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Palace’s decay ‘astonishing’

This is what it used to look like. You wouldn't want to see it now

As it was in the 1990s

The Old Bishop's Palace at St Columb Major in Cornwall, at one point owned by jailed property tycoon James Brown, has fallen ceilings, water ingress and is at risk from vandals and arsonists. 

The Society is now calling for urgent action from Cornwall Council to ensure that the important Grade II* building simply lasts through the winter.


According to Chris Costelloe, Director of the Society, 'It was clear before the owner was sent to prison that the building was deteriorating. Now we know just how fast.'

'There's only so much damage a building can take from the elements - assuming vandals don't join in the destruction, which is an all too common occurrence.'

'This is one of the nation's gothic gems from one of the 19th century's greatest architects. Every part was designed with exceptional attention to detail, down to the furniture and the catches for the windows and doors. Up till the 1990s it was perfectly preserved, making the Palace one of the nation's most picturesque and memorable houses. It is quite astonishing how quickly it has decayed.'

Chris adds, 'We know the council is concerned. They need to carry out works to ensure that the building is weathertight over winter, as they move to compulsorily purchase it as soon as possible.'

'Saving the Palace in time could be Cornwall's - and the nation's - best Christmas present to itself.'

The Palace was one of the Victorian Society's Top Ten most endangered buildings in 2011.

Thursday 29 November, 2012

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