History of Corisande Manor Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall

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 rules.

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.

Corisande Manor

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 in.
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 War I.
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 1917
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, etc.
The ship "The Corisande"
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 find interesting

And finally, if you can add to the history of Corisande, then please e-mail me

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