Enys is an ancient Celtic word meaning a circle, an island or clearing in the forest so it is possible that the first owners took their name from their land.
The Enys Estate probably first became the home of the Enys family during the life of Robert de Enys. According to a pedigree produced for Samuel Enys (1611-1667) from family deeds, Robert de Enys “began to reign in 1272”. Robert’s granddaughter, Joane, released her rights to land at Enys to her brother, John de Enys (1390), and his heirs in 1363, during the reign of Edward III. This deed is still in the Cornwall Record Office. Enys is also mentioned in a Cornish play taken to Oxford in 1450, when it was among lands given as a reward to the builder of the universe (the manuscript is in the Bodleian Library). The gardens at Enys were noted as one of the earliest in Cornwall and ranked among its greatest, attracting the attention of historians who recognised its progression through the centuries.
Today the Estate consists of just under 1,000 acres of farmland and woodland (165 acres) covering the core area, and some outlying areas. At one time the Enys family owned lands in Camborne, St Agnes and Gerrans and Portscatho, but today the holding of land is much reduced. As well as farm houses, the estate owns a few cottages which would have been let to farm and Estate workers.
When the Estate was last working to capacity, just before the start of World War II, the home farm and gardens employed ten people with further people employed in the house.
The main farm buildings at Enys were commissioned by Francis Enys around 1795. The quadrangle of buildings positioned around an inner courtyard (100 x70ft) included a coach house, granary and stable with facilities for calves, pigeons and carts.
Part of the courtyard was carefully renovated into seven apartments that were completed in 2018. These are now let out on long term contract, as is another cottage within the Gardens.
The aim of the renovations was to create high quality modern living spaces, whilst at the same time keeping some of the original features. You can see some photos of the development below.
A second phase of this project will see the renovations of the last part of the courtyard into a new cafe room and a further two apartments.
As part of the renovation of the courtyard, nine garages were built onsite, which you can spot as you walk down the path from the car park.
The current house is probably the third to stand there. There is no information concerning the original property. The previous house was an Elizabethan or Jacobean E-shaped mansion. You can find out more about the house here.