The South Front
The Dining Room
The Drawing Room
The Great Chamber
Built / Designed For: Nicholas Prideaux
House & Family History: For over 400 years Prideaux has been the home of the Prideaux-Burne family. The family's origins date back to the 11th century; today's Prideaux-Burnes are directly descended from William the Conqueror. Prideaux Place was completed in 1592 and has been enlarged and modified by successive generations. Today it combines the traditional E-shape of Elizabethan architecture with the 18th century exuberance of Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Gothic. Of its 81 rooms, 44 are bedrooms -- only six of which are habitable today. Many of the other bedrooms are just as Company B of the U.S. Army's 121st Engineer Combat Battalion left them at the end of World War II, after occupying the House from October 12, 1942 until April 24, 1944. Prideaux Place was the first house in Cornwall to have its own electricity; the generator was installed 1901-02 and the Generator House that provided a home for the machinery still stands on the grounds of the House today. During the 1980s a hidden ceiling in the Great Chamber, now acknowledged to be a masterpiece of Elizabethan plasterwork, was uncovered.
Collections: Prideaux Place is noted for its porcelain collection. A strange relic of the Civil War can be found in the Drawing Room: a miniature with a portrait of Charles I on one side and Oliver Cromwell on the other. The Estate is also home to England's oldest cast iron cannon.
Garden & Outbuildings: The Prideaux Estate today encompasses 3,500 acres.
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 170, 1855.
Country Life: CXXXI, 226, 274, 1962.
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Seat of: Peter Prideaux-Brune; Prideaux family here since 1581.
Past Seat of: Nicholas Prideaux, 1581-92; Edmund Prideaux, 18th century; The Rev. Charles Prideaux-Brune, 19th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home