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Furzupland, Kenwyn, Cornwall. Early 1900s Featured Image

Furzupland, Kenwyn, Cornwall. Early 1900s

A young girl with a skipping rope is at the top of the steps, a lady holding a card or paper is on the right and a gentleman in a trilby is on the left. A gentleman with a white beard and wearing a cap can be seen looking out of a first floor window. The local story of this house is that it was built for an eccentric rich man. At the time when it was built, a well used thoroughfare ran beside the house and the man thought that someone might break in during the night and steal his money. So he had it built like a castle without stairs. At night he would climb up to the first floor using a rope ladder, pull the ladder up and sleep with a blunderbuss gun beside him. On the 1871 census an Edward George Spry, aged 36, lived there. He is described as a Bachelor of Arts, Landowner, Fund Holder and owner of stock in railways, mines etc. He was also part owner of the Red Lion Hotel in Boscawen Street, Truro. His housekeeper was Mary Verran. He and his housekeeper still lived there in 1881. Mr Spry died in 1887 leaving £11,000 (about £1 million today). The house is listed on the 1891 and 1901 censuses but with no occupants. Albert Sidney Labouchere-Sparling lived in the house between 1903 and 1906. In 1911, Josiah Clark (formerly of Tregavethan) lived there with his wife Olivia. It is possible that the people in the photograph are members of the Clark family. Furzuplands was home to the Brown family in the late 1950s. The property was later bought by architect Paul Bunyan and his wife, Laurence, who completely refurbished the interior. Photographer: Probably Arthur Philp.

© From the collection of the RIC

Lis Escop, Kenwyn, Cornwall. Around 1910 Featured Image

Lis Escop, Kenwyn, Cornwall. Around 1910

Lis Escop (Cornish for Bishop's Court) in winter with cattle in the foreground. Originally the Kenwyn Vicarage, in 1876 it became the residence of the Bishops of Truro. Around 1906, the Chapel and dining room, designed by E.H. Sedding and pictured in the centre of the house, were added by Bishop Stubbs. Therefore, the date of the photograph is around 1910 when these were completed. The bell turret was reportedly partially copied from the porch of St Mary's in Oxford. The house was stayed in by convalescing officers and Belgian refugees during the First World War. From 1953 until 1982 it was known as Copeland Court and was used by Truro Cathedral School as classrooms and a house for the headmaster. The house was named in memory of Geoffrey Copeland of Trelissick, a former pupil whose family gifted the funds necessary to purchase the property for the school. Copeland Court became a convent for the Community of the Epiphany in 1983. Renamed Epiphany House in 2001 the house became a conference and retreat centre. Photographer: Arthur William Jordan.

© From the collection of the RIC

Timber Barque off Pendennis, Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929) Featured Image

Timber Barque off Pendennis, Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929)

Oil on canvas, Newlyn School, 1897. Henry Scott Tuke was born into a Quaker family in Lawrence Street, York. In 1859 the family moved to Falmouth, where his father Daniel Tuke , a physician, established a practice. Tuke was encouraged to draw and paint from an early age and some of his earliest drawings, aged four or five years old, were published in 1895. In 1875, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art. Initially his father paid for his tuition but in 1877 Tuke won a scholarship, which allowed him to continue his training at the Slade and in Italy in 1880. From 1881 to 1883 he was in Paris where he met the artist Jules Bastien-Lepage, who encouraged him to paint en plein air (in the open air) a method of working that came to dominate his practice. While studying in France, Tuke decided to move to Newlyn, Cornwall where many of his Slade and Parisian friends had already formed the Newlyn School of painters. He received several lucrative commissions there, after exhibiting his work at the Royal Academy of Art in London. In 1885, he returned to Falmouth where many of his major works were produced. He became an established artist and was elected to full membership of the Royal Academy in 1914. Tuke suffered a heart attack in 1928 and died in March 1929. In his will he left generous amounts of money to some of the men who, as boys, had been his models. Today he is remembered mainly for his oil paintings of young men, but in addition to his achievements as a figurative painter, he was an established maritime artist and produced as many portraits of sailing ships as he did human figures. He was a prolific artist, over 1,300 works are listed and more are still being discovered.

© RIC