Will Demelza approve? Real-life Poldark character’s Grade II Georgian home with St Ives harbour views is on market for first time in 100 years costing £1.2m
- The Grade II listed home was built for ‘real-life Poldark’, landowner James Halse in 1820 in St Ives, Cornwall
- The four-storey Georgian mansion has not been on the market since 1912 having been in use as a law office
- It has 18 full-size rooms across its four floors, but no kitchen or proper bathrooms just staff toilets
- First owner James Halse made his fortune in Cornish tin mining and built a village to house his workforce
A grand Georgian home built for a real-life Poldark character is on the market for the first time in more than 100 years for £1,200,000.
The Grade II listed property in St Ives, Cornwall, was built for James Halse, a wealthy Cornish landowner and MP.
Like the protagonist of Winston Graham’s Poldark series of books – recently played to breathless acclaim by a shirtless Adian Turner in a BBC adaptation – Halse was an eighteen century Cornishman who built his family’s money from tin mining.
Halse made his fortune through tin mines in Wheal Reeth and Consols and built the village of Halsetown on the outskirts of St Ives to house his workforce.
He settled in St Ives in 1790 and ran a solicitors practice. He became town clerk and an Alderman and then an MP in 1826.
The impressive four-storey house has uninterrupted panoramic views over the harbour, St Ives Bay and along the Cornish coastline.
The property was built by James Halse, a wealthy eighteenth century Cornish landowner who revived his family’s fortunes through tin mining – in a tale reminiscent of the literary character Ross Poldark, recently played by Aidan Turner (pictured)
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He had the impressive four-storey house built as there was a decree that MPs should own a property in the borough they represent.
At the time it was known as Halse Folly as it was built on a granite outcrop overlooking the harbour.
The property has not been on the market since 1912 when it was bought by a solicitors firm, which has since relocated to more modern premises.
The house has uninterrupted panoramic views over the harbour, St Ives Bay and along the Cornish coastline.
The internal layout is believed to be very much as it was in the early 1900s with a grand staircase, large halls and landings, broad panelled doors and sizeable rooms with large sash windows and some beautiful mouldings and fireplaces.
The internal layout of the Georgian home in St Ives, Cornwall, is believed to be very much as it was in the early 1900s
The property boasts a grand staircase, large halls and landings, broad panelled doors and sizeable rooms with large sash windows and some beautiful mouldings and fireplaces.
The grand Georgian home is on the market for the first time in more than 100 years for £1,200,00 and has original features
The home’s original owner, James Halse made his fortune through the tin mines in Wheal Reeth and Consols in Cornwall
The huge four-storey property has 18 full-sized rooms, but no kitchen or proper bathrooms just male and female staff toilets
It has 5,667 sq ft of accommodation but because it has been used as an office for the last century it is essentially a blank canvas and would need some refurbishment to make it a stunning home again.
The property has 18 full-size rooms spread over four storeys but does not currently have a kitchen or proper bathrooms, with just male and female staff toilet facilities.
Once renovated, the family home could have a sitting room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room on the ground floor with games and cinema rooms on the basement level, and eight bedrooms and four bathrooms on the top two floors.
Estate agents Lillicrap Chilcott say once renovated, the home could have a sitting room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room on the ground floor with games and cinema rooms on the basement level, and eight bedrooms and four bathrooms on the top two floors
The original architrave mouldings and plasterwork make the 1820 building highly desirable
The Georgian mansion is considered one of the most ‘handsome and important’ buildings in St Ives, said the estate agents
James Halse: a real life Poldark
James Halse, born 1769, died 1939, was a lawyer and wealthy landowner in Cornwall.
He settled in St Ives around 1790, where in addition to his solicitors’s practice, he became town clerk and an alderman.
He made his fortune through tin mines, mostly from the Wheal Reeth mine, but also from the St. Ives Consols mine.
He used the Consols mine to create a political base for himself, by building the village of Halsetown to accommodate the mine-workers. The village was within the boundaries of the parliamentary borough of St Ives, allowing Halse patronage of the borough’s two seats in Parliament.
In the Winston Graham books, Ross Poldark, is a British Army officer who returns to his home in Cornwall from the American War of Independence only to find that his fiancée Elizabeth Chynoweth believed him dead and is about to marry his cousin Francis Poldark.
He attempts to restore his own fortunes by reopening one of the family’s derelict copper mines.
A spokesman for estate agents Lillicrap Chilcott said: ‘This historically and architecturally important Grade II listed Georgian home is offered for sale for the first time in over 100 years.
‘It is in a prominent location with uninterrupted panoramic views and has enormous potential for any number of uses.
‘It was originally built for James Halse, one of the area’s most famous and wealthy landowners and MPs, and is one of the most handsome and important buildings in St Ives.
‘The building has enjoyed a rich and colourful history and we are excited to hear what plans potential purchasers have for its future.
‘The outlook from the rear is absolutely dramatic as the elevation of the property provides uninterrupted views over the sandy expanse of harbour and beach framed by the church tower of St Ia and Godrevy Lighthouse on the other side of St Ives Bay.
‘The views over the azure waters stretch on along the north Cornish coastline and out to sea.
‘It has taken over 100 years for this property to be available on the open market again and we strongly advise anyone interested not to miss this opportunity.’
As an MP, James Halse campaigned for the construction of a new road leading into St Ives – which somewhat suspiciously he managed to direct past his house. He died in 1838.
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