Pencubitt House was built in 1897 for John Hitchens Blamey, a wealthy wool merchant who lived in Liskeard. The house was designed by local architect John Sansom.
The Blamey family were well known Cornish wool merchants who owned land around St Blazey and leased lands around St Germans. Down in Lamellion Hamlet you can still see the remains of Blamey's wool mill, now with new buildings beside the old, and called Devon & Cornwall Wools.
J. H. Blamey had the house built on a hill to provide sweeping views over Liskeard, the Moorswater Viaduct and the Looe Valley. He named the house and grounds 'Pencubitt'. Pen is a common Cornish prefix meaning Headland or Hill and Cubitt was the family name of his wife Anna who was from Norfolk.
The house has changed little from its original form, but the grounds, which once covered many acres, are now reduced to only two. One feature of the house that has changed is the castellated tower which once stood proud above the house with wonderful battlements and large flag. The top floor of the tower seems to have weathered badly and was removed between 1980 and 1990.
The family were in residence at Pencubitt from 1898 until J. H. Blamey died on 21st November 1923. Some members of the family remained in occupation until the house was taken over by the Land Army in 1940. In the photo above some of the 40 Land Army Girls that lived here can be seen at the window and an unsightly fire escape is in place. The top room of the tower can be seen but unfortunately the photo does not give a good view of the castellations.
After the Land Army had returned Pencubitt House to the Blamey family it was left unoccupied and subsequently used as a store. Then in 1959 it was sold and became a hotel called The New Pencubitt Hotel. Later adding a swimming pool, hairdressing salon and beauty parlour. Subsequently, around 1978 the hotel was renamed The Country Castle Hotel and operated as such until 1996 when it became The Pencubitt Country House Hotel. The swimming pool was filled in about 1999 but its outline can still be seen beneath the main lawn.
Click on the image below for stories about the stay of the Land Army girls.
I, Clive Emmerson, am the author of this article, (History of Pencubitt), and I release its content under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License