“The imposing granite gate posts of Bosvathick are something of a landmark on the road to Constantine. Topped with great granite balls and flanked by a pair of handsome lions, such a grand statement promises fine reward to those that go the distance of its long leafy drive.
Described as a “small country house”, Bosvathick in fact makes quite an impressive footprint. Originally built in 1760 , the house was completely refurbished in 1890 and given an extension that doubled its size. Since then, very little change has been made, and having been occupied by descendants of one family for 250 years, it is packed with gorgeous antiques and artworks, and contains a veritable treasure trove of household items that, once considered ordinary, are now fascinating.
Redesigned with the Victorian lifestyle in mind, the house is formally divided into staff and family wings. Of course, the house ceased to employ servants a long time ago (the last butler left in 1939), but it is clear that those rooms which were the domain of that dedicated team served no purpose to the family, and were left virtually untouched for seventy years. The resulting display of crockery and candlestubs ready for use in the Butler's pantry, for example, is enchanting, and anyone with an interest in pretty china tea sets or gas lamps will be enthralled.
The room that is perhaps of most interest is the original day nursery which was papered in 1904 with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of coloured reproductions cut from popular magazines.
The reception rooms, warm and spacious, are furnished almost exactly as they were before the First World War, and display 250 years worth of family memorabilia, from portraits and photographs to travel souvenirs and glass collections, not to mention an age-old harp.
Despite this, however, the house is very much a comfortable, functional home. The library, for example, is a room in which a TV looks at ease with centuries-old leather-bound books and large glass cases of taxidermied birds. The 'green baise doors' – traditional divide between staff and family – are swung wide open for daily thoroughfare, and the servants' corridor – complete with a long line of bells marked for each room – is now carpeted and decorated with family portraits and photographs spanning the last century.
Some modernizatons have necessarily taken place. The well, though in use until 2005, was substituted by mains water supply in the 1960s, and the house was finally provided with sufficient electricity in 1987, abandoning the little generator that had been installed in 1923 and which had struggled to cope with more than two or three lightbulbs on at a time.
Upstairs, bedrooms have been lavishly refurbished to receive guests for Kate's thriving Bed and Breakfast business, and some of the smaller servant bedrooms have been converted into modern bathrooms, so no-one is expected to use the quaint little earth closet located discreetly among the arching boughs of laurel outside, even if it does boast an enchanting view of the lake.
Tours of the house cost £14, but for those who prefer to give the house tour a miss, entry to the garden is only £3 (though children under the age of 12 are free) and is well worth an afternoon.”
Tours include tea and cakes in the drawing room and are given every Thursday from March to the end of August. Bookings necessary. For more information or more pictures to whet your appetite click here