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Port Eliot, St German's, Cornwall: remodelling of interior and designs for new stables for 2nd Lord Eliot, 1804-6 (97 )

In October 1802 Soane was asked to design a new family pew as a replacement for the recently collapsed north aisle of the ancient priory church of St Germans which was very close to the (priory) house. According to the P.Beacham and N.Pevsner, Cornwall (2014, pp.542-6), St Germans church is the best example - in Cornwall - of a Norman church in its planning and architecture. There are among the drawings for Port Eliot some that relateto the church, namely drawings [6],[13],[17-21],[23],[36],[37] and [64-67].

Soane was preceded at Port Eliot by Humphry Repton who produced one of his Red Books for Port Eliot in 1792. He argued strongly for linking the church with the house. An idea not taken up by Soane. His initial design was for a new west front that would open on to an axis ending at the east end of the house. This would have involved the demolition of the old gallery wing and Lord Eliot would not permit this so that, in the end, Soane's work was, except for minor changes to windows, largely internal. The enfilade, the finishing of the circular drawing room and of the eating room, the re-design of the library, new stairs and top lighting were among Soane's achievements.

Other works done for the Eliot family are: alterations to Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, 1799 (q.v.) and alterations to 33 St James's Square, London 1805 (q.v.).


Jill Lever
March 2016
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