One of Cornwall’s oldest and finest estates may perhaps become part of The Duke of Cornwall’s property portfolio for an asking price of £10 million.
Prince Charles is said to have inquired into purchasing Port Eliot House, the 123-room estate currently owned by Peregrine Eliot, the Earl of St Germans.
The Duchy of Cornwall recently acquired more than 800 acres of land at Port Eliot for £4.7m.
The Port Eliot House’s website verified Charles’s interest noting: “Lord St Germans and his trustees have invited the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community to conduct a feasibility study, to explore the possibility of the purchase of Port Eliot House, some of its contents and its walled garden and stables, for the benefit of the local community.”
“The Foundation’s feasibility study will seek to explore whether the House could provide a central hub, in the same vein as Dumfries House, in which The Prince’s Charities could operate and provide relevant services to residents, visitors and community members.”
If Charles acquires the 16th-century estate, the yearly Port Eliot festival will go on, curated and arranged by the original festival team run by Lady St Germans.
“Port Eliot is the oldest house in Cornwall and believed to be the oldest continually inhabited house in the whole country, Lord St Germans stated.
The planned partnership would guarantee the conservation of centuries of history and Port Eliot’s collection of fine art and antiquities.
If Charles does indeed purchase Port Eliot House, Lord and Lady St Germans will continue to own, live on and run the 3,500 acre estate. Their grandson, 10-year-old Albert, would remain heir apparent to the Earl’s title, but he would not take over the family home.
A Clarence House spokesman validated Charles was interested in acquiring Port Eliot House and said the feasibility study would begin in due course.
Port Eliot has been inhabited for well over 1000 years and considered on of the oldest continually lived in residences in the UK.
References to the House date back to the 5th century AD.
The earliest evidence of a building on the site is that of the 1500-year-old glazed tile floor dating from the late Iron Age.
Sir John Soane remodelled the Grade I-listed priory and house and landscape gardener Humphrey Repton created the gardens and park in the 18th century.
Port Eliot contains works ranging from Sir Joshua Reynolds and Van Dyck to a mural by South West England’s acclaimed 20th-century artist, Robert Lenkiewicz.
Of course, this is not the first time Prince Charles chose to acquire a historic property in order to benefit not only the local community and residents but visits as well.
In June 2007, Charles as Grand Steward of Scotland led a group of charities and heritage organizations to acquire this rare house along with its contents and adjacent land. The goal was simple: keep the historic building as it was and allow the public to witness its unique beauty.
Charles is passionate, and a leader in heritage-led renewal schemes through the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.
The Foundation began in 1987 when Charles aired “Vision for Britain” documentary on the BBC. The programme detailed the contemporary design and planning in Britain turned into part of the group of charities known as the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.
“It astounds me to think that it was over twenty-five years ago that I started on the rather rough road towards what has now become my Foundation. It seemed to me then, as it does still, that the nature of our built environment has a crucial impact on our quality of life and our physical and mental well-being,” commented Prince Charles.