History of Corisande Manor Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall
When you buy an building like CorisandeManor, in Newquay, Cornwall, that has
been through a number of owners, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction,
but I am attempting to unravel the puzzle and construct the real history of
the building. The 1960
brochure I found is particularly interesting showing that number
of baths per week was limited, and a number of other (by modern standards) strange
- The Name "Corisande"
- Corisande is apparently Norman in origin, meaning "flower
of the heart"
- Henri of Navarre had a mistress called Corisande in France
in the middle ages
- The name is popular in the Philippines today, but not particularly
well known in the Western world
Corisande d'Andoins, égérie d'Henri IV
Corisande, veuve à l'âge de 26 ans, est amie avec Michel
de Montaigne. Dans «Ses Essais », celui-ci dédicace
et insère 29 sonnets de La Boétie à l'attention de
la comtesse de Guissen, qu'il appelle « cette grande Corisande ».
Mais l'histoire retiendra essentiellement la longue liaison de Corisande
avec Henri IV. Elle fut très mouvementée ; elle joua auprès
de lui un rôle de premier plan. Dans ses trajets Bidache / Bayonne
Corisande traversa Guiche à plusieurs reprises (la Bidouze et l'Adour
étaient les seules voies empruntées à cette époque).
(R. Ritter - Corisande d'Andoins)
In 1587, Henry IV's mistress, Corisande, was reproached by Monsieur de
Bellieure Chancellor to Mari de Nedici, for attending church in the company
of "a fool, a monkey and a Barbet". Though his comments had
political overtones the mention of the Barbet has it's own significance.
We see the Barbet was a hunting dog with a difference.
- The house appears to have been built around 1895 by a Austrian
(or German). The architecture is certainly German gothic "castle on the
Rhine". The original owner, I believe, owned it till 1914. The story
is that the building was named after a ship that the original owner sailed
- The rates in 1912 were paid by a Dr Seonee as owner/occupier
- It would then appear that the Austrian owner had to sell
in 1914 because of the anti-German feeling whipped up as a result of World
- It was bought in 1914 or 1915 by Thomas Edward Grindon. He apparently
bought it to make it into a hotel, but never achieved this ambition. He
paid £1000 for the property and spent £900 on making changes to it. He built
the tennis court in 1917, but was ripped off by the local builders(plus
ca change!). He was 30 when he was conscripted in 1917, and died in France
soon afterwards at Ypres in September 1917. His widow was left penniless
and had to sell the place.
- Corisande was then bought by a Mrs Valentine for £900 in
- There is then a blank period historically till the first
hotel visitors book has its first entry in May 1934. It would appear that
work went on over the next few years making the building into a guest house,
including partitioning the larger bedrooms into smaller rooms to pack the
visitors in. We knocked these partitions out in January 1999 and discovered
builders graffiti dated Nov 1937 for their construction.
- Again it is a little unclear exactly what the building
was used for during World War II, conflicting tales exist as it being
used either for family holidays or as a hospital
- After the war it was owned by "Seaside &
Countryside - S & C Corisande" whose other hotel property was Fairfield
House, Dawlish in Devon.
"S&C" also owned Fairfield
House in Dawlish. I gather this was the "Country" to Corisande
being the "Sea" of the company name.
- A Major Critchley apparently bought it 1960/1961 from
Seaside and Country Guest Houses Ltd. Mr Critchley had been holidaying
at Corisande on a number of occasions, and discovered that it was
going to be demolished. It is believed that the Critchleys ran it until
bought by the Painters around 1968.
- David & Anne Painter ran Corisande from 1968. I am
unclear if he bought it, or whether he was given it by his father. The
hotel followed the Newquay hotel market downwards, little was spent on
maintenance, and it was only open from May to October for the "season"
- We bought the manor in September 1996, and have been
restoring it to its original condition, by removing the partition walls
put up to sub divide walls, reclaim the garden, replace the decayed balcony,
- The ship "The
- Given that there was verbal evidence that the original owner
had called the building Corisande after a ship, I started to look for clues.
- I came across a link on the Internet to a "Corisande"
built in Devon that was wrecked off Newfoundland in the 1890's. A man called
Bartlett, who later commanded Peary's ship that took him on the expedition
to the North Pole, was aboard this Corisande, as a junior officer, the night
she was wrecked. However a trawling through Canadian records shows that the
ship wrecked off Newfoundland, was unequivocally built in Newfoundland.
- However I then came across a print at the UK maritime museum
of a UK built Corisande of the same period, and have now a copy of that print.
I am trying to find out if this is the boat that was built in Devon
- Old Hotel Brochures
- I came across a couple of old hotel brochures that you may
- Brochure from 1960,
Major Critchley limited guests to one hot bath a week, you had to make your
own bed, and you had to agree to take two full day excursions per week.
- Brochure from 1995,
the last year that the Painters were here
And finally, if you can add
to the history of Corisande, then please e-mail me
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