St Michaels Church, Baldhu
- 3/4 Bedrooms
- Over 4,000 sq feet
- 0.65 of an Acre
- Grade II* Listed
- Tremendous Character
- Ample Parking
- Peaceful Location
- Open Plan Living
- Versatile Accommodation
- Unique Opportunity
One of a pair of imposing houses created from the remarkable conversion of St Michael’s parish church.
Historical architectural detail; exciting contemporary design.
An extraordinary Grade II* Listed home, sympathetically created within the original meticulously-restored church, to provide stunning, contemporary accommodation.
With excellent carefully-planned living space extending to about 4,000 sq.ft., on a variety of levels, with full-height ceilings and exhibiting amazing quality of original materials, craftsmanship and architectural detail, in a charming country setting close to Truro.
General Comments - Porch House is one of a pair of imposing houses created from the remarkable conversion of St Michael’s parish church. This is an extraordinary Grade II* Listed home with wonderful historical architectural detail all with a contemporary design.
The property was sympathetically created within the original meticulously-restored church, to provide carefully-planned living space extending to about 4,000 sq.ft., on a variety of levels, with full-height ceilings and exhibiting amazing quality of original materials in a charming country setting close to Truro.
Architectural And Historical Note - St Michael and All Angels was built in 1847 for the Reverend William Haslam on land provided by the Earl of Falmouth. Designed by the noted Ecclesiastical Gothic Revival architect William White, himself the son of a clergyman, the church was intended to house a congregation of 600 as the focal point for a new community around the proposed Baldhu Mine – the word Baldhu being Cornish for ‘Black Mine’.
However, the mine did not prosper nor did the new community come into being and as a result the church found itself distanced from any congregation. Many years later this was to finally result in redundancy and a new use being sought for the building.
Incidentally St Michael’s has a small place in Cornish history in that it was at Baldhu Church that the Reverend Haslam was “converted in his own pulpit” following the religious revival led by Billy Bray – the local miner turned preacher. Billy Bray still has a worldwide following 150 years on.
Architecturally the building is a real gem with limepointed random granite walls forming the nave, chancel and south aisle under two parallel roofs with a three stage tower and broach spire constructed of dressed limestone ashlar. Dressed limestone is also used for all columns, arches, doorways and windows – the latter being particularly elegant with reticulated stone tracery and latticed leaded glazing.
The opportunity to purchase such a quintessentially Cornish building is clearly a rare event.
Description - ‘Porch House’ is, without question, one of the finest quality and most fastidiously planned conversions we have had the privilege to offer for sale. The sheer quality of the materials and workmanship used in the both the original construction and in the conversion is quite astonishing, and certain to be of immense appeal to those in search of a highly individual family home.
The Grade II* Listed status of ‘Porch House’ underlines the architectural importance of this amazing building. The “star” designation indicates the building to be of particular significance.
Externally the building has also been the subject of comprehensive restoration including a new roof utilising the original Delabole slates on the outermost roof slopes, with new slates on the inner roof slopes along with a rainwater system.
Elevations are constructed in local random stone and lime mortar – reminiscent of the many Cornish mine engine houses that were being built around the same time. St Michael’s represents a fine example of William White’s early work.
The sale of ‘Porch House’ represents a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to acquire a piece of Cornwall’s history, for just a fraction of the cost of building a house of this grandeur and workmanship today - which blends effortlessly
with the distinctive contemporary accommodation.
Location - Baldhu lies approximately 4 miles south-west of Truro City and is consequently well placed for access to both Cornish coasts - just 10 miles apart at this point. An after dinner walk along the cliffs at St Agnes or early morning sailing on Restronguet
creek are easy from Baldhu. There are five sailing clubs within seven miles. The immediate surroundings are surprisingly rural considering Baldhu’s proximity to Truro. The only neighbouring properties are those that have historical links to the
church and include the former rectory and further down the lane the former school, now used as a children’s Day Nursery.
Truro City centre provides a fine and diverse range of shopping facilities and restaurants, with main line rail link to London Paddington. Approximately 8 miles to the south lies the town of Falmouth with its excellent maritime facilities.
Specification - Heating – Fully zoned system utilising under-floor heating for ground floor areas and conventional radiators on upper floors. Ample room thermostats throughout to allow careful control assisted by thermostatic valves on all radiators. Oil-fired using
an energy efficient condensing boiler.
Underground oil storage tank for discreet appearance. Wireless oil level monitor in boiler room.
A large wood-burning “Tortoise Firebox” fitted in the sitting room complete with chimney fan and log storage slot.
Hot water system – ‘Porch House’ utilises a pressurised cylinder supplied hot water system fully circulated using a timed pump to allow hot water to be drawn with minimal delay at any point in the house. The cylinder is heated via the main boiler
with a short 20 to 30 minute reheat time. The pressurised cylinder allows high flow rate showers.
Doors – Maple veneered doors are used throughout with stainless steel hinges.
Lighting – Intensely used areas such as main reception rooms and kitchen predominantly use energy efficient up-lighters.
TV – TV sockets are provided in the sitting room and principal bedrooms.
Security – A zoned alarm system with ample movements sensors and door contacts has been fitted.
Drainage – The St Michael’s conversion employs separate septic tanks for each of the two dwellings. Both tanks are located on ‘Porch House’ land while both drain to a shared soak-away on ‘Tower House’ land. The design of the system was governed by the fall of the land and the need to avoid disturbance of the surrounding churchyard. Covenants within the contract provide full information on location and maintenance access.
In greater detail the accommodation comprises (all measurements are approximate):
From the parking area a tall Gothic arch opens into the original church entrance, providing a large:-
OPEN-FRONTED PORCH – Fitted bench seating to either side, quarry tiled floor, exposed stonework and full-height ceiling with exposed roof trusses and beams. Lantern. Substantial church door complete with beautiful ironwork and hinges to:-
Entrance Hall - 4.27m x 3.91m (14 x 12'10) - Turning staircase with oak handrails and posts to the first floor. Slate flagged flooring with under floor heating. Inset down-lights. Doors to:-
Cloakroom - 2.35 x 1.96 (7'8" x 6'5") - With tall stone mullioned leaded window to the front driveway. Slate flagged flooring, under floor heating. Door to:-
Boiler/Plant Room - Oil-fired boiler providing domestic hot water and central heating. Megaflo pressurised hot water cylinder. Continuation of slate flagged flooring. Under floor heating controls. Telephone point.
Shower Room - 2.77m x 2.35 (9'1" x 7'8") - Roca low flush wc, pedestal wash hand basin with mixer tap and glass shower enclosure with Triton shower attachment. Fully tiled walls, slate flagged floor.
From the entrance hall a door opens to:-
Bedroom 3 - 6.51 x 3.83 (21'4" x 12'6") - Tall stone mullioned leaded window to front providing plenty of natural column and arches. Deep under stair storage cupboard, under floor heating control. Telephone point. Door to:-
Shower Room - Low flush wc, pedestal wash hand basin. Glass door to fully tiled shower, slate flagged floor, tiled walls.
Galleried Mezzanine - 5.08m x 2.87m (16'8 x 9'5) - A staircase from the bedroom leads up to the mezzanine room above. Radiator.
Inner Hall - From the entrance hall an oak-framed glazed door and screen opens to:-
INNER HALL – As you enter the inner hall the volume and attention to detail in maximising the useful liveable space immediately becomes apparent with almost full-height ceiling lit by highlevel (remote controlled) Velux roof lights allowing
masses of natural light to flood into the mezzanine level dining area over which is the fitted kitchen.
Door to large sub-floor storage void. Door to Utility Room. Door to Back Hall. Slate flagged floor. A short staircase leads up to:-
Dining Area - 5.23 x 3.79 (17'1" x 12'5") - Mullioned leaded window to the rear, central staircase to sitting room. Radiator. Steps on either side lead up to:-
Kitchen - 6.m x 2.44m (19'8" x 8'0") - With lattice leaded mullioned window to the side and having in part full-height with exposed trusses and beams and electrically operated Velux (remote control) window. Fitted range of wall and base units, polished granite worktops with Franke stainless steel range sink with central mixer and drainer to side. Miele induction hob with extractor fan and light over. Bosch fan-assisted double oven and grill. Numerous cupboards and drawers each with soft-close mechanisms. Built-in Smeg dishwasher. American fridge/freezer freezer. Slate flagged floor, radiator. Telephone point.
Galleried Reading Mezzanine - Overlooking the dining area and kitchen. Radiator. Telephone point. A short flight of steps lead up from the dining area through one of the original arches to:-
Sitting Room - 7.7 x 5.22 (25'3" x 17'1") - With 20’3” full height ceiling, exposed polished timber roof trusses and beams and high-level double glazed window providing natural light. Mullioned leaded lattice work windows to the side (west) and front (south). Wide inset “Tortoise Firebox” fireplace with local granite hearth and deep wood store to one side. Radiators, door to landing. Telephone and TV points. Staircase up to:-
The Sitting Room Gallery - Providing useful space and occasional bedroom. An idea spot for a sofa bed or a tucked away study.
From the inner hall at ground floor level, a door opens to:-
Utility Room - 6 x 2.2 (19'8" x 7'2") - With deep recessed double glazed window to rear. Fitted roll-edged worktop with inset sink drainer unit. Slate flagged floor. Roll-edged worktop with cupboards beneath and space and plumbing for washing machine and space for tumble dryer. Extractor fan, numerous power points. Telephone point. A further door from the inner hall opens to:-
Boot Room / Rear Hall - 3.15m x 2.26m (10'4 x 7'5") - Arched door to rear, slate flagged floor. Storage cupboard. Door to:-
Bedroom 2 - 5.35m x 4.12m (17'6" x 13'6") - Tall mullioned leaded window to the rear. Staircase up to:-
Mezzanine Bath Room - Roca low flush wc, pedestal wash hand basin with mixer tap and illuminated mirror. Matki glass shower enclosure with Trevi Therm shower mixer, Clearwater ‘Graffiti’ bath with wall-mounted Roca mixer tap and hand-held shower attachment. Elegant porcelain tiling to main walls.
Second Floor - From the entrance hall, a staircase leads up to a Small Landing - With door into the sitting room and further door leading to:-
Master Bedroom Suite - Staircase leads up to:-
Bedroom - 7.71 x 6.0 (25'3" x 19'8") - Bright and spacious, cleverly utilising saddles of patent roof glazing and Velux roof lights to provide architectural vistas of the adjacent tower and spire. Two further double glazed windows to the rear look out onto woodland. Two radiators. Telephone point. A circular double glazed internal screen at one end of the room overlooks the main west window.
Dressing Area / Office - 6.76m x 3.81m (22'2 x 12'6) - In part, sub-divided by existing roof trusses and beams. Double glazed window to front and high-level Velux roof light.
En-Suite Bath And Shower Room - With a delightful view of the tower. Roca low flush wc, pedestal wash hand basin with mixer tap. Glass shower with Ideal Standard shower. Roca corner bath, wall-mounted mixer tap with hand-held shower attachment. Radiator.
Outside - Access to ‘Porch House’ is across the granite chipped driveway with wrought iron Estate fencing to either side marking the boundary with ‘Tower House’. Beyond this point the driveway provides parking for numerous cars and it continues around to where there is a large stone paved sitting-out terrace enjoying a high degree of privacy surrounded by the established woodland. A gravel pathway continues further around to a small area of lawn with door to the rear hall.
Beyond the paths and paved areas that immediately surround ‘Porch House’ lies the remainder of the churchyard – delightfully and comprehensively overgrown with huge rhododendrons and mature trees. The wooded setting is one of the things that gives ‘Porch House’ its very special atmosphere, as well as providing a habitat for the abundant wildlife.
The churchyard’s western boundary is marked by the high stone wall of the rectory’s garden. The northern boundary against The Earl of Falmouth’s wood is marked by a simple agricultural post-andrail fence, other boundaries are marked by traditional iron Estate fencing or low stone walls. Within these boundaries is a substantial area of land – approaching 2/3rds of an acre – that offers, due to its abundant mature vegetation, wonderful opportunities to create anything from ‘secret’ terraces for ‘al fresco’ dining, to delightful woodland walks.
Services - Mains water and electricity are connected. Private drainage. Oil-fired boiler providing domestic hot water and central heating. Under floor heating on ground floor, radiators on upper floors. The original church windows are leaded single glazed and any new windows are double glazed.
N.B - The electrical circuit, appliances and heating system have not been tested by the agents.
Viewing - Strictly by Appointment through the Agents Philip Martin, 9 Cathedral Lane, Truro, TR1 2QS. Telephone: or 3 Quayside Arcade, St. Mawes, Truro TR2 5DT. Telephone .
Directions - Take the turning for Penweathers Lane off Treyew Road (ring road south of Truro centre) which is to be found between County Hall and the former Truro Football Club.
This delightful country lane is the shortest route to Baldhu. Keep following the lane as it passes under railway bridges and at one point alongside the railway. After a mile and a half the lane reaches a junction. Turn right. Follow this road for a mile or so. Ignore signpost to Baldhu Chapel. The spire of Baldhu Church can be seen above woodland to the left.
There is a left hand turn off the main road, turn left and the entrance to ‘Porch House’ and ‘Tower House’ is about 150 yards along on the right hand side.
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BrochuresSt Michaels Church, Baldhu
St Michaels Church, Baldhu
NEAREST STATIONSDistances are straight line measurements from the centre of the postcode
- Perranwell Station2.2 miles
- Truro Station3.0 miles
- Redruth Station4.5 miles
About the agent
Established in 1986, Philip Martin is an independently owned estate and letting agency covering mid to West Cornwall and dealing with a wide variety of properties in all price ranges. The agency is staffed by committed and highly qualified local people with a wealth of experience and expertise in the regional housing market.
The agency has 3 offices; two of the offices are situated in the centre of Truro in a prominent position. The sales office is on the corner of Cathedral Lane and St
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