Stuart House

Stuart House

Barras Street, Liskeard, PL14 6AB
Tel: (01579) 347347
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Arts & Heritage Centre

Stuart House, a 16th century town house in the centre of Liskeard, has been restored by Stuart House Trust as an arts and heritage centre. The house is used for exhibitions and sales of arts and crafts, for charity sales, meetings/seminars and other, heritage, community and cultural events.

The house itself has twelve rooms and a coffee room, many of which are available for use by events organisers.

The garden to the rear of the House has been laid out as a 17th century Gentlemen's Garden.

History of Stuart House

Stuart House was first built at the end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th century. The two granite arches which formed the end of the cross-passage of this traditionally built long-house, date it to that period. However its main phase of development was in the first half of the 17th century, when the Jane family owned it. The double gabled wing to the east and the three storey porch were added. The large granite fireplace in the hall is of a 16th century style but may date to the 17th century. The the oak panelling in the hall is also 17th century.

In August 1644, when the Civil War was raging and Joseph Jane, Mayor and MP for Liskeard, had joined the royal side, King Charles brought his army into Cornwall in pursuit of the Earl of Essex Parliamentary army. He crossed the Tamar near Launceston and slept at Trecarrel. The next day he came to Liskeard and stayed for four nights at 'Mr. Jane's house'. After some nights in the open, sleeping in his carriage near West Taphouse, he returned to the house for a night before going back into Devon.

King Charles had won this campaign but lost the war the following year. Joseph Jane stayed loyal to the king and went into exile and thus forfeited his estates which passed into Parliamentary hands.

In the 1740's, the house gained its fine staircase and in the early 19th century the top floor on the north side was added. The house also had a two storey extension to the south and a single storey one to the east, opening off the hall. Both are shown on maps of the late 19th century but when added and when demolished is not clear.

Dr.Hammond, a local physician, owned the house in the 1880's which is the reason our Reception room is named "The Surgery".

In the 20th century the house changed ownership several times before being bought by the Trust in 1988. We are uncertain as to when the house got its name. It may be a 19th or 20th century one, referring to King Charles' visit, or it is just possible that it is much older and was 'Steward's house'. The thought behind this is that the house was built just as the castle in the town was falling into ruin and the castle had been the home of the Duchy of Cornwall Steward.

Stuart House Trust

Stuart House Trust was set up in 1985 to purchase and restore the 16th century house. The house has been occupied and altered over a period of four centuries but by the mid 1980's was in a poor state of repair. Funds became available to purchase the house in 1989 and a programme of restoration work began. Fourteen years, and some £150,000 later, the work of restoration was completed. The building is now structurally sound and the rooms have been decorated and furnished. As a concession to modern creature comforts central heating has been fitted throughout. The garden has also been restored in accordance with historic guidelines. Designed by Nigel Matthews of Cornwall Gardens Trust, as a 17th century, gentleman's garden, the work was carried out by trust members and other volunteers. On 6th June 2002, during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee year, Prince Charles visited Liskeard and the Trust was honoured that he included Stuart House in his schedule.


On the main street through town, next-door the the library.

Opening Times

Monday to Friday 10.00am - 3.30pm
Saturdays 10.00am - 12.30pm

Admission Free

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