Cyprus Well was Charles Causley's home for 50 years. He bought it in 1952 to share with his widowed mother, and continued to live there after she died in 1971.
The house is marked just near the front door by a large cast-iron lantern, and by a circular memorial plaque unveiled by Sir Andrew Motion on its formal re-opening in 2013 (see the above photo). It is a small property, the middle one of three in a short terrace, situated down a very steep minor road (Ridgegrove Hill) just outside the centre of Launceston. The road leads towards the River Tamar and the Cornwall-Devon county border, at Polson Bridge about a mile away.
The terrace is quite old — Causley even suggests that it, and in particular his own house, is named for a nearby spring and its presumed Saxon owner, originally known as Sibard’s Well (see his poem of that title!). Causley therefore suggests that the site itself may date back over a thousand years.
The house fronts directly onto the road and its single-side pavement (please note that parking nearby is therefore very awkward). On the ground floor, there is a combined entrance hall and small lounge area, plus a separate, similarly small room that Causley used as his writing space and library. At its rear, there is a kitchen and dining area with a small glassed-in extension (and nowadays, a combined toilet and shower room). Up the steep and narrow staircase are two bedrooms. Outside and to the side of the kitchen/dining area, there is a small patio area and then a small rear garden, arranged in two sections down a slope.
Cyprus Well has now been fully restored and refurbished to modern standards, after a long campaign of planning, fund-raising and organising by the Causley Trust. It is mainly used for the Trust’s residency and project activitivies, and isn’t generally open to the public for visits or tours.
The Trust does however occasionally offer ‘open days’, with knowledgable guides present — for example, during the town’s annual Causley Festival of Arts and Literature (usually held in the summer holidays), and during the periods of National Heritage Open Days (normally in September). These opportunities are announced on this website, in our regular Newsletters and on our social media channels.