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Peregrine Hall to feature in BBC 'below stairs' documentary

Friday 5th October 2012

The second episode of a BBC series "Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs" will feature Peregrine Hall in Lostwithiel. The episode will be broadcast on BBC2 at 9pm 5th October and will then be available on iPlayer.

The building which is now a private residence with self-catering cottages, was formerly St Faith's House of Mercy for "fallen women" - girls and ladies who had strayed from the paths of virtue or who were unmanageable at home.

Anglican Sisters of Mercy from the Community of St Mary the Virgin, Wantage ran the house, employing the girls to run a laundry which serviced the local estate of Lanhydrock. Women and girls from Cornwall and across the Tamar were admitted to the refuge as residents.

Peregrine Hall was build in 1864 and has been described as the finest example of gothic-style architecture in Cornwall. The building was designed by George Edmund Street, who designed the Royal Courts of Justice in London as well as many gothic-style churches in Europe.

Presenter and Social Historian Dr Pamela Cox uncovers the lives of former occupants of Peregrine Hall as part of a 3 part series entitled "One of the Servants - The True story of Life Below Stairs".

Visiting the homes of both the super-rich and the anxious middle-classes, Dr Cox will dig through the archives and find servants' lost voices in order to understand how they actually lived and worked, revealing a complex world of suppressed passions, strict hierarchies and an obsession with status and class.