Just a few doors along from No.56 in Chapel Street, Penzance is a rather curious sight.
The Egyptian House, designed and built c1835, is possibly one of the most unusual and intricate examples of architecture in Cornwall. The architect is believed to be John Foulston who designed a similar, but less ornate building in Plymouth in 1823.
The building was originally a geological shop and museum owned and remodelled by Penzance bookseller and mineralogist John Lavin, who lived here for some time, displaying his extensive collection of minerals.
The flamboyant and colourfully embellished façade was designed to replicate examples of Egyptian architecture, adorned with stone ornaments of obelisks and lotus buds.
By the 1960’s The Egyptian house was falling into disrepair but was happily purchased in 1973 by The Landmark trust who returned it to it's former glory. Today the upper levels of The Egyptian house are available for holiday rentals, and the ground floor houses an organic skin care shop.
Next time you visit No.56 and Penzance, be sure to stop and take a look.