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Old Newlyn

The Last Thatched Cottage

Mr William Mann and his grand-daughter outside the cottage during the fire. 

When William Henry Mann saw his house on fire at Newlyn In the early part of 1938 lt was a matter of supreme concern to him and to his grand-daughter who lived with him. But that fire was not without a more general significance, for it robbed Newlyn of the last of its thatched cottages. The cottage stood in Church Lane, which is now known as Gwavas Lane between Church Street and Boase street almost opposite the Centenary Methodist  Church. The, vine and the geraniums which flourished before its white washed walls adding to its charm. Stanhope Forbesís  picture, ďThe Evening HourĒ, painted some years earlier, shows the road at this  spot, and preserves on canvas a record of three similar thatched cottages  which then stood opposite Williams but which were pulled down to make room for the Methodist chapel. But William Henry Mannís 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, Mr. Joseph Marrack Harvey, in August 1944. Mr Harvey was 85 years of age and a native of Newlyn, and 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. They decided to keep to Newlyn Town, as in his early days Street-an-Nowan was a separate community and had not made the same impression on his memory. Beckerlegg acted simply as recorder and draughtsman and thought they should find 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 Newlyn's  thatched cottages had disappeared.

Source The Old Cornwall Magazine 1944.

Old Newlyn

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Revised: January 31, 2002 .