaceful retreat, providing a tranquil setting for contemplation.

One of the notable features of Pencarrow Gardens is the Italian Garden, a meticulously designed space inspired by classical Italian landscapes. The terraced layout, adorned with statues and water features, creates a sense of grandeur and sophistication. Visitors can meander through the intricate pathways, enjoying the serenity of this carefully crafted oasis.


There is a lovely cafe which serves hot and cold meals for vistors. Naturally, being a stately home in Cornwall, you can expect a perfect afternoon tea!

There is also a gift shop selling lovely items to take home. They have a plant shop too for keen gardeners.

gift shop at pencarrow house

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at Pencarrow House? – Only assistance dogs are allowed in the house, but otherwise dogs are welcome throughout. They ask for dogs to stay on leads in the cafe and just outside the house to protect teh free range chickens weandering about.

Is it wheelchair accessible? – Yes, they have disabled parking near the house and the tours are very accessible, with ramps where appropriate in the house itself. The gardens also have wide paths, but may be steep in places.

Who lives at Pencarrow House? – The Molesworth St Aubyn family are descendant of the original occupants and still live in the house.

Nearby Attractions

There are so many great places to visit in Cornwall. Here are some examples of other nearby attractions:

  • Newquay Zoo – This zoological garden is home to over 130 species from around the world, including lions, lemurs, penguins, meerkats, and more. Get up close to exotic animals and learn about conservation efforts.
  • Lappa Valley Steam Railway – Ride replica Victorian steam trains through the tranquil Lappa Valley at this family-friendly railway. Enjoy scenic views of the Cornish countryside from vintage carriages as you journey between two stations.
  • Camel Creek Adventure Park – This adventure park offers excitement for all ages with thrilling rides, indoor and outdoor play areas, animal encounters, and more set across over 60 acres. Have fun on the rollercoasters or take it slower on the lake.
  • St Eval Candle Company – Visit this candle factory situated in former World War II military buildings to see traditional candle making demonstrations. Browse the onsite shop filled with candles and wax products to purchase.
  • Mawgan Porth Beach – This blue flag beach has soft golden sand flanked by craggy rocks and cliffs. Enjoy swimming, surfing the waves, beach walks, or just soaking in the beautiful seaside scenery.
  • Bedruthan Steps – Dramatic rock formations feature secluded coves and caves to explore at low tide along this section of coast administered by the National Trust. Breathtaking coastal views overlooking Padstow.
  • Trevose Head – Take scenic walks along Trevose Head with sweeping views of Constantine Bay on one side and the vibrant blue Atlantic on the other. Spot seabirds and rare plants.
  • Holywell Bay Fun Park – An array of fun attractions from waterslides to slot car racing, mini golf, and more, all with stunning beach views. Great for active family days out.

For an authentic taste of Cornish heritage appreciating the legacy of an extraordinary period home staying true to its origins thanks to one family’s tireless stewardship since medieval times, a day at Pencarrow House promises special privilege.

2 thoughts on “Pencarrow House”

  1. I think the public transport instructions are for Lanhydrock – you can walk there in 30 mins from Bodmin parkway. I think there must be a nearby stop for Pencarrow on the no 11 bus; I would like to visit without a car.

    1. Many thanks for your helpful feedback Neil. Directions now updated. Although you can get a bus and walk a short distance, it is fair to say that Pencarrow House is most easily reached by car.

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