February 20, 2019

Quay House - The St Ives House Everyone Dreams Of Living In!

I think nearly everyone who has been to St Ives has had a little fantasy about living in Quay House. It is the big house in the corner of the harbour by Smeaton's Pier with palm trees and a garden overlooking the beach. It sits on what is known as Carnsew Rock and often looks like it glows in the St Ives light.

Quay House History

The original building dates back to the 2nd half of the 18th century. It was originally one building, possibly an inn, possibly used by smugglers, although not surprisingly there is no firm evidence for this!

In 1837 it was converted in 3 dwellings and 3 fisheries. The ownership then passed through several owners whilst the buildings were presumably rented out to locals.

In 1905 it was bought by the artist John Mallard Bromley (1858 - 1939) who had moved to St Ives from London in 1897. He married Penzance born artist Selena Wing in 1899 and they moved into Quay House. We believe it was the Bromleys who converted it into one big house. John died in 1939 and Selina in 1940 and the house was then sold on.

Who Owns Quay House Now?

It has had several more owners or trustees until in 1989 it was bought by Michael and Gillian Bailey. We think it was then sold on but I'm not clear on this information. There are rumours that it is owned by

a) an American couple

b) someone in the music business (possibly a conductor or musician of a major UK orchestra)

c) barristers/solicitors/architects from London.

d) there is a rumour that David Bowie used to own it/once stayed in it/never knew anything about it.

All we do know is it is a private house and is sadly not available to rent - or buy!

Quay House Quirks

The structure at the front of the house on the beach looks like an old fireplace. Rumours are that it was an old smugglers run, a cellar for keeping fish and nets. But actually it is a little less romantic. It is part of an old adit that was used to redirect the water from The Stennack onto the beach when the sand built up too high. This became redundant when the arches were built on Smeaton's Pier.

If you look carefully, there is the most beautiful stained glass window. When the owners are in and put the lights on at night it shines out.

I am slightly in love with their front door. It is accessed off Quay Street and is rather beautiful!

And that the funny little hobbit cupboard door in the side of the wall is something to do with an indoor swimming pool. Swanky!

If anyone knows any other details, rumours, tall tales or otherwise, do share them with us!



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Things To Do In Cornwall

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall May 2019
Things To Do In & Around St Ives Cornwall - May 2019

May 01, 2019

Find lots of wonderful things to do, see and get involved with in and around St Ives Cornwall. From farmers' markets to fairs, fun runs to fun dog days.

Continue Reading

Things To Do This Easter In West Cornwall 2019
34 Egg-citing Things To Do This Easter In West Cornwall - Easter 2019

March 28, 2019

Discover some wonderful things to do over the Easter holidays in West Cornwall. From Easter Egg Hunts to foraging, beach cleans, storytelling, theatre, cinema, art workshops and more.

Continue Reading

Things To Do In St Ives Cornwall April 2019 Easter
300+ Amazing Events Happening In & Around St Ives Cornwall - April 2019

March 28, 2019

There is so much going on in and around St Ives this April (2019). From beach cleans to live music, theatre, art exhibitions and storytelling. Find out what is happening in St Ives during April 2019.

Continue Reading

Back To The Top