Silvanus Trevail bigraphy, stories - British architect

Silvanus Trevail : biography

1851 - 1903

Silvanus Trevail (1851–1903) was a British architect, and the most prominent Cornish architect of the 19th century.

Early life

Trevail was born at Carne Farm, Trethurgy in the parish of Luxulyan, Cornwall on 11 November 1851. Best, R. S. The life and good works of John Passmore Edwards, with an appendix on the architect Silvanus Trevail, who designed nine Passmore Edwards buildings (pp.47-48). Dyllansow Truran (1982) ISBN 0-907566-18-9.


Many of his structures structures. Among his noted surviving buildings is the Hospital of St Lawrence, Bodmin, which as of June 2013 is scheduled for demolition by its owners, Community First Cornwall.Private Eye, No.1343, p.14


His success however, did not bring him happiness. Trevail had a history of depression and had been unwell for some time before committing suicide. On 7 November 1903 he shot himself in the lavatory of a train as it entered Brownqueen Tunnel a short distance from Bodmin Road railway station.


Trevail rose to become Mayor of Truro and, nationally, President of the architects' professional body, the Society of Architects.

Temple Church in 1883]] He was Cornwall's most famous architect, certainly of the 19th century. Following the Education Act of 1870 which created Board Schools, Trevail designed around fifty such schools throughout the county. He also designed hotels including the Headland Hotel, Newquay, Carbis Bay Hotel in Carbis Bay, and restored the church at Temple. He was said to be a man ahead of his time, a campaigner for sanitation improvements and an entrepreneur.

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Living octopus

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