Thatched Cottages of Newlyn
Map showing thatched cottages remembered by Mr. Joseph Marrack Harvey in 1944/
Click on all pictures to see larger versions.
Last Thatched Cottage in Newlyn
on Church Lane
When William Henry Mann saw his house on fire at Newlyn in the early part of 1938 it was a matter of supreme concern to him and to his grand-daughter who lived with him. The fire was not without a more general significance, for it robbed Newlyn of the last of its thatched cottages which at one time were many. The cottage stood in Church Lane, now known as Gwavas Lane, between Church Street and Boase street almost opposite the present day Primitive Methodist Church.
vine and the geraniums flourished before its white washed walls
adding to its charm. Stanhope Forbes’s picture
“The Evening Hour”, painted some years earlier, shows the road at
this spot looking downhill towards the top of Trewarveneth Street.
It preserves on canvas a record of four similar
thatched cottages which then stood
opposite but which were pulled down to make room for the building of the
'Prims' in 1927 . "Willum 'Enry's" cottage is not entirely omitted; it just
appears on the extreme right as a subordinate but very useful part of the
composition the portion of its thatched roof being particularly effective.
John J Beckerlegg had a conversation with his father-in-law, Joseph Marrack Harvey, in August 1944. Joseph M. Harvey was born in 1859 and was a native of Newlyn. It occurred to John Beckerlegg that he should try and find out how many other thatched cottages in Newlyn his father-in-law could remember. Joseph confined his recollections to the cottages in the area of Newlyn Town, as in his early days Street-an-Nowan was a separate community and had not made the same impression on his memory. John J. Beckerlegg acted simply as recorder. He thought there might have been a dozen or so but he was astonished to find that his father-in-law had personal recollections of no fewer than 64 thatched cottages in Newlyn Town alone. So in the lifetime of this 85 year old man 64 of the thatched cottages of Newlyn had gone forever.
The diagram above shows the position of each marked with a black rectangle. To show the main area on as big a scale as possible, the road from the foot of Bowgey Hill (A in diagram ) towards Mousehole has been omitted from its correct position. It has been included in the top left-hand corner to the same scale but defined by dotted lines with the thatched cottages marked by cross hatching.
Source 'The Old Cornwall Magazine' 1944.