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220628 | Kate Winslet's former Cornwall life in the villages of Angarrack and Tintagel

Kate Winslet's former Cornwall life in the villages of Angarrack and Tintagel

The Titanic and Holiday star fell in love with a Japanese-style pole house near Hayle. She then purchased a property linked to the Camelot Castle Hotel

Kate Winslet used to own two homes in Cornwall
Kate Winslet used to own two homes in Cornwall (Image: GC Images)

“There was a lot of excitement when we heard Kate Winslet was moving in," Rachel Trewartha, who grew up in the west Cornwall village of Angarrack, remembers. "I was seven years old and rollerskated to the house, knocked on the door and asked the lady, ‘Do you know when Kate Winslet is moving in?’ I am Kate Winslet, she said. She was lovely."

It was 1998 and the Hollywood actress - best known for playing in Titanic, The Holiday and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - had purchased her own Cornish retreat in the quiet village located just a mile from Hayle. The property, a Japanese-style home called Pole House cost her and her then husband Jim Threapleton for £200,000.

The very distinctive 1,364sqft house was designed by award-winning local architect Barrie Briscoe, who found Japanese pole houses fascinating and functional. Having the appearance of a giant tree house, Winslet's new holiday home comprised of wooden rooms built around fir poles bolted into slabs of concrete.

The main room had high, vaulted beams and the walls are made of a mixture of birch, pine, American redwood, cedar and Douglas fir sourced from Scandinavia, North America and Britain. The room also had a wood burning stove, slate hearth and chunky kitchen.

The house had two downstairs bedrooms and French doors to the balcony and decking, which ran around the house. On the mezzanine floor above was the main bedroom and bathroom. Estate agent Jackie Stanley from Padstow, who dealt with the sale, said the Finding Neverland star fell in love with the property because of its uniqueness.

Kate Winslet's former house, Pole House, in Angarrack, Cornwall
Kate Winslet's former house, Pole House, in Angarrack, Cornwall (Image: Cornwall Live)

“It is based on an original Japanese design and made of some six to seven different types of wood," she previously said. "Kate Winslet fell in love with it because it was completely unusual and very eco at the time. They enjoyed and used it a lot but she moved on to other things.”

The same year, she purchased another quirky property, this time in Tintagel. Castle Minor, a £380k home located on a cliff, overlooking the sea, was originally built as an engine house to provide power for the now called Camelot Castle Hotel.

Winslet's plan was to head there to escape from her busy schedule and spend some quality time with her husband and their daughter Mia Threapleton. Despite making visits to Castle Minor and spending a hefty some on renovations, she never actually moved in.

Winslet and Threapleton split in 2001 and sold both of their Cornwall homes. Some eleven years later, Castle Minor was destroyed by fire. The blaze, which firefighters took hours to put out, burnt down the roof and what was left of the interior.

John Mappin, the owner of the Camelot Castle Hotel, claimed at the time that the fire was started by a ghost. “They say the engineer led a lonely life down at the house, and his ghost remained thereafter his death. Make of that what you will, but the fire is a mystery as there was no electricity down there, it was pouring with rain when the fire started, and we have not seen anyone down there.”

In 2005, Winslet supported a local cause by donating an undisclosed sum of money to help the build a new lifeboat house in Padstow. She said at the time: “As a frequent visitor to the Cornish coast with my young family, I find it a great comfort to know that the RNLI is always there to respond to incidents, on the beach or at sea, and to provide beach safety information to help prevent us getting into trouble.”

Kate Winslet at Port Eliot Festival, St Germans, Cornwall, on 24 July 2011
Kate Winslet at Port Eliot Festival, St Germans, Cornwall, on 24 July 2011 (Image: Michael Bowles / Rex Features)

Tamsin Thomas, from the RNLI, added: “The film Kate is best remembered for is Titanic, which is quite fitting as that really showed the importance of lifeboats. If there had been the right number of lifeboats on Titanic far more people would have survived.”

Since selling her homes, Winslet has returned to Cornwall a few times. In July 2011, aged 35, she was spotted in Penzance and Hayle. She was thought to have been meeting the family of her former boyfriend Louis Dowler in Penzance, sparking rumours their romance may have been reignited.

The model was born in Penzance before moving to London, where he worked for Burberry and Louis Vuitton. Winslet was spied browsing the shelves of Boots in Hayle and was later seen outside the Fisherman’s Mission in Newlyn by a member of the harbour staff.

The same week she gave a secret performance at Port Eliot Festival, in St Germans, reading the whole of children's story book 'Mr Gum' by Andy Stanton. In May 2018, there were also rumours that the Divergent star was spending time on the Isles of Scilly - staying at Tresco and having dinner on Bryher. You can read more about this here.