Polbream is for sale for the first time in a generation – Penny Churchill takes a look at this delightful Cornish spot.
Spring comes early on the Lizard Peninsula, which, thanks to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream, boasts the balmiest climate in Britain. Sub-tropical vegetation grows along the cliffs, and primroses and foxgloves are about to flower in the hedgerows and on the clifftops of the spectacular Heritage Coast, which runs down the western edge of the peninsula from Porthleven to Enys Head – just beyond Lizard Point, the most southerly point of the mainland.
With much of the Lizard coastline heavily protected, both for its raw beauty and the richness of its flora and birdlife, houses with direct access to the sea rarely come onto the market. One has now come up with Savills in Truro, however, at a guide price of £2 million: Polbream, in Mullion, some eight miles south of Helston.
This extended former farmhouse sits on its own headland, Polbream Point, and faces south over Polurrian Cove, the National Trust-owned Mullion Island and out across the sea to the west.
Also owned by the Trust is much of Mullion Head, home to breeding colonies of kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots and black-headed gulls, and the historic stone harbour of Mullion Cove.
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Polbream, for sale for the first time in 20 years, stands in just under six acres of terraced gardens and land.
The house itself offers 3,379sq ft of family accommodation, including two reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, a study, five bedrooms and five bathrooms, with most rooms enjoying breathtaking views out over the coastline.
But while the house is nice it’s undoubtedly the setting which will attract most buyers. Historically, the towering cliffs and jagged rocks of the Lizard’s coastline, which bars the way in and out of the busy Fal estuary, had a fearsome reputation as a graveyard for ships, the scene of many a maritime disaster.
Nowadays, the wilder Atlantic west coast is a haven for the discerning, hardy few who appreciate its staggering views, quiet surf beaches and secret coves. The more protected east side offers shelter from the prevailing winds and fewer opportunities to surf, but many more family-friendly beaches.
The deep, sheltered valleys, ancient forests and safe waters of the Helford River and Loe Pool, which form the northern boundary of the peninsula, encouraged the rich and famous to build holiday homes there in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
However, with no railway to lure travellers beyond historic Helston, Britain’s most southerly town, in Victorian times, few were inclined to venture farther south.
Even today, the narrow lanes of the Helford Valley tend to discourage weary family drivers from going the extra mile.
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