The following has been extracted from the brochure prepared by Stags Estate Agents when they were instructed in the sale of Trefursdon in 2014.
Western Morning News. Posted: September 19, 2014PERFECT PEACE IN A BEAUTIFUL CHARACTER HOME
When Peter Lihou decided to relocate from his native Guernsey with wife Gill, they spent a week travelling the length and breadth of Cornwall and viewed 30 properties before falling in love with Trefursdon.
One of a tiny cluster of houses in a hamlet which bears the same name as the 300year old property, it’s located a short distance from the pretty village Coads Green on the eastern fringe of Bodmin Moor. “It even has its own road sign, which feels pretty special,” says Peter, who explains that the sense of history about the house was a huge part of its appeal. “This kind of place just doesn’t exist in Guernsey – the island just doesn’t have the space – and if it did, it would cost millions.”
Since he and Gill retired, Peter has forged a new career as an author and is behind romantic novels with a twist of adventure, including Rachel’s Story, set in Guernsey during the German occupation. His other genre is science fiction: “They both appeal to different sides of my personality,” he says. Trefursdon has been a wonderful place for Peter to write in peace – and the utter silence of a starlit night in this part of Cornwall is magical.
But the A30, which heads west to Bodmin and east to Exeter is a few minutes drive away, whilst Launceston and Callington are within a very short distance; so it’s a case of tranquil seclusion within easy reach of every day amenities. For theatre trips and restaurants, Truro and Plymouth are also a straightforward trip by road (the latter by river, if you are a keen sailor like Peter, who keeps his boat at Calstock.)
Peter and Gill have also come to know all the nippy little back roads, which means that even in the peak tourist season they don’t encounter queues of traffic when heading to the beach.
Coads Green is about equidistant from Cornwall’s north and south coasts – another deciding factor for the couple who were keen to take advantage of both. When they bought their fivebedroom home four years ago, a local builder had recently completed renovations which brought the property up to the very high specification they have maintained and enhanced.
Old seamlessly melds with new, with original features including an open fireplace with huge granite lintel and a wood burning stove now ensconced within it, played to full advantage by the sitting room’s whitewashed interior walls. Trefursdon offers contemporary style and comfort within its period setting; its fabulous kitchen/family room has an electric Aga, while the spacious bathroom has a Victorian style clawfoot bath. Old also meets the notsonew in this house; a stunning Victorian fireplace in the warm flagged reception hall was built in front of a far older hearth. “If you lie on your back and look up,” says Peter (who has), “you can still see the metal work and pot hooks up the chimney. I love the history of the place and think back to the people and what they were doing in this house, centuries ago. “There are events published in old 18th century newspapers that the people who once lived here would have gone to.
You can stand in the master bedroom, which still has its original floorboards, and imagine them getting ready for their night out.” Nights in at Trefursdon are a big temptation though, especially in cold months when the log burning stove and open fire, along with the Aga, keep it impossibly snug. Even the Lihou’s young grandson – who spends as much time as possible charging around their 1.3 acres of garden – can’t resist the soporific lure of a winter afternoon cosying on down by the hearth. The Aga releases heat generated by solar panels mounted on a twobedroom holiday cottage within the grounds. As well as providing the Lihous with free electricity, the panels also generate a Feed in Tariff income.
They built detached Blackberry Cottage from a former workshop and run it as a fivestar holiday retreat which they let via English Country Cottages. It has been praised by guests (whose feedback has garnered the property two consecutive Gold awards) for both its comfort and as a starting point from which to explore the Duchy, as well as the warmth of the hosts’ welcome. While the holiday company handles the bookings, Peter and Gill say that readying the cottage for guests is a straightforward process. Subject to securing the necessary planning consents, for large or extended families that are currently househunting, the cottage would also be perfect for grandparents or grownup children to take up residence in.
Peter and Gill take their own roles as grandparents seriously, which is why they are now planning a move. With their daughter expecting her second child, the couple are looking for a new home in Plymouth, which will enable them to look after their grandchildren when she returns to work as a teacher. “If we were still at the stage that we were bringing up our own children, then Trefursdon would be perfect, but as grandparents, we need to be closer by them,” says Peter.
While the city may not afford them quite the incredible peace they’ve enjoyed at Trefursdon, they have already identified areas where city life can be surprisingly quiet. And, looking forward to this new chapter in their lives beginning, Peter adds: “We’d never leave this area completely.”