Contents to this section   HOME


Thatched Cottages of Newlyn

Map showing thatched cottages remembered by Mr. Joseph Marrack Harvey in 1944/


Click on all pictures to see larger versions.

The Last Thatched Cottage in Newlyn on Church Lane  

When William Henry Mann saw his house on fire at Newlyn in the early part of 1938 it was a matter of supreme concern to him and to his grand-daughter who lived with him. The  fire was not without a more general significance, for it robbed Newlyn of the last of its thatched cottages which at one time were many. The cottage stood in Church Lane,  now known as Gwavas Lane, between Church Street and Boase street almost opposite the present day Primitive Methodist  Church.

The vine and the geraniums flourished before its white washed walls adding to its charm. Stanhope Forbes’s  picture  “The Evening Hour”,  painted some years earlier, shows the road at this  spot looking downhill towards the top of Trewarveneth Street. It  preserves on canvas a record of four  similar thatched cottages  which then stood opposite but which were pulled down to make room for the building of the  'Prims' in 1927 . "Willum 'Enry's" cottage is not entirely omitted; it just appears on the extreme right as a subordinate but very useful part of the composition the portion of its thatched roof being particularly effective.  

the evening hour.jpg (30069 bytes)

John J Beckerlegg  had a conversation with his father-in-law, Joseph Marrack Harvey, in August 1944. Joseph M. Harvey was born in 1859  and was a native of Newlyn. It occurred to John Beckerlegg that he should try and find out how many other thatched cottages in Newlyn his father-in-law could remember. Joseph  confined his recollections to the cottages in the  area of Newlyn Town, as in his early days Street-an-Nowan was a separate community and had not made the same impression on his memory. John J. Beckerlegg acted simply as recorder. He  thought there  might have been a dozen or so but he was astonished to find that his father-in-law had personal recollections of no fewer than 64 thatched cottages in Newlyn Town alone. So in the lifetime of this 85 year old man 64 of the thatched cottages of Newlyn had gone forever.

The diagram above shows the position of each marked with a black rectangle. To show the main area on as big a scale as possible, the road from the foot of Bowgey Hill (A in diagram ) towards Mousehole has been omitted from its correct position. It has been included in the top left-hand corner to the same scale but defined by dotted lines  with the thatched cottages marked by cross hatching.

thatched cottage 1.jpg (33331 bytes)    thatched cottage 3.jpg (24816 bytes)   thatched cottage 2.jpg (27424 bytes)  Newlyn by Jotter.jpg (40544 bytes)

Source 'The Old Cornwall Magazine' 1944.


Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to WEBMASTER 
Last modified: Thursday April 16, 2009 .