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Part of the Acorn Archive


Penzance, Cornwall

Architecture and Heritage


Oliver Caldwell - Architect


Oliver Caldwell FRIBA, b 1860, was an architect and surveyor of Penzance for 30 years.

He lived at Nr 4, Morrab Terrace and later at Elmsdale, Alexandra Road.


James Caldwell mayor of Penzance ( 1891 ) was a brother of his.


Oliver Caldwell’s first scheme was begun in 1880,

and was one which brought him more difficulties than he had envisaged.


1880 saw start of the development of streets, which resulted from the sale of the

gardens and agricultural fields of Leskinnick House.


The area is known as "The Battlefield" owing to a legal battle between the builders and Mr Rodd,

who objected to having the houses built so close to his large house,

next to the Roman Catholic Church , hence the delay of ten years after commencement.



St Francis Street 1880; St Philip Street 1891;

St Dominic Street 1893; St Warren Street 1895


The streets were named after Saint's names and names of the builders,

St Mary, St Dominic, St Michael, St Philip, St Warren & St Henry.

Also two names with historic significance in the area of Penzance – Penlee & Gwavas.

Warren Middleton was a convert of Canon Shortland of the Catholic Church in Penzance.

As a priest of the diocese he served in a number of places including Par,

but is best known for founding the Bideford Mission

and he was connected with the building of the houses.


Oliver Caldwell’s  work on the “battlefield” gained him

the respect of others in the town.




Page 1

26 and 27, Market Place  1884; Number 26 was later demolished for Burtons to be built.

Sea Water Public Baths, Promenade  1887 [demolished 1935]

Lariggan Bolitho Convalescent Home  1889

Parade Street Methodist Church  1889


Page 2

Roman Catholic School  1892 - St Mary's Street

New School off Alexandra Road 1894

Penzance Club ( bottom of Alexandra Road )  1895

Trevayler Estate Repairs 1896

Camborne Post Office 1899  Page 2a

Gulval Water Supply – Reservoir 1900

Trehurst Villa  1902

Penberthy Croft – St Hilary 1903

Towednack School – Survey report 1903


Page 3

Public Benefit Boot Company ( became Lennards and now Threshers )  1905

Richard Foster Bolitho Almshouses  1905


Page 4

Riviera Palace Hotel ( St Clare Girl's School )  1906

St Erth Methodist Church raising of the roof and  new 'Gothicised' windows 1906

The Firs, King's Road  1907

The Sycamores  1908

He worked on the Girl's County School, with Sampson Hill [architect of the Boy’s County Schoo] .

Pendarves Villa  1911 (Tolver Place, Pendarves Rd)


Page 5

The Sailor's Institute  1916

Morrab Road houses

Alexandra Road houses

Elmsdale, Alexandra Road – his last home.

The Gas Board Office, 94 Market Jew Street Penzance




Raymond Forward