Port Eliot
Port Eliot
Port Eliot is the home of the Eliot family, Earls of St Germans. The house has roots as ancient as the 5th century AD, making it one of the oldest buildings in continuous habitation in the UK. In 430 AD St Germanus of Auxerre founded a church here. That church grew in importance to become a bishop's seat and among the most important monastic sites in the south west. The priory was refounded as an Augustinian monastery in 1161.
The monastery was dissolved by Henry VII in 1539, and parts of the monastic buildings were incorporated into the dwelling house that was built on the site. Port Eliot House was constructed around these medieval and earlier remains, beginning in the early 18th century. Among the surviving medieval features are the undercroft and abbot's lodgings.

The 18th century house was remodelled in 1804, and a service wing was added later in that century. Beside the house is St Germans Priory Church, which originally acted as cathedral to the whole of Cornwall.

The house stands on the Tamar Estuary, with wonderful views across parkland and the estuary itself. The gardens feature camelia, rhodedendrons, and azaleas, and are particularly ebjoyable in Spring, when the early bulbs are in bloom. Among the artwork on display are portraits of family members by Reynolds, Ramsey, and Hoppner.