We purchased Little White Alice from Bill and Jill Treloar in 2007 when Bill retired from farming at the age of 90. Bill was the third generation of the Treloar family to have lived at Little White Alice and was well known locally for breeding shire horses which he would have used in his youth to farm the land. Although Bill has since died, Jill is a frequent visitor to Little White Alice and often appears with a pasty in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other to check on what we’ve been doing. All of the original buildings have been demolished but we have kept to the original footprints for the smaller houses. The main farm house however has been greatly expanded. We have tried to maintain a historical link by making use of the original building stone and lintels and have even kept all of the original openings in what was the cow barn and is now The Ash House. Many of the geraniums and white blue bells were also rescued from Jill’s gardens before the demolition team went in. We have also been thrilled in landscaping the site to make use of the huge boulders of granite that Bill had dragged off the fields over the years into the boundaries. Much of the granite that you can see at beautifully landscaped Trebah Gardens on the Helford was also taken from the land at Little White Alice.
Little White Alice was originally owned by the Williams family of Caerhays and Burncoose, who were, for several generations, dominant in the Cornish Industrial Revolution as owners of mines and smelting works.
Little White Alice was named after the local tin mine called White Allis which was last recorded as being worked in 1674. Whilst we were digging out the site at Little White Alice behind the studio building the ground suddenly gave way revealing a hand cut mine tunnel or leet. Unfortunately this was one piece of history that we were forced to cap with concrete and cover up. Just down the road however you can find out more about mining in Cornwall at Poldark Mine which is open to the public throughout most of the year.