Diane Soall, Secretary (October 11th 2017)

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This month found the History Group members and a few extra non-members travelling in convoy down to Yeolmbridge in Launceston to visit Cullacott Farmhouse.   We were given a thorough and interesting tour of the farmhouse by owners John and Mary Cole whose extensive knowledge about this wonderful building kept us all enthralled.  John and Mary Cole have been running their holiday cottages on their beautiful farm in North Cornwall since 1997.

Cullacott Farmhouse is a Grade 1 listed Medieval Hall House built in the style of a Devon Longhouse with a great number of its original features still surviving.  It is located close to the Devon and Cornwall borders in the parish of Werrington, and is surrounded by outstanding views. It has been in the family for over 100 years. Five generations of their family have lived at Cullacott. John and Mary Mann, the first generation, arrived from West Cornwall in 1910.

Records date from the 14th Century when it was originally part of the huge swathes of land owned by Tavistock Abbey. In 1538, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it was given, with other properties, to John Russell who became the 1st Duke of Bedford. Many properties including Cullacott, were sold on and by 1620 the Werrington lands were owned by Sir Francis Drake, nephew of the famous Elizabethan sailor of the same name.

The "modern extension" was built in 1579 at the time of the great Elizabethan re-build, providing grander accommodation for the evolving needs of the family of the day. It provided a retiring parlour, bed chambers and the ultimate in sanitation at the time - a garderobe. The property has evolved through the centuries with little alteration leaving an almost complete medieval house.                       

Richard, Mary and John’s son, and his wife Tanya run an outside events and catering business providing marquees for weddings and other functions such as hog roasts, barbecues and outside mobile bars. Cullacott itself can be used as a wedding or party reception venue using Richard and Tanya's expertise.

At the end of our tour we were treated to a most welcome “Cream Tea” with Devon splits, lemon drizzle cake and fruit buns being just a few of the goodies all home-cooked by Mary and her daughter.

I know all our members and non-members really enjoyed this visit and it is one to be fully recommended.

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