Elizabethan manor house and gardens on the edge of Padstow. Built in 1592, Prideaux Place has been in the Prideaux-Brune family ever since. There are formal gardens featuring grottos, a walled garden and a deer park.
This country house on the edge of Padstow has been the seat of just one family, the Prideauxs for around 425 years. This makes it one of Cornwall's most important survivors from the reign of Elizabeth I.
A grade I listed building, Prideaux Place has been expanded several times since it was first constructed in 1592, so that it now contains more than 80 rooms. However, many Elizabethan fixtures and fittings are still in situ, including the plasterwork of the Great Chamber, which was only rediscovered in recent years. But this is just one aspect of Prideaux Place that can be enjoyed when visiting.
Prideaux Place is also reputed to be one of the most haunted houses in Britain. Of the several ghosts said to roam the house, perhaps the best known is that of Honor Fortescue. Wife of Humphrey Prideaux, the story goes she killed herself by jumping from a balcony at the house after the death of her husband from smallpox. Despite relatively recent sightings the story doesn't quite add up; apparently the lady of the manor actually went on to remarry and have children! Other apparitions at Prideaux include a young boy, a dog and a monk.
Additional features include later architecture in the Strawberry Hill Gothic style, an important collection of regal portraits, England's oldest cast iron cannon, and the Prideaux porcelain collection. The house is surrounded by newly-restored gardens, as well as a deer park totalling 3,500 acres, which visitors are welcome to explore. Its deer are best seen during their daily feeding by their dedicated keeper, which can be witnessed amid the relaxed setting of the tearoom.