Residents of village ‘untouched by modern world’ fear eviction as it goes on sale for £15m

Residents facing eviction from one of the final coastal communities untouched by second homes have vowed to do “whatever it takes” to stop its sale.

The manor of the historic coastal parish of Trevalga in Cornwall is home to six let farms and 17 other homes.

Trustees have engaged Savills to sell it off for a guide price of £15.75m – leaving the future of those who have lived there for decades uncertain.

But a row has broken out as those living there claim the sale is in breach of the wishes of its former owner Gerald Curgenven, who left it in his will to Marlborough College in 1959 with the instruction to “preserve it” and not break it up.

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And after discovering the listing, residents have accused the trustees of greed and fear their “little piece of timeless paradise” is being broken up for nothing more than profit and have vowed to win the “Battle of Trevalga”.

They described the hamlet, which lies on the north Cornish coast between Boscastle and Tintagel, as a “unique place in Britain that has been left largely untouched by the modern world”.

It doesn’t suffer from any light pollution and has escaped the invasion of second home owners and holiday lets throughout the rest of Cornwall.

Campaign coordinator Serena Patrick, 38, said locals were fighting for more than just their own homes.

“It has not been developed, because of how Gerald Curgenven managed it in his lifetime,” she said.

“And after his death in 1959 it has been almost completely sheltered from the rise of modernism and development that has swept the entire country.

“It is a medieval parish that is largely unchanged – and a living piece of shared history.

“With no street lighting, you can stand in almost complete silence. It is unique. What he tried to do was ensure homes for local people in a beautiful and historic area.

“So what is the point in writing a will if when you die you can just say my wishes don’t matter?

“The trust created to preserve Trevalga has, in our view, now been twisted into a tool to exploit it for nothing more than monetary gain.”

Former owner Gerald Curgenven left the 1,200-acre estate in his will to Marlborough College in 1959 with the instruction to ‘preserve it’ and not break it up

The 1,200-acre estate, which is situated between the villages of Boscastle and Tintagel, includes all the tenanted properties, a mile of coastline and a few small rocky islands.

Currently, houses are rented to locals at reasonable rates, but Savills said in its marketing material new owners may want to pursue the “redevelopment” and “further income generation”.

Curgenven, Lord of The Manor, as his headstone reads, left the entire estate – which he first purchased for £14,000 in 1934 – in a will trust to Marlborough College upon his death. The trust was created so the estate could be preserved and improved “and as far as possible not sold or broken up”.

More than 3,000 people have now signed a petition to try and block the sale.

Trevalga is one of the final Cornish coastal communities untouched by second homes

Artist Peter Pracownik, 70, who has lived at Trevalga Manor for the last 26 years, is among those fearing eviction alongside his wife Nicola Lydon, 44, and his two sons

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