Named after the former owner who defended the property from a Spanish attack during the Anglo-Spanish war, Keigwin is a divine house in a truly incredible Cornish fishing village, with a lot of history embedded within its walls.
The delightful fishing village of Mousehole in West Cornwall is as small as its name suggests. The tiny community is centred around an aquamarine-blue, picturesque sandy harbour, where at high tide the sheltered waters are perfect for slipping into for a refreshing dip between the moored fishing boats. At low tide a beach appears, proving popular with locals and visiting families alike.
Situated just a few houses back from the harbour — approximately 50 yards for those who like actual measurements — is Keigwin: a historically fascinating property which is currently on the market via Lillicrap Chilcott for offers over £750,000.
Keigwin is believed to be the oldest surviving property in Mousehole, having once been part of a 16th century manor house which had origins from the 14th century.
Much of the village was destroyed in 1595 during the Anglo-Spanish War in a raid known as the Raid on Mounts Bay, by Spanish naval officer Carlos de Amésquita.
The Grade II listed property survived the attack, possibly thanks to a Squire Jenkyn Keigwin who was killed on the doorstep of his house on 23rd July 1595, whilst he tried to defend his stoop against the Spanish.
A slate plaque on the entrance of the property commemorates this brave former resident and hints at the sort of history we may find inside.
Leading in through the Jacobean granite columned entrance porch, the house opens up into a welcoming entrance hall, from which a library (or potentially another bedroom), dining room and kitchen — located towards the rear of the property — are accessed. A covered path leads from the kitchen to the utility room outside.
Upstairs are two smaller bedrooms with a shared bathroom and views overlooking the garden; a barrelled-ceilinged sitting room and a spacious master suite with adjoining bathroom and generous dressing room.
Striking exposed stone walls feature in many of the rooms alongside huge granite fireplaces with original decorative carvings.
The first-floor accommodation is slightly bigger than the ground floor footprint thanks to the porch room/ potential fifth bedroom —accessed via the master room — which sits over square carved granite supports with square cushion heads.
The property on its own, given its history and distance to the harbour, would be enough to tantalise any buyer; however, there’s more.
Leading off from the rear courtyard (about 10 paces away) is an enclosed private garden in the heart of Wesley Square. South-facing, this little tropical oasis is a sheltered spot with banana trees, camellias, palm trees and an olive tree growing within its walls. The addition of such a wonderful outdoor space in the centre of the village is what agents Lillicrap Chilcott claim is ‘as rare as it gets.’
Mousehole: What you need to know
Location: Almost at the very southern tip of Cornwall — just 10 miles from Lands End, 3.5 miles from Penzance (where train lines run to London Paddington) and 2 miles from Newlyn.
Atmosphere: The sought-after, utterly-picturesque fishing village is set within a sandy harbour and protected by thick walls. An active fishing fleet moor up here, and the rest of the village is mostly made up of quaint fishermen’s cottages and twisting streets.
Things to do: There are several charming shops along the high street — all utterly picture worthy, including gift shop ‘The Mousehole’. The harbour beach is a lovely place to take in the surroundings, however, there are plenty of other beaches dotted along this stretch of coast, too. The famed Minack Theatre is nearby in Porthcurno, plus plenty of rugged coves and coast path walks to explore. Surfing, sailing, kite surfing and wind surfing is available from Marazion. Nearby Newlyn is known for its art galleries and fish market whilst Penzance offers further retail options plus a ferry service to the Isles of Scilly.
Schools: Mousehole School, Newlyn School and St Mary’s C of E Primary School in Penzance are all situated close by. Secondary options can be found in Penzance
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.