The mini castle and tower in Newquay is a striking building – now the Newquay Golf Club, but it was originally built as a house. Commanding panoramic views across the golf course to Fistral Beach the views would have been fantastic, yet from the road it was within 200 yards of what was, then, the centre of Newquay.
The mini castle and tower was originally built in 1835 on land that was just known as the field meadow or close to land called or known by the name of “the lookout”. The Tower included the castellated tower as well as a private chapel as the family were devout Roman Catholics.
At this time most of Newquay was being carved up into plots and leased or sold off to raise funds as Richard Lomax was developing the harbour area and needed to raise loans and money, intending Newquay to become the premier north coast port, hence the sudden rush of wealthier people building large houses between what is now The Central Inn and the Red Lion and plots alongside Tower Road. Indeed, The Tower gave its name to the whole road.
The plot was leased and a large house was built on the plot by Mr Gregor, of the Trewarthenick Estate. It has been named The Tower and it can be seen and named as The Tower in early Tithe maps of Newquay. Mr Gregor built it as a holiday home for himself and his family and to rent out to wealthy families as a holiday home.
At this time in Newquay’s history many large houses were being built by wealthy people, to be used as holiday homes.
There is a copy of a letter sent from Gordon Gregor (GWF Booker) to Loveday Sarah Glanville (his wife) saying he’d been intending on staying at The Tower for two days, but had to change his plans due to a sudden death of a friend (Daubuz) and he had to remain at home. [Note: I think the death was their son’s friend and he didn’t want to leave the son at home alone.)
Loveday Sarah Glanville/Gregor was ahead of her time and one of the new breed of aristocratic ladies who didn’t think it beneath them to walk a mile or two simply to take in the air. Walking more than a few steps round a garden, or pleasure garden, was seen as demeaning by many of the older ladies. In 1851 she wrote “The ladies of my generation made no objection to walking [a mile] any more than the present race would do, but active exercise on foot was not then [in her father’s time] considered to being a gentlewoman”. Loveday Sarah Gregor wrote her memoirs in 1851, the manuscript of this is at the National Archives.
Loveday was a member of the Gregor family and had inherited the Trewarthenick Estate in 1825, but it’s all too complicated to go into here!
By the mid 1850s Loveday Sarah Gregor, along with a Mrs Carne, was running a dispensary for the local poor.
In 1854 Loveday made a will, leaving everything she owned in trust for her son Francis Glanville Gregor, who didn’t marry until he was 53 (~1869); he spent his time abroad. There were many debts and taxes once his parents died and a lot of the property holdings had to be sold to settle those. He stayed out of the country mostly, leaving it all for his solicitors to sort out (Hearle-Cock and Parkin).
In 1868 the lease was bought by Sir Paul William Molesworth (1821-1889), who was married to Jane Frances Gregor (daughter of Gordon William Francis Booker Gregor and Loveday Sarah Glanville), sister of Francis Glanville Gregor, so it stayed in the family even though names changed. Sir Paul William Molesworth died at The Tower, aged 68, on 23 December 1889.
In 1906 Dame Jane Frances Molesworth (nee Gregor) sold the The Tower, in consideration of £1,500 advanced and lent to herself, The Tower passed into the hands of Mr John Simmons Tregoning, eventually passing into the hands of the Treffry Estate.
In 1908 the Newquay Golf Club (formed in 1890) took out a new lease from the Treffry Estate and in 1910 the Golf Club bought the freehold of The Tower from the Treffry Estate to use as their Clubhouse.