Scorrier House embodies an important period of Cornish history: originally built in 1780 by the mining tycoon John Williams, the Williams family still reside here seven generations later, surrounded by the Scorrier Estate.
The Cornish Williams’ are a well documented family, notably because of their ambitious entrepreneurism during the early industrial revolution when Cornwall’s tin and copper industry prospered. So ambitious, in fact, that John Williams paid his workers in his own currency during a national currency shortage. The Scorrier Penny remains an important symbol of Cornwall’s 18th century mining zenith and many are on display in the Royal Cornwall Museum.
Several important local features are attributed to the Williams family: The Great County Audit and the Portreath Mineral Tramway, circa 1809, the first railway of its kind anywhere in the world. This was Cornish mining in its heyday, a period that has left its relics strewn across the county’s interior. It was also a period that made the Williams family extremely wealthy, allowing them to enlarge Scorrier House and add to its grandeur.
Through their pioneering entrepreneurism, the Williams’s of Scorrier attracted notable visitors from far and wide, including two princes who were later crowned Louis XVIII and Charles X, Kings of France.
In addition to industry, the Williams family are also renowned for their horses: In 1845, Michael Williams rode nonstop from Exeter to Redruth in order to beat the Quicksilver Mail coach, which was carrying news of a massive surge in tin and copper prices. He managed to overtake the coach and bought up all available mineral rights and made a tremendous fortune. More recently, thoroughbred race horses have been bred at Scorrier Stud, including several famous Group 1 winners.
Today the House and Estate accommodates a variety of businesses, but Scorrier House remains a private family home in the hands of Richard and Caroline Williams, their dogs and family.