This book has been long in the making even though more has been left out than included. It describes the people and events that made Lanhydrock more than a country house, or left it on the brink of abandonment and demolition. From the harsh world of the 16th century Cornish tin industry to the luxuries of Regency London; from the stillness of the Long Gallery to the cacophony of war; from the quest for scientific truths to the calm recital of morning prayers; from confidence in the future to fear for the family’s continuance, this book tries to bring three centuries of relentless change close to the reader.
Yet, through all the twists and turns of fortune, the family, in its carious guises, remained steadfast in its support for religious tolerance, for political and economic freedom. The overriding aim of the authors was to make the long and fascinating history of Lanhydrock live through its own fabric, books, archives and artifacts.
Over 600 books in the Gallery bear the signatures and scribbled annotations of just two men – John Lord Robartes and his early mentor, Hannibal Gamon. From these fragments and from countless others in letters, accounts, ledgers, diaries, wills, photos and journals in the House, in libraries, Record Offices and on the Internet, the thoughts, hopes and concerns of people long dead are revealed, in many cases for the first time.
Lanhydrock is a very special place with a long history made by complex and fascinating characters and events. If you listen hard you can almost hear the ticking of time.