History of Rosevean

Rosevean Road was laid out for the purpose of making a carriage drive to the Reverend Canon Rogers’ property Lescudjack Castle. The plan was to cover this with villas but this never happened. However, Rosevean Road was gradually extended and this enabled detached houses, including Rosevean House, to be built.



The house is built with entrance gates at the bottom of Barwis Hill. It is rendered with a hipped slate roof, a central brick stack and a partly glazed veranda to the south elevation.

The house comprises an entrance hall, breakfast, dining and drawing rooms, four best bedrooms and two servant’s rooms, two kitchens and other requisite offices together with a three stalled stable and coach-house. It is set within a lawn with walled gardens, plantation and shrubberies totalling two acres.
The date 1837 can still be seen carved into a door lintel at the back of the house today.

The land on which Rosevean House is situated is owned by Reverend John Rogers and the house is built for Thomas Vigurs.

Initial Occupants

Census records show Thomas Vigus and his wife Jane occupying the house in 1841. After the death of Thomas in 1850 Jane remained at the house and the 1851 census shows that she had taken in four lodgers. By 1861 the house was occupied by Captain Henry Raverty, his mother, sister and niece. Ten years later, Susan Weymouth and her daughter Elizabeth were living at Rosevean House and by 1881 the house was occupied by John James and his daughter Mary.   Born in St Just, John was an ironmonger and saddler, employing three men. However, two years later an advertisement was placed in The Cornishman: “To Let: Rosevean House and Grounds offered with immediate possession”.

Veterinary Practice begins at Rosevean House

By 1891 John Stephens and Charles Rose, both Veterinary Surgeons, are living at Rosevean House.

John was born to James and Emma Stephens of Tregony. He attended Devon County School, East Buckland and was one of 66 boys boarding from all over the country.

By 1881 he had qualified as a veterinary surgeon and was practising at St Clare Lodge, St Clare Street Penzance.

In 1883 John Stephens is recorded as still practising at St Clare Lodge but by April 1891 he appears firmly ensconced at Rosevean House.

In 1893 John Stephens is still in business at Rosevean House. He is one of two veterinary practices in Penzance. The other is Thomas Clarke at 23 North Parade.

By 1914 John Stephens is residing and practising at Rosevean House as one of three partners. The other partners are Rowland Glave Saunders of 1 Pendarves Road, Penzance and Samuel J Motton of 60 Morrab Road, Penzance.

This arrangement is still in place in 1923.

In 1926 Rowland Glave Saunders returns to Exeter, the city of his birth, where he goes on to become Mayor. At this time Samuel Motton is both resident and practising at Rosevean House and although the firm is still registered as Stephens, Saunders and Motton, there is no mention of either Stephens or Motton. This is the only veterinary practice showing in Penzance.


Post 1945

After the 2nd World War Mr Motton has three veterinary partners in the practice:

Mr Neil

Mrs E Parker, originally from Scotland

Mr Basil Edmunds, a local man who had served in the veterinary corps in the war.

Mr Motton dies in 1952 aged 65.

Between this time and 1968 Mr John Hardern becomes a partner at the practice when Rosevean House is registered in the Trades Directory as Hardern and Neil.

The arrival of Mr Richard Young, followed by Mr Steve Otty results in the formation of Hardern, Neil, Young and Otty.

Following the retirement of Mr Neil, “Hardern, Young and Otty” buys Rosevean House.

Duncan Bruce, an Aberdeen farmer’s son, becomes a partner around the same time that Mr Hardern retires from the practice, leaving the partnership as Young, Otty and Bruce.

In 2003 Mr Young retires and “Otty and Bruce” continues until 2008 when Mr Matthew Berriman and Mr Joseph Ivey join the partnership. The practice is renamed Rosevean Veterinary Practice.

Mr David Coombs becomes a partner in 2010 and three years later Mr Otty retires leaving the four remaining partners and all the staff at Rosevean to continue the 122 years of veterinary practice out of Rosevean House.

Rosevean Veterinary Practice, Penzance