The Carpenter's Shop

Coombe, Morwenstow, Cornwall

Overview

The Carpenter's Shop sits in Coombe, a hamlet at the forgotten junction of two wooded valleys in North Cornwall and just half a mile from the sea at Duckpool. Once the workshop for the Tape family, this Landmark has been restored and converted to make a perfect base to explore the West Country.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • MicrowaveMicrowave

Beds 1 Twin, 1 Double

Sleeps
4
4 nights from
£347 equivalent to £21.69 per person, per night

From workshop to popular Landmark

Whilst the first reference to Coombe dates back to 1520, the local area was lived in long before this. The Carpenter's Shop was initially a workshop for the Tape family, who lived in Coombe for generations, the last leaving in 1968. It is likely that the family were able to build the workshop because they worked on the nearby Stowe estate. Its roughly dressed stone, flat brick arches, vertical bars and overlapping glass are typical of early 19th century workshops and industrial buildings. The restoration process meant we could retain the building's simple character yet also create a comfortable and practical Landmark.

Coombe Hamlet

The doors of the Carpenter's Shop open out to an old orchard which leads down to the pretty stream running through Coombe. There are a watermill and several other Landmarks nearby. The parish lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which has a diverse range of places to see and things to do. There are walks and surfing along the beaches at Duckpool and Sandymouth respectively. The surrounding area is steeped in mystery and local folklore whilst nearby Tintagel Castle reputedly to be the birthplace of King Arthur.

All of the properties are available to rent either individually or in any combination and we find that many family groups return year after year.

See all our Landmarks at Coombe

Floor Plan

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Map & local info

The Carpenter's Shop opens out onto an old orchard which leads down to the shallow stream that winds through Coombe. The area surrounding Coombe is full of places to see and things to do. Cornwall boasts some of the finest beaches in the country and the sea at Duckpool is a short walk away from this small hamlet. Sandymouth Beach  is just a 20 minute drive from Coombe and surfing is a great way to experience the coastline. Bude Sea Pool offers a more relaxing way to enjoy the water. 

Boscastle Village  is perfect for an afternoon out in a beautiful coastal setting. Tintagel Castle is reputedly the birthplace of King Arthur and offers a magical visit in this rugged coastal location with dramatic sea views. 

Nearby museums and galleries include Hartland Abbey and Gardens (13 miles) and the Burton Art Gallery and Museum (23 miles), which houses the collections of Hubert Coop.

For more ideas and information on things to see and do during your stay at The Carpenter's Shop, take a look at our Chapel Cottage Pinterest page.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

See all our Landmarks at Coombe

Clear directions
FAQs
What you need to know about this building
  • Yes.
  • Via a short track from the main road.
  • Exeter – 55 miles.
  • Yes, there is one parking space adjacent to the property.
  • There are Rointe heaters and an open fire. Fuel for the fire can be purchased from the local garages.
  • Fuel for the fire/stove can be purchased from local shops and service stations.
  • When Jen, our head of finance, stayed in May 2021 she told us that there is "zero 4G mobile reception anywhere on the site. You can get an OK signal from Duckpool Cove, which is a 10min walk from the the Carpenter's Shop".  To check up-to-date mobile network coverage in the area, visit signalchecker.co.uk. Due to the location and structure of many of our buildings, signal strength may differ to those indicated.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is an electric cooker, dishwasher and a microwave.
  • There is one bathroom with a bath and a cloakroom with a wc.
  • The stairs are steep, narrow and spiral.
  • There is an enclosed garden at the front. There are also open grounds and unfenced streams which can flow quite fast during heavy rainfall.
Booking and Payment
  • If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • The key arrangements will be included in the Further Infomation document which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • If your stay starts more than two months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy and The Bunk House at Llwyn Celyn must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • Our housekeeper will leave the key in a suitable place, the details of which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
Staying at a Landmark
  • Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.  Further information on access when visiting Lundy can also be found here.
  • Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visiting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).
  • Landmark’s electrical systems have not been designed to provide continuous power from one socket over several hours.  If an ordinary socket is used to charge an electric vehicle, there is significant risk of an electrical fire and consequent danger to life.  Therefore, we are unable to allow electric vehicle charging from most of our Landmarks at present.

    We are working to provide Type 2 Electric Vehicle charge points at our properties where there is private parking.  Where this is available, please request this facility when booking the property to ensure the outlet is enabled on your arrival.  There is a small charge to cover the cost of electricity provided.  Please book this facility in advance.
  • No, we do not allow smoking in any Landmark.
Facilities
  • Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. Hairdryers are provided.
History

Standing on land belonging to John Tape

This appears on the 1840 tithe map as standing on land belonging to John Tape, a carpenter then living in Ford Cottage (Tapes lived in Coombe for generations, the last only leaving in 1968). Its roughly dressed stone and flat brick arches are typical of the early 19th century. The windows, with vertical bars and overlapping glass, are of the kind found in many workshops and industrial buildings.

The first known reference to Coombe is in 1520, but the mile of sheltered valley running inland from Duckpool has been lived in continuously from very early times. A decayed earthwork in Stowe Woods at the head of the valley is an Iron Age fort and the hidden site of the hamlet is typical of ancient habitations in Cornwall. Although the earliest of the existing houses date only from the 17th century, they are likely to stand on older sites. The hamlet stands lies on the southern edge of the parish of Morwenstow. It was until recently divided between two landowners. The land west of the stream belonged from the 1540s until 1922 to the Duchy of Cornwall, as part of the manor of Eastway. The land east of the stream was originally part of the manor of Northleigh, or Lee, which until the Elizabethan period was owned by the Coplestone family, but soon afterwards passed to the Grenvilles of Stowe on the hillside above. It remained part of the Stowe estate until 1949.

Coombe is listed as one of the ‘principal villages’ of the parish of Morwenstow by Daniel Lysons in Magna Britannia Vol. III, published in 1814. This makes it sound quite big and indeed it was once much larger: in the middle of the 19th century there were between twelve and fifteen households here, but by 1891 these had shrunk to just three. By the beginning of the 20th century Coombe had become a favourite stopping place for walkers, gaining a mention in most Cornish guidebooks from the 1890s onwards. Official recognition of its landscape came in 1930 when the Council for the Protection of Rural England recommended that the whole Coombe Valley, along with the coastal path, should be preserved as a place of outstanding natural beauty. It was another thirty years before this hope was realised, but in 1960 the National Trust acquired the first of several holdings, on the south side of the valley. Between 1966 and 1969, the hamlet itself was bought by the Landmark Trust, as part of a joint scheme with the National Trust to preserve it and its exceptional setting. 

To read the full history album for The Carpenter's Shop please click here.

To download the children's Explorer pack for The Carpenter's Shop please click here.

Restoration

Landmark and Coombe

When the Landmark Trust was founded in 1965, some notable buildings, were known to the trustees as being in need of rescue. But they were also keen to take on humble buildings in beautiful surroundings, and thus protect places, as well as architecture, from careless alteration or development. The National Trust had already suggested the Coombe Valley as a place where a joint project would be desirable, but could not afford to take on and repair the buildings.  

Coombe was just what the Landmark trustees were looking for.

The Carpenter's Shop

Unlike the mill with all its machinery, The Carpenter's Shop was  just an empty structure and was therefore a good candidate for conversion.  

Paul Pearn, our architect, wrote of his proposals, all of which were followed:    

"I have tried to retain the functional industrial character of the elevations - you will see that the existing type of window [the big workshop windows with their overlapping glass] is suggested and that the opening sashes would be similar to those now installed. Unfortunately the majority of the frames will have to be replaced because the wood is rotten but I have told the builders that when the time comes to work on the building, the existing windows must be copied."

The same approach was taken to the arrangement of the interior: by tucking the bedrooms at either end, reached by a new cast iron spiral stair and a gallery, it was possible to keep something of the feeling of space which the old workshop had.

Work started in 1968 and was finished in 1969. The roof, which had originally been slate but had been repaired with corrugated iron, was now re-done in slate. The bargeboards and fascias, and doors, were painted the rusty colour found on the old doors, painted with red lead or iron oxide. The main door opened onto the road, which would have made the living room both awkward and draughty, with the back door opposite.  So it was blocked  with old bricks salvaged from Dunsland, near Holsworthy, a manor house with Jacobean and Restoration plasterwork which was tragically burnt down while work at Coombe was in progress. A door from the orchard as anyway safer and more private, so the small addition was made at the north end, to double as porch and bathroom. In the main room, the old forge provided a fireplace.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.