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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

HISTORY & HOSPITALITY AT CHAPEL HOUSE PENZANCE

By Tara | Penzance, Cornwall

Penzance’s centuries-long history acts as a gateway to all the storybook greats. Looking out over the south-facing shores of Mounts Bay, Penzance will catalyze your fantasies of pirates and seafaring adventures.

There seem to be multiple layers to Penzance, each street telling its own chapter of the fishing port’s history. Beautiful Georgian architecture archives a distinctive elegance of past times and the Victorian promenade reawakens the soul of a thriving maritime industry. Today, it’s a major holiday destination. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, charming fishing villages, and stunning landscapes, Penzance offers a look at some of the region’s rich history and heritage. But if you want the right dose of past and present, check yourself into Chapel House, an award-winning B&B along Penzance’s most historic street.

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

Originally built in 1790 for Admiral Samuel Hood Linzee, Chapel House certainly acts as a history lesson to Penzance itself. During its more than 200 years of history, the beautiful townhouse has been a family home, a shelter for WWII evacuees, a lodging house, and the Penzance Arts Club. By 2012, it suffered from neglect and was in some serious need of attention. Enter Susan Stuart, the visionary who brought Chapel House back to life. 

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

Today, Susan extends a very warm welcome to visitors, while offering tribute to the building’s legacy. With an ‘open house’ concept, Chapel House’s charming informality transforms the usual B&B experience into more of a house party mood. Guests are free to wander the whitewashed hallways, exploring the light-filled rooms, all featuring the perfect blend of minimalist design and Georgian features. The simple decor and backdrop of blue and grey hues remind guests that they are only a stone’s throw away from the sea. In addition to 6 bedrooms (and 2 suites), there’s also an elegant drawing room with a piano, an open kitchen, and an eating area where guests are provided locally sourced home-cooked meals.

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

No detail is overlooked and each room is unique in its own way. All rooms have sea views, and some offer impressive views over Penzance Harbour towards St Michaels Mount. Perhaps the best part about Chapel House is its prominent position, situated not only on Penzance’s most picturesque street but ideally located for exploring some of West Cornwall’s best attractions.

5 IDEAS FOR YOUR TRIP TO PENZANCE

From history and heritage to gardens, galleries, and museums, there’s plenty to explore. 

  1. Jubilee Pool – Cornwall’s celebrated Art Deco seawater lido from 1935. It’s been described as the most unusual and pleasingly designed lidos of the era. Today, it is open to the public and is geothermally heated.
  2. Newlyn Art Exchange – situated in the center of town, The Exchange offers wide and varied seasonal contemporary art exhibitions. 
  3. Tremenheere Sculpture Garden – a beautiful sheltered valley featuring woods, streams, and dramatic vistas. There is also an evolving program of high-quality contemporary art installations.
  4. St. Michaels Mount – the most famous of Cornwall’s landmarks, steeped in myth, legend, and folklore. St Michaels Mount is a tidal island, which you can reach by crossing the cobbled causeway or hopping aboard a boat.
  5. Minack Theatre – a unique world-famous open-air theatre perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic ocean.

As far as food, there’s a good variety to choose from. Dine at a Michelin style restaurant such as The Shore or The Tolcarne Inn, or taste the best fish n’ chips you’ve ever had at Fraser’s.

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

From a building in disrepair to an award-winning B&B, Chapel House is most definitely a triumph of restoration. Its history and hospitality are reason enough to visit Penzance.

For more information about booking your stay at Chapel House, click here.

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Photo by Lizzie Churchill

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Post Credits

Photography: Lizzie Churchill
Hosted stay provided by Chapel House and Massey Travel

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