Forget painfully preserved rooms cordoned off behind scarlet ropes, this is a bona fide family home.
If you like your country houses with a bit of character, then we've a feeling you're going to love Pencarrow, in Cornwall.
Forget painfully preserved rooms cordoned off behind scarlet ropes, this is a bona fide family home – and has been for over 500 years.
The Molesworth-St Aubyns (try saying that with a mouthful of cake) originally moved in here when the first Queen Elizabeth was on the throne – during the 16th-century – and you'll probably see the latest generation knocking about as you wander round the magnificent rooms.
As you'd expect from such a historical family, the house is packed with treasures – our favourites being the drawing room, which is decked out in Chinese silk captured from a Spanish treasure ship in 1762.
Spare some energy for a stroll round the Italianate gardens, though – all 50 acres of them – where you'll find rhododendrons, primroses and daffodils bursting out in spring, bluebells in May and peaceful lake where you can soak up the silence.
After all that lot, you'll probably be ready for a cuppa in the Peacock Cafe. Keep an eye out for the brightly coloured eponymous birds, they’re partial to a few crumbs…
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