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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1141200



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Isles of Scilly

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Tresco

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 12-Feb-1975

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 62555

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



SV8914 Tresco Abbey 1358-0/7/120 12/02/75


Country house. Mostly of 1843 and 1861, with tower of 1891, for Augustus Smith and Thomas Algernon Dorrien Smith. Roughly coursed granite with ashlar dressings; slate roofs and granite ashlar stacks. Complex evolved plan: main square block with east tower, to east of west wing and south-west wing. 2 and 3 storeys. North elevation has 3-storey entrance bay between main block and west wing, with monogram AS and date 1843 over chamfered 4-centred arched doorway; this is flanked by a slender 3-storey tower with small windows, corbelled-out parapet and pyramidal roof and a canted 3-storey bay to left with a similar corbelled parapet; chamfered surrounds to entrance bay and canted bay 2-light mullioned windows; oriel window of 1851 further to right. Courtyard to rear has corbelled lintels over doorway and 2/2-pane sashes to 3-storey left-hand (east) elevation which has canted bay brought forward to rear (south) with 4-light mullioned window set in corbelled parapet above recessed bay with monogram AS and date 1861 and 2-light chamfered mullioned window set above 4-centred arched doorway; similar windows to continuation of range (south-west wing) flanking south side of courtyard. South-west range has glazing-bar sashes set in corbelled-out parapet and large mullioned plate-glass windows to south-east elevation. Main range has 2-storey 5-bay south-facing elevation with flanking projecting gables of different sizes flanking bay to centre with mullioned plate-glass windows and corbelled lintels over casement windows; similar windows to other elevations; 4-storey east tower has corbelled lintels over mullioned windows and corbelled-out parapet. Interior: stone flag floors, granite chimneypieces and panelled doors in chamfered architraves. Other features include stick-baluster staircase. Dining Room, mostly completed by 1864, has canted roof with timber muntins and rails, chamfered pointed arches to cast-iron stove and Chinese wallpapers brought to England by Augustus's grandfather, Samuel Smith, a merchant with connections in the Orient. Doorway to Library with similar canted roof and wallpapers which leads to small picture gallery with maps fixed to walls and sitting room with Italianate pastoral scenes set in architraves. Panelled ground-floor room with granite chimneypiece in tower. Overlooks the tropical gardens created by Augustus Smith and Thomas Algernon Dorrien Smith, Lord Proprietors of the Scilly Isles. Considerable poverty was prevalent on the islands before the arrival of the Smiths in 1834. Augustus Smith made education compulsory, built churches and other buildings and increased the prosperity of the islands through the improvement of agriculture and commerce, principally the introduction of the flower industry. Augustus was succeeded by his nephew Thomas Algernon, who continued his work especially in the flower industry. He was also an amateur architect who was responsible for the church on Tresco (q.v.) and the Post Office in Hugh Town (q.v.). (Buildings of England: Pevsner, N and Ratcliffe, E: Cornwall: London: 1951-1970: 210; P Laws: The Buildings of Scilly: Redruth: 1980-: 14).

Listing NGR: SV8952514280

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Laws, P, The Buildings of Scilly, (1980), 14
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Cornwall, (1951), 210
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds, (1970), 210
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 8 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly,

National Grid Reference: SV 89525 14280


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