Frenchmans CreekThe Frenchmans Creek
Holidays at Frenchman's Creek in Helford, Cornwall
This is the most scenic and remote holiday home in Cornwall, hidden at the top of Frenchman's Creek on the Helford River. Name after the brook near by, the charming countryside has given inspiration to some well-known works of literature. Frenchman's Creek was created around 1840 for a farmhand or bosun.
Formerly flanked by two other houses, Frenchman's Creek is now private in the nearby forest. Between the two World War I and II it was leased by Maria Pendragon and Clara Vyvyan, who described it in her work The Helford River. Daphne Du Maurier's novel, Frenchman's Creek, continues the powerful connection between Frenchman's Creek and literature inspirations.
It is a remote hiding place at the top of this renowned stream on the Helford Riviera, which flows deeply into the forest and gives a brief insight into the waters between the tree. You can rent a boat on the Helford Riviera to get the most out of this area.
The Pendennis Castle, the Royal Cornwall Museum and the National Maritime Museum (Cornwall) are about 20 leagues from Frenchman's Creek. Have a look at our Pinterest card to get more inspiration for your Frenchman's Creek time. Frenchman's Creek Cottage was probably constructed in the early nineteenth centuary.
She was once part of a small village at the top of the brook, known as Frenchman's Pill - Pill is the acronym for a well. There are two huts, one on either side of the creek, on the first issue of the 1" Ordnance Survey card, which was measured in 1805.
It appears much more clearly on the 1840 tithe distribution chart because it is much bigger. On this 1840 card our home is depicted as home and gardens and belongs to Kestle Wartha, the farmyard on the hills. There is no resident on the list, indicating that the tenant is a tenant who may be placing a farmer employee as part of his salary.
On the other side of the creek, while it belongs to Withan Farm, it is a house and orchard occupied by John Thomas and his wife, probably under a lease. The hut of John Thomas may have been of this kind, and it may therefore have disappeared, while the larger hut at the other end of the river survives.
This hut's qualities and sturdy nature are amazing when it was actually a farmer's hut. As early as the 1860s, agriculture authors commented on the bad accommodation of Korean peasants and accused the peasants of paying more for their outbuildings than for the homes of the family who worked for them.
This kind of holiday home, with its own living room and cuisine and two double rooms, is rather the kind of home that, according to the author A.K. Hamilton Jenkin, was constructed in Cornish Homes and Customs (1934) by someone who is just above the ranks of a worker but below that of a hick.
To this order belong the master of the mines, the master of the small coaster or the master craftsman of one of the many small works and foundry works that were flourishing in the west of the land at that point (in the middle of the nineteenth century). It would be easily imaginable that such a man would live at the top of Frenchman's Creek, perhaps own his own small ship and bring his catches to the fishing cellar at the estuary - shown on the tithe map as property of James Tremayne.
Our hut does not appear in these at all. In Manaccan, where Kestle Wartha performs, the budget of the estate itself is shown, as are three Tregithew homes (including the mill) just below the stream. Not at Frenchman's Pill. If you turn instead to the St. Martin parsonage, on the western side of the stream, after Trevidor and Withan Farms you will surely find the Frenchman's Pill as a seperate entrance.
The only landlord who was performed in 1841 is John Thomas, who resided on the tithe card in the hut on the other side of the canal. For the next three years, there is still only one house in Frenchman's Pill and always under St. Martin, so this must always be the other house.
In the first issue of the 25" Ordnance Survey card, measured in 1878, the Frenchman's Pill is also placed on the western shore, although both huts are clearly mark. Another hut further down the creek, which was shown in 1840, vanished at this point, but there is still a jetty known as Withan Quay.
It' s uncommon for a budget to be overlooked in a head count, but this sometimes seems to be the case when the home is that of a valet - there is a home on the Trevidor farm on the tithe card, which for example is not included in the head count. Kestle Wartha peasants are always mentioned as employees of at least one worker in supplement to the maids and it must have been them who were living in the hut by the creek.
Except when it was inhabited by a number of seamen who, for the most intimate reason, decided not to be present with their family when the return ing officers cried. In the first half of the 20thury Frenchman's Creek Cottage was still part of Kestle Wartha and was rented most of the year as a workers' house.
C. C. Vyvyan in her moving and somewhat mannerist The Helford River (1956) discusses how she and her girlfriend Maria Pendragon hired the white-washed house at the top of the stream for picnic, daytime fun and rental to our mates. They named it Cuckoo cottage and equipped it with old chairs and chint and padded waistbath.
Instead of sitting out the windows and staring at the walls of skyward looking flowers and the silence of this place, I felt as if it were gentle soundtrack. After the war the hut is said to have been rented to a traditonal instructor who kept a hog.
In 1955 the hut was finally bought by Mr and Mrs Hooper, who brought their possessions there with a combined charcoal truck and on board an observer ship. She was raised by the brook and the house was given to her in 1983. When we first began to inspect the house, the first thing we discovered was that it was much less firm than it looked.
It was a solid rock, the front panel only needed a little sharpening, but the back and gables were indeed very wobbly. Also made of brick, the northern pediment was heavily arched and had to be partially removed and reconstructed, smokestack breasts and so on. There was no stack and instead a metallic fireplace was attached to the outside of the masonry.
The only change that was made to the look of the house was that two separate walls were installed at the same moment to allow a look down the stream. While the chimney was being built inside the piston itself, the clients left a chimney behind when the walls were being built.
It has now been strengthened to stabilize the walls, with a new brickwork stack at the top, a couple to the one on the northern part. There were even more serious issues with the backplate. However, it turned out that the lower part of the walls did not even existed; the building was just constructed against and on the slate soils.
The whole place also moved smoothly down the hillside, dropping the back of it. In order to fix this, trusses were used to fix the back panel to the pediments, and the edges were reassembled to hold the whole structure together. The slate, which forms the lower part of the rear panel, was removed and kept free standing, but largely fortified.
To stabilize the ditch itself, a supporting dam was constructed on the mountain side. On the back there was already a piano, which contained a bath, but was made of a very shaky, individual layer of wind blocks and was directly planting behind it on the shore, from which a part was now digged away.
Simultaneously, the eaves and down pipes were taken off. All the front doors and front lights have been fixed and the new ones have the same look. During the reconstruction of the northern part of the pediment, the chimney in the present living room (which was once the kitchen) was also reconstructed, using the oaken fall and the stone floors, but with a slightly smaller opening to make room for the new adjacent sash.
There was a mad plaster on the back of the stove, which did not have to be replaced. So we wanted the bigger room to be the one where our guests spent more of our day, and we thought it was more like a living room than a canteen.
Much of the work at Frenchman's Creek involved the now unseen launch of service offerings. There was a temporary system of supplying fresh running waters, which was no longer secure and dependable. In order to get to the holiday home by road, the approximate approach road had to be upgraded, but not overly so.
As little as possible was done around the hut to disturb its exceptional surroundings. Instead of removing a paved road around the building, a pavement of Granit with drainage from France was used.