“An environmentally sustainable luxury glampsite”
From the onset of the Estate’s renewal project, energy and utility sustainability was at its heart. The occupation of the historic Fir Hill Estate didn’t survive to be on-grid and the site has never been connected to mains services.
Cornwall’s sunshine made solar energy capture an effective solution to provide the energy needs of a luxury holiday glampsite.
To date we have installed the following sustainable sources:
- 10 solar thermal panels and a Froling turbo log boiler set up to provide all the underfloor heating and hot water. There are 2 thermal stores which store all the hot water generated from the panels.
- 40 ground mounted solar PV panels ready to generate 10kw of power
- A battery storage room which allows us to store the energy that has been generated during the day ready for use in the evening.
- Borehole and spring water supply.
Abandoned and left to nature in the 1940s, invasive plants such as sycamore, laurel and rhododendron proliferated in the Estate’s ornamental gardens and woodland, at the expense of a broader variety of native plant species.
Sadly the orchards were over run and disappeared, but since purchasing the Estate in 2012, Charlie Hoblyn and his team have so far planted over 200 fruit trees (a large number of them local apple and cherry varieties) as well as a broad selection of shrubs and bulbs. The increase in food available to the local wildlife has, in turn, encouraged a broader variety of birds and other animals to move in.
History of the site
The Fir Hill Estate has been owned by the Hoblyn family since the late 16th century when they moved to the area from Liskeard in Cornwall.
“The family of Hoblyn is of considerable antiquity in the County of Cornwall, and is supposed by some to be derived from Belinus, a British chief or king, but the earliest mention of the name met with in the Public Records is in the reign of Edward III, when Robert Herres prosecuted a suit against William Hobelyn, in respect of lands in Cornwall…” The Visitations of the County of Cornwall, Lieutenant-Colonel J.L.Vivian 1887
The family purchased Nanswhyden (on the other side of the valley from the Fir Hill) in 1581, and lived there until the beginning of the 19th century when that part of the Estate was sold following a fire which destroyed Nanswhyden House in 1803.
At that time, the Fir Hill was simply a back driveway!
The Fir Hill was built in 1840 (or thereabouts), but was abandoned some 100 years later. Since this time the house, and various outbuildings, have sadly suffered severe deterioration. At one time the Nanswhyden/Fir Hill Estate comprised some 3000 acres, but today the Fir Hill site consists of just over 60 acres (bought by Charlie Hoblyn in 2012 from the Hoblyn Entailed Trust of 1879).
The Fir Hill Estate captured the nation’s imagination when the BBC broadcast the ‘Curse of Fir Hill Manor’ in 1994. The documentary filmed a local policeman trying to locate John Paget Figg-Hoblyn, the reluctant heir to the Estate, who had refused to accept his inheritance.