Modern-day Makeover Set for Kate Winslet’s Former Retreat

A cliff-top house in North Cornwall once owned by Hollywood star Kate Winslet and later destroyed by fire is be given a modern-day makeover.

Castle Minor, a two-storey property at Tintagel, the fabled castle of King Arthur, dates back to 1899 and was bought by the Oscar-winning actress in 2001 for just £380,000 as a bolt hole for her then husband film director Sam Mendes and their daughter.

But the couple, who are now divorced, never took up residence despite spending tens of thousands of pounds on renovations.

They eventually sold it to an ex-pat living in America for £700,000 though it was left derelict, became a regular haunt for homeless down and outs and was then gutted by fire.

Now, inspired by the myth and folklore of the area, Cornish architects CSA say they have secured planning consent for an unusual new home.

The design will see stone buttresses and a curved Iron Age “keep” at the centre of the house, as well as a moat and drawbridge. The tiered dwelling will be “embedded” into its landscape, a plateau on the hillside off Atlantic Road, giving it a protected feel, architects say.

Justin Dodge, CSA managing director, said the project was a new “landmark” for the Duchy.

“Our innovative design combines the latest technology with an understanding of historic dwellings to communicate the site’s unique history,” he added.

“Hewn out of the landscape, the new house will take a sculptural form which relates to the quarry face and the surrounding landscape.

“Our design draws inspiration from King Arthur’s castle but benefits from modern renewable technologies that make it sustainable.”

When first built, the property, close to King Arthur’s Castle Hotel, boasted of being one of the first in Britain to have electric lighting.

But in recent years it had become a magnet for rough sleepers, who were known to have bedded down in the building at various times.

The redesigned hideaway will be blended into the landscape by a green roof grown from local species of flora.

Work is due to begin on the site later this year.

From: Western Morning News April 15th 2013CASTLE MINOR, TINTAGEL

Read more >