Records of the Cornish Estate of the Earl of Kimberley

Item date: 18th-19th centuries
Grant Value: £1,000
Item cost: £500
Item date acquired: 2019
Item institution: Cornwall Record Office - Kresen Kernow
Town/City: Redruth
County: Cornwall

In the latter part of the year 2019 the Cornwall Archives and Cornish Studies Service (Kresen Kernow) was offered, by private treaty, a number of archival items relating to the Cornish estate of the Earl of Kimberley in the Falmouth area. These consisted of:

  1. A large folio folder containing 50 inch to the mile Ordnance Survey maps of the town of Falmouth, formerly the property of the Earl of Kimberley, including nine large-scale 1878 maps of the Falmouth estate and a smaller scale map of the Falmouth area.
  2. A vellum bound survey of the estates of the Earl of Kimberley dating from 1688-1730 detailing leases of property and tenement details for the Manors of Arwenack, Mylor, Tregenvor, Trevethan, Trescobeas, Prisloe and Tregoniggy, compiled around 1737.
  3. A manuscript rental and toll list for the Manor of Arwenack dated 1741.
  4. A manuscript account book for the Manor of Arwenack dating from 1740-1741 with numerous entries and accounts, including tolls for the Falmouth markets.
  5. A 1772 lease for a house in Falmouth.
  6. A 1792 valuation for the estate of the Earl of Kimberley covering Falmouth with the Manors of Arwenack and Mylor.
  7. A handwritten summary valuation of the Earl of Kimberley’s Falmouth estate, dated 1800.
  8. A 1954 typed specification for work to be done in the conversion of Arwenack Manor at Falmouth. 

Kresen Kernow already held a large archive of the Kimberley estate, deposited at various times between 1972-2012 and the above items could be traced historically to the Kimberley estate archives held at Arwenack House in Falmouth from published documentary sources dating back to the end of the 19th century. They were escapees from that archive, broken up in the early 1970s and complemented the existing Kimberley collection already in its custody.

The 1737 survey book was particularly important historically for an understanding of the nature and extent of the early Kimberley Falmouth estate. The Earl’s family had sold off some of the items privately at auction, not realising their archival significance, and these were then dispersed into private hands. The 2019 vendor of the items had, through excellent detective work, tracked them down from those purchasers and re-purchased them himself and wished to offer them to Kresen Kernow so that they could be in the public domain in perpetuity and re-join the rest of the deposited Kimberley collection. The items were all in good condition and were offered to Kresen Kernow for a sum of £1,000. The documents were placed on temporary loan to Kresen Kernow for assessment and evaluation while the purchase was being negotiated.

Kresen Kernow wishes to express its grateful thanks to the Friends for their generosity, thereby enabling it to re-unite these items with the Kimberley estate archive.