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You are in: Cornwall > History > Local History > Silvanus Trevail

Silvanus Trevail

Silvanus Trevail

BBC Conwall takes a walk around the city of Truro to learn more about one of Cornwall's best known architects, Silvanus Trevail. Hear audio featuring Ronald Perry, the co-author of a new book about Trevai. See photos of some of his many buildings.

Wherever you go in Cornwall you are likely to come across buildings by Silvanus Trevail, or sites where his projects once proudly stood.

Today most of Trevail's legacy can be found in Truro city centre. Ronald Perry is the co-author of 'Silvanus Trevail - Cornish Architect and Entrepreneur'. The biography is the first to evaluate Trevail's remarkable life and achievements.

Trevail's work can be found throughout Cornwall. One of his most famous landmarks is the Headland Hotel, which stands proud above Fistral beach in Newquay. This was one of many hotels that Trevail planned to build.

In 1890, he formed the Cornish Hotels Company. Trevail's aim was to create a chain of first class hotels, whose guests could move between them at a whim.

As with so many grand schemes, lack of money hampered Trevail's plans. He set his sights on the headlands of Newquay.

Headland Hotel

Headland Hotel in Newquay

His vision was to turn them into an upmarket estate, the pinnacle being a luxury hotel called the Headland.

The scheme was not without enemies and the discontent of Newquay locals finally erupted into the now infamous Newquay riots.

Construction continued, although unemployed miners from Redruth had to be employed as local workers were reluctant to return.

Today the Headland is as grand a hotel as Trevail could have wished for, and it's one of many of the architect's projects that remain to this day.

Indian Queens School

Trevail also designed some Cornish schools

Among his many projects Trevail was also responsible for building houses in Moorland Road in St Austell, Redruth and Helland Wesleyan Chapels, and St Day and Indian Queens schools.

Following his association with John Passmore Edwards, Trevail worked on several libraries and institutes throughout Cornwall.

The Luxulyan born architect became Mayor of Truro and, nationally, President of the architects' professional body, the Society of Architects.

Trevail's legacy remains in the buildings that he designed, many of which have stood the test of time and look as eye-catching today as they did when they were built.

last updated: 06/01/2009 at 12:17
created: 05/01/2009

You are in: Cornwall > History > Local History > Silvanus Trevail

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