History of Polwhele House

16th Century

Polwhele is a beautiful and historic manor house with records that go back to Norman times. The earliest parts of the existing house were built in the 16th century and various granite arches incorporated into the existing building date back to this period. John Polwhele is recorded as a knight representing Cornwall during the reign of Queen Mary Tudor.

16th Century


Richard Polwhele, a well known local historian and clergyman, returned to Polwhele in the 1820s. He renovated the coach house with its distinctive red brick Dutch arches and huge lofty kitchen. He was probably responsible for installing the impressive honeycomb window.


Thomas Carne Polwhele had the house completely remodelled and further enlarged in the 1860s by the celebrated architect of the time, Sir Gilbert Scott. His contribution included the stable block and work on the eastern wing. Thomas’s initials, together with those of his wife, are carved boldly at the top of his newly built tower.



In 1981 Polwhele House became the family home of Richard and Rosemary White with the translation of Boscawen Rose, Rosemary’s highly successful Pre-Preparatory school in Truro, to the property. At this time, the school began its expansion to 13+ (Year 8) with Richard becoming the Founding Head of the Preparatory School. The school adopted as its own the very suitable Polwhele family motto ‘Karenza Whelas Karenza’ which is engraved on the stone fireplace in the elegant drawing room of the main house and is Cornish for ‘love begets love’.


Since then, the main house has been restored and the stable block and coach house sympathetically converted into a wonderful Pre-Preparatory School. A well equipped and purpose built Preparatory School has been constructed behind the main house and other important facilities have been developed nearby.


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If you wish to find out more about attending Polwhele House or if you would like to book a school tour, please use the form below and we shall be in contact.

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