History of Budock Vean

Budock Vean’s earliest recorded name was Eglos-Budock-Vean, Cornish for 'Little Budock Church'. In Celtic times it was a small religious centre; that is to say at some date prior to 800AD, after which the Saxons began to overwhelm the old Celtic church. It was quite a small religious house – hardly large enough to be really called a monastery, with its own small chapel, its Holy Code and its own burial ground.  It was dedicated to St Budoc, a Breton Saint who eventually became Bishop of Dol.

The site of the old house was behind the swimming pool to the north west of the present building, but no remains exist.  The site is marked by a simple wooden plaque.  Human bones were dug up within the past century from what was once the graveyard.

After the Norman Conquest in 1066 AD Cornwall was divided up between the great Lords and a vast area went to the Bishop of Exeter.  This area, with other places, included the whole of the Roseland peninsula, the present parishes of Falmouth, St Gluvias, Penryn, Mabe, Mawnan and Budock with Manaccan and St Martin on the far side of the Helford River.  Budock Vean was also included, though really in the Parish of Constantine, because it went with the Ferry Rights at Helford Passage.  The Passage was known as Treath on the far bank (Treth i.e. Ferry). The Ferry rights were of great monetary value to the Bishop since all goods etc. passing to and from the Lizard went via the ferry and so tolls were considerable.  Budock Vean was therefore a place of considerable importance.

It is not known exactly when Budock Vean ceased to be a religious establishment and became a small manor, but it must have been at a very early date. In 1538 the property was held jointly by John Penwern, Richard Retyn and John Carne each of whom rendered to the Lord of the Manor at Penryn, 9 pence for a sheep, 2 pence for aid, 1¾ pence in lieu of ploughing and ¾ pence for reaping.

In 1613 Budock Vean passed to the Longfords who were great puritans, so much so that in about 1660 John Langford was intruded into the Benefice of Gwannap – the Royalist Rector having been evicted.  He in turn was thrown out of it after the restoration.  His son Thomas, however, continued to be a violent Puritan and was an ardent supporter of Monmouth at the time of his rebellion.  Orders were issued for Thomas’s arrest, but he appears to have weathered the storm for it is recorded that he was still living at Budock Vean in 1709.

Early in the 18th Century, Budock  Vean passed to the Pender family when a fine house was built.  It was indeed recorded as being the largest house in the Parish. The Penders owned it until after the First World War, when it was sold to the tenant, Mr Dunstan.  He sold part of the estate as building land, while the house and the rest of the property was sold to Mr Taylor, who had intended to convert it into a Country Club.

In 1933 Budock Vean was renovated by the Pilgrim family and it became known as the Manor House Hotel.  In 1937 Budock Vean Manor House Hotel was sold to Mr Whiteside (a Canadian who introduced “Sunpat Peanut Butter” to the UK).  Mr Whiteside extended the Hotel and golf course.  During World War 2 the Hotel was used as an “officers mess room” and dances took place in the ballroom which is now the Helford Lounge.

Mr Whiteside’s two sons took over the Hotel in the early 1950’s.  During the mid 1960’s they added the indoor pool and new wing. In 1987 the Barlow family bought the Hotel and Budock Vean has now been owned by the family for 30 years.

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