Consequently, over the last couple of months, various local organisations and archives were contacted to find out what material they had relevant to the estate. This involved visits to The Royal Polytechnic Society History Group and Cornwall Records Office, as well as assistance from a number of other local organisations such as The Cornish Studies Library, Penryn Museum and The Royal Cornwall Museum. Newpaper articles, archaeological reports, books, images and maps were just some of the records found which helped to tell us something about the inhabitants of Tremough House. One such man was Benjamin Cloak, whose uncle was Benjamin Sampson, owner of Kennal Vale Gunpowder Company. When Sampson died, Cloak was the main beneficiary with the proviso that he would change his name to Sampson. Consequently, he became a very wealthy man and some time later bought Tremough.
|(C) Archives & Special Collections Service|
William was a very active man involved with many local organisations and groups, particularly within horticultural circles. He had been a patron and president of The Royal Cornwall Infirmary, he was on the board of Lostwithiel and Fowey Railway, member of the St. Austell Cottage Garden Society, Perran-Wharf Horticultural Society, and Royal Cornwall Agricultural Society to name a few. It is unsurprising that it was during Shilson's ownership of Tremough that the estate gained its reputation for rhododendrons under the expertise of the gardener at the time, Richard Gill. Indeed, Rhododendrons from Tremough even found themselves donated and relocated to Kew Gardens. Unfortunately, Shilson died in 1875, only 5 years after he took over the estate leaving Ann, his wife, who remained at Tremough until her death in 1896. They are both buried in Mabe Parish Church graveyard.
Certainly, this exercise has shown the power of archives to contribute towards our perception and understanding of place. A knowledge of the history and development of a site and those who have lived and worked there facilitates the process of place making and our understanding of sense of place.
(1) Margaret Grose & Shiona King, Tremough, Penryn: The Historic Estate, (Truro, M.H. Grose & G.M. Grose, 2003)
(2)Classified ads . Sun (London, England), Wednesday, January 2, 1799; Issue 1959
British Newspapers 1600-1900, http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy.falmouth.ac.uk/bncn/start.do?prodId=BNWS&userGroupName=falmouth [Accessed 20th Dec 2012]