Cornwall is a land apart, one which has had a strong sense of its separate identity throughout history. Here are some of the richest and best preserved prehistoric and medieval landscapes in Britain, medieval castles and later coastal defences, and a land of inscribed stones, holy wells, wayside crosses and small churchtowns, scattered throughout its diverse countryside and along its beautiful coastline. Its medieval churches show monumental Norman fonts, accomplished C14 sculpture, striking C15 west towers and generously proportioned C15 and C16 aisles, with a wealth of medieval and Renaissance bench ends. Major houses can be found from all periods ranging from the spectacular mansions of the mining magnates like Tregothnan and Lanhydrock, through the supremely picturesque as at St Michael's Mount, to the exquisite Elizabethan of Trerice. The smaller houses of the Cornish gentry survive in significant numbers from the medieval period, many refashioned in the C18 and C19. Threaded through almost every landscape is evidence of Cornwall's distinguished mining history, and its towns, remarkably well preserved, offer fine public buildings of the C18 and C19, and at Truro the greatest English cathedral of the Victorian age. Among the architectural highlights of the last century are Lutyen's dramatic extension to Penheale, Modernist seaside houses, Barbara Hepworth's sculpture garden and the vast biomes of the Eden Project.
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Cornwall was the first volume in the Buildings of England series, published in 1951. This extensively revised edition brings much new research to bear on the history of the county's buildings, beginning with its rich prehistoric remains and early Christian structures and monuments including numerous Celtic crosses and holy wells. The high towers of the village churches, manor houses such as Cotehele, and the distinctive white-walled cottages in the villages and fishing towns contribute to Cornwall's unique, picturesque landscape. Cornwall is home to major country houses, including the spectacular castle of St Michael's Mount, as well as the greatest English cathedral of the Victorian age at Truro. The architectural legacy of industry is also of considerable importance, from the net houses of the fishing industry to the tapering engine-house chimneys of the tin mines.Review:
'Undeniably, the Buildings of England is a stupendous achievement, unequalled in any other country, and any lover of architecture, pottering around with a volume at his side, must sing a constant Te Deum for its beneficent present publisher Yale.'-Christopher Howse, The Daily Telegraph -- Christopher Howse The Daily Telegraph 'An important milestone in Yale's revision of the whole series...the variety and idiosyncrasy of Cornwall's heritage that this books conveys is compelling, from the fogou at Chysauster or the preaching pit at Gwennap to the Old Post Office at Tintagel, Prideaux Place and the biomes of the Eden Project. How can you not visit again with the new Pevsner in hand?' -John Goodall, Country Life -- John Goodall Country Life 'The Pevsner series is gradually being updated, and Peter Beacham and colleagues have made a splendid job of the Cornish volume...the modern scholars, more than the Herr Professor, have conveyed that mysterious thing, a sense of place.'-A.N.Wilson, The Daily Telegraph -- A. N. Wilson The Daily Telegraph 'While revering both Pevsner and Betjeman, what Peter Beacham has done with the latest Cornwall is to perform magic: he has brought the two together. In consequence it's a wonderful guidebook...Yale University Press made an inspired choice in Beacham. Not only is he a lyrical and sometimes funny writer with a true gift for evoking place, but he also cares passionately about architecture and about doing full justice to Cornwall...If anyone understands and loves Cornwall, Peter Beacham does.'-Candida Lycett Gree, The Spectator -- Candida Lycett Gree The Spectator 'Germanic correctness has been supplanted by something more English, closer to Betjeman's poetical evocations of standing stones, holy wells and the small fry of fisher cottages, miners' terraces, tabernacles and windy tamerisk-fringed holiday houses.'-Ruth Guilding, Times Literary Supplement -- Ruth Guilding TLS 'Wonderful year for Pevsner, or rather for us who use the guides as we potter about. Four new vols: Bedfordshire, Somerset, Cornwall, Cambridgeshire, too big for the pocket, but a reasonable GBP35 a kick, thanks to Yale. A triumph of perseverance.'-Christopher Howse, The Spectator -- Christopher Howse The Spectator
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